The USA Men’s Basketball team is currently a 55.5 point favorite against Tunisia today according to USA Today. This point spread can guarantee a few things: 1. USA will never trail in this game. 2. Expect at least one if not several US players to score 25+ points. 3. There will be more slam dunks and alley-oops than an And 1 showcase. Needless to say, this game will not be much of an indicator of how to US will fare in the subsequent rounds but rather just how dominating the US are willing to be.
The players to watch in this game will be the Kevins- Durant and Love respectively. Love has been closely watched since Team USA chairman Jerry Colangelo told USA Today that Love “has not performed up to what he is capable of performing.” Following these comments, Love provided a somewhat redeeming performance against France delivering 14 points in 14 minutes. Perhaps the most scrutinized player in an otherwise invincible squad, Love is still a player with something to prove. While Tunisia will not be the best test for which to judge his talents, it is still an opportunity for Love to build some separation from his critics. Expect him to have another strong outing as we all know that Love does not appreciate having his game questioned.
Unlike Love, Durant has impressed since the team’s first exhibition game. Against France, Durant scored 22 points and should be expected to well exceed this number today, especially if he’s listening to his teammates. Lebron James, Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant have all stated they want Durant to shoot more. James stated, “He’s one of the best players the world has and he’s a three-time scoring champ. So we don’t want the KD that defers. We want the KD that he is in Oklahoma City,” per Royce Young of Daily Thunder. Durant responded to this encouragement saying “I guess I’ve got to be aggressive.” It should be safe to assume Durant will be the high scorer in this game, potentially being the first US player to tally 30 or more points.
Needless to say, this will also be a great game to watch for highlights. There were dazzling moments against France, specifically Lebron’s near full court bounce pass and Harden’s aggressive dunk. Today’s game should provide even more jaw dropping assists and rim rockers. USA will be able to out run, out muscle and overall embarrass Tunisia.
Final Score: USA- 125 Tunisia- 64
Line of the Night: Durant- 34 PTS, 7 REB, 4 AST
Highlight of the Night Prediction: Chris Paul to Lebron 3/4 Court Alley Oop