Thoughts on Team USA's route of China:
- Dwyane Wade is finally healthy after about 18 months of not being so. And, again he has established that, when healthy, he is the most terrifying offensive basketball player on the planet. 19 points of 7/7 from the field and 5/5 from the FT line. Made several passes that led immediately to fouls on China and had a massive alley oop pass to LeBron James in the coolest play of the day.
- Wade has been great but he also typifies the major flaw of Team USA on defense. They still just don't get that you need to guard the three point line at all times. Wade regularly doubles down, gambles off the ball and jumps in front of screens. And China stayed in the game into the third quarter because they had so many open looks from deep. They really need to stay at home more often because one-on-one, there are not many players capable of really breaking down any of USA's defenders.
- Jason Kidd is playing purely out of respect for him at this point. Don't get me wrong, he had a nice game and on a fast break the passes he picked out were really awesome to watch. But still, Deron Williams is a great shooter, and Chris Paul is a better pentrator and better in the half court. Kidd is losing playing time and that will continue.
- George W. George H.W. and some old Chinese Prime Minister was in the stands for the game (W was even in the huddle with team USA before hand!) Also up there was Jeb and one of the Bush daughters (not the saucy one who went to Texas, the other one.) So, at one point they show the 8 of them on the Jumbotron, and honest to God, Jeb elbows W's daughter and like excitedly points at the damn screen! This guy was governor of Florida for 8 years was in the middle of the 2000 election imbroglio and still gets as excited when he makes the big screen as my fellow blogger Chubbs would. Good times.
- These Chinese people love Kobe Bryant. It's crazy.
- I was wildly impressed with Chris Bosh today. He was a fierce rebounder, terriffic defender and I have become convinced that he can handle the late-game duties at center if Dwight Howard's free throw troubles continue.
- Finally, seeing either Dwight Howard or LeBron James bully their way to the hoop on a fast break is going to continue to be the most pleasing subplot of these games. Both those guys are absolute horrors when they have a full head of steam. Yao got totally dazed trying and failing to take a charge