Published August 08, 2012
Team USA is quite possibly the best basketball team ever assembled, but the team has had trouble putting together complete games thus far at the 2012 London Olympics. That happened once again on Wednesday in the first round of knockout play, but the Americans eventually were able to put it all together and eliminate Australia en route to a 119-86 victory.
The Americans will now play Argentina in the semifinals as they attempt to win the USA another gold medal, but Wednesday's matchup -- despite the final score -- showed that Argentina won't simply be another easy American victory if Team USA continues to take quarters off.
It's all fine and dandy if one only looks at the huge margin of victory the final score represents, but the Australians and the Americans actually ended up scoring 28 points apiece in the third quarter -- a troubling statistic considering Team USA shouldn't have had any trouble pulling away from the Boomers when looking at the talent disparity.
That third quarter ended up not mattering as Kobe Bryant went into full-on Black Mamba mode on his way to leading Team USA with 20 points after struggling in the first half, but it has to worry head coach Mike Krzyzewski that Team USA continues counting on big performances from its stars rather than putting together four quarters of (near-) flawless basketball.
It wasn't only Bryant for Team USA, though, as LeBron James picked up his first triple-double in international play with 11 points, rebounds and assists while Deron Williams, Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Kevin Love all finished with double figures in the scoring column.
As far as Australia was concerned, San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills scored 26 points as the team's only current NBA player, while Summer League stalwart Joe Ingles scored 19 and veterans David Andersen and Brad Newley had 10 points apiece to close out the double-digit-scoring Australians.