Live Blog: Team USA Demolishes Tunisia

(Photo: Getty Images)

 

Here is my second attempt at a “live” blog, this time for TEAM USA vs. Tunisia Basketball. The first half includes a bit more play-by-play than is probably necessary, but the second half is more of my flowing thoughts from this blowout game (as expected). Please let me know your thoughts, both good and bad, so that I can keep you guys entertained as I help you follow my favorite team.

5 PM — Settling in now with my McDonalds (official partner of great tasting, deadly for you food) ready for tip off at 5:15 on NBC Sports Network.

5:05 — Catching up on the other results from the Basketball Arena today. They are as follows:

China 54- Russia 73

Australia 70 – Spain 82

Lithuania 72 – Nigeria 53

Great Britain 62 – Brazil 67

France 71 – 64 Argentina

5:05 – “Team USA is trying to establish a standard, they want greatness, not just a gold medal…. they want to be known as the greatest team to ever play” – Doc Rivers

5:07 – Tunisia is only team in tournament without an NBA player. Damn.

5:10 – Here’s a tweet from Kurt Helin of NBC’s ProBasketballTalk on what to expect in this game.

 

There is a tumblr account following Craig Sager’s suits. He’s disappointing them greatly. (Photo: craigsagerssuits.tumblr.com)

5:15 – Team USA will become the only 2-0 team after tonight’s game. Craig Sager is again rocking the light blue polo, making sure the players are the star of the show.

5:17 – USA starting five: LeBron, Kobe, Durant, Chris Paul, Tyson Chandler

5:18 – Kobe misses three after USA wins tip, Tunisia turns it over on their first possession.

5:18 – Kobe opens up the scoring with a nice floater in the lane. 2-0 USA.

5:18 – Oh no. 3-2 Tunisia after a three from Amine Rzig. Ever heard of him?

5:20 – Durant fouled going to hoop, makes both free throws. USA up 4-3.

5:21 – Tunisia now 2-2 from deep to start game after another trey.

5:22 – Ramdhane end-to-end layup. 8-4 Tunisia.

5:22 – Tyson Chandler easy lay in. Nobody can outmuscle him down low on Tunisia if USA feeds him the ball.

5:23 – Chris Paul jumper ties the game at 8 with a free-throw line extended pull up.

5:23 – “Catch and Shoot KD”. That should be Durant’s nickname on this team as there are so many players who can drive and dish to set him up. 10-8 after Durant hits a wide-open J.

5:24 – Another three for Tunisia. 11-10 guys in white.

5:24 – Kobe’s pump-fake is working tonight. He’s getting it done in the paint. 12-11 USA.

5:26 – USA 0-6 from 3 to start game. Tunisia 3-8. Tunisia leads 13-12 with 2:39 left in first quarter. Coach K makes “hockey substitution”.

5:27 – Kevin Love, Carmelo Anthony, Andre Igoudala, Deron Williams, and Russell Westbrook now on the floor.

5:28 – D.Will makes his first shot of the game, floater in the lane from just in front of the free-throw line. 16-15 USA.

5:30 – Andre Igoudala with a sick put-back dunk on yet another missed USA three pointer, this time from Kevin Love. 18-15 USA.

5:32 – Westbrook can play. Explosive player finds a way to get the ball in and lays it up on the right side to make it 21-15 USA.

5:32 – USA’s defensive intensity has picked up, forced back-to-back shot clock violations to end the first quarter.

5:33 – After one quarter USA leads 21-15. Durant 4 points, LeBron 2 assists, Tyson Chandler 4 rebounds.

5:35 – First USA three knocked down by Carmelo Anthony after USA misses first 8 attempts. Assist to Deron Williams.

5:36 – Timeout Tunisia. USA now leads 26-15. 12-0 run by USA after second unit came in.

5:39 – LeBron blocks a shot and it’s pinned between the rim and the backboard. Sadly, that will be on the best highlight of the Tunisian’s basketball career.

Romdhane, shown here near the rim, dropped 22 points tonight. His buddy Kechrid knocked down 3 of the 9 three-pointers Tunisia hit. (Photo: Getty Images)

5:41 – Marouan Kechrid hits back-to-back three’s to bring Tunisia back to within 6. 29-23 USA with just under 7 minutes to go in first half.

5:43 – LeBron throws it down with AUTHORITY and posterizes #9. USA back up 10.

5:49 – The 3 ball is keeping Tunisia in the game. Kechrid with his third of the night, accounts for all 9 of his points. 35-30, USA.

5:50 – Back-to-back buckets by Kevin Durant and James Harden have lead back up to 9.

5:52 – Durant hits his first three of the night.

5:53- Tyson Chandler gets the NBA “continuation” call for an and-one opportunity. Misses the free throw. USA up  44-30.

5:55: 11-0 USA run ends with another 3 from Tunisia. Do they know you can shoot inside the arc, too?

5:57 – Halftime. 46-33 USA.

