After cruising along the 2012 London Olympics as of late through two blowouts which totaled 130 points won by and holding their opponents to under 75 points. Sorry Tunisia, and most of all sorry Nigeria, but Team USA is here to win the gold medal and you guys are obviously not going to be on their path any more. However, today, Team USA will be taking on a team that could quite possibly face them in the elimination rounds as expected by some critics as well. Lithuania is currently 1-2 in the Olympic games after losing to France (2-1), two days ago, in a close contest as France won by 8 points.
Lithuania’s only win thus far has been against the team the Americans demolished the same day Lithuania fell to Tony Parker and France. Nigeria. Lithuania easily dispatched Nigeria by 19 points, however, that was nothing compared to how Team USA took care of Nigeria. With an Olympic record of 29 three pointers as a team, most points scored in Olympic history with 156, and New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony hitting 10 three pointers (37 points overall) in just 14 minutes of action, Team USA doused Nigeria for an 83-point victory.
Yes, 83 … if this is the first time you’ve heard about this.
Going up a tested Lithuanian national basketball team and coaching staff, I doubt Team USA will be able to pull-off another blow out like this again. However, I still expect a blowout, but obviously of less magnitude.
In the medal count thus far, Lithuania only has one gold medal compared to USA’s 21 gold medals already achieved. One anticipated gold medal, however, hasn’t been awarded yet to USA. Now I’m not going to start saying that Team USA will be stopped by Lithuania, but I’m just saying Lithuania will bring some fight tomorrow. Unfortunately, I still don’t see that amount of fight being capable of pulling off an upset against the Americans.
The one key thing Lithuania could try to prevent Team USA from doing is defending the three point line. At this point, every one must know how much Team USA loves the three point line, except for Tyson Chandler, but hey … missed three pointers means more offensive rebounds.
The starters for Team USA have finally showed up and inspired the rest of their team to play at a high intensity instead of the other way around much like the Tunisia game where the starters were quickly taken out as the reserves took charge. Despite only having 2 starters score in double figures, their quick start to the game gave Team USA a lead to build upon just after the first quarter which would allow the starters to rest.
Aside from Carmelo Anthony’s hot shooting as usual in Olympic/international games, rookie forward Anthony Davis is someone to keep an eye on from now on. They guy has been hot since the Tunisia game and in the past two Team USA games, Davis has a combined 9-9 shooting, a.k.a, 100% shooting. Davis has scored in double figures in both games by scoring inside the three point line unlike the rest of his teammates.
Unlikely three point shooters in Andre Iguodala and Russell Westbrook have also been starting to make three pointers as if they were, well … not Ray Allen … but better yet, Carmelo Anthony. The two players each had three 3 pointers against Nigeria and look for them to continue their hot shooting against Lithuania.
If Lithuania decides to heavily defend the three point line, they’re still in a lot of danger as Team USA is also a great inside scoring team if they want to with Tyson Chandler, Kevin Love, and LeBron James. James didn’t take part of the three point festivities in the last game and look for him to put an imprint in today’s game. Love has been starting to get rolling since the official Olympic games turned around scoring in double figures consistently and getting a good amount of boards. However, as I’ve stated before, Love doesn’t need to do much in order for Team USA to win so expect his stats to be widely different from his NBA stats with the Minnesota Timberwolves
My prediction: Do you even have to ask?