5:58: Tweet from ESPN’s Marc Stein:

6:00 – First half Stats: Kevin Durant 9 points, 7 rebounds; Carmelo Anthony 6 points, Russell Westbrook 6 points; Tyson Chandler 6 points, 5 rebounds.

TEAM STATS

COUNTRY

FG

  3PT

FT

OFF

REB

AST

TO

STL

BS

TF

PTS

Tunisia

12/34

 7/16

2/7

5

18

6

 10

 2

2

5

33

United States

19/34

 2/12

6/9

3

23

10

  7

5

2

10

46

6:09 – Doc Rivers just said his favorite sport stadium is Cameron Indoor Stadium. His son, Austin, playing for the Duke last year might have something to do with that.

6:12 – Coach K not happy with first half effort. New 5 on the floor to start second half (the second unit that went on a run in the first half): Deron Williams, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Love, Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook.

6:15 – 7-0 run to start second half after Carmelo hits corner jump. Guess Coach K is a smart guy, huh?

6:15 – Make that 9-0, a minute and 40 seconds into the second half. USA up 55-33. Largest lead of the game so far.

6:18 – The second unit goes to the hole more, takes higher percentage looks than the starters.

6:20 – Carmelo is instant offense off the bench. Think the Knicks could try that? He’s 6-6 shooting now, with 16 points through 2.5 quarters.

6:23 – Westbrook can fly. 67-36 USA. The rout is officially on, finally. Led by 13 at half, through 5 minutes in the second half have pushed lead to 31.

6:24 – Anthony Davis sighting, he comes into the game with Kevin Durant before the rest of the starters make their re-entry into the game.

6:26 – Kevin Love will be okay. Just banged knees with a Tunisian. Good sign to see him smiling, locked arms with Carmelo Anthony.

Anthony Davis hasn’t played an NBA minute yet, but he can fly. (Photo: Slam Magazine)

6:29 – Oh shit, Unibrow finishes a great lob pass. Just not right that our 19-year olds can dominate other countries best like that.

6:30 – Harden knocks down a three. 78-44 USA.

6:32 – Another sick alley-oop to Anthony Davis. Put it up near the hoop, young fella will throw it down.

6:33 – Trifecta for A. Davis as he finishes another oop. USA wins third quarter 39-14. Wow.

6:36 – Another bucket for Anthony Davis and then another 3 from Harden. These guys are making it look easy. 90-48 USA.

6:40 – Announcers talking about Kobe playing over 50,000 NBA minutes in his career. It’s making me feel old.

6:42 – Oh, Tunisia is allowed to score too. Forget about that part. Of course it’s another 3. 92-51 USA.

6:44 – Impressive that every Tunisia player can speak at least three languages. Only need to know the language of basketball to know that you don’t mess with the United States, though.

6:47 – USA hits the century mark with a Kevin Love trey. 102-56, 4 minutes remaining in this “contest”.

6:48 – Kevin Love is no Anthony Davis. He couldn’t get above the rim to finish a dunk, but hey, he’s a rebounder and three-point shooter (a better version of Antoine Walker).

6:51 – Love redeems himself with another 3. USA 7-11 from deep in the second half. USA up 107-60 with 90 seconds left.

6:52 – Fans chanting Queen’s “We Will Rock You” in stands. Sorry Brits, but that’s overkill!

6:54 – That’s a wrap, folks. USA wins 110-63. Still don’t beat the spread. Team USA will face Nigeria next at 5:15 EST, Thursday.

Final Stats: Kevin Love, Carmelo Anthony with 16 points each, Kevin Durant 13, Anthony Davis 12, Russwell Westbrook 11, James Harden 10. Kevin Durant led team in rebounds with 10, Love and Chandler with 6, Igoudala with 5. Chris Paul 7 assists, Kevin Durant and Igoudala with 5 each.

TEAM STATS

COUNTRY

FG

3PT

FT

OFF

REB

AST

TO

STL

BS

TF

PTS

Tunisia

23/65

9/26

8/21

12

31

12

19

4

3

11

63

United States

43/70

10/25

14/18

9

44

28

9

8

3

19

110

My Thoughts

It’s hard to take too much away from a blowout win like this. Anthony Davis played a hell of a game, as did Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love off the bench. The USA starters had a bit of trouble early, and the 3 point shooting from Tunisia was definitely the reason for that, but overall it’s about as solid a 47 point win that you can expect. The players have tomorrow off before getting back to work Thursday night against Nigeria (how Solomon Alabi is not on that roster I do not know), but even with the day off you can bet that Coach K will be getting on his players to remind them to mark-up on shooters behind the arc. Kobe Bryant played less than 9 minutes today, but in close games down the stretch he will be one of the players that LeBron and company count on. All in all, this was a great win for USA, and more importantly nobody got injured. See you on Thursday, folks.

Kevin Love may not look like a Team USA player, but hey, neither did Larry Bird. (Photo: Supersport.com)

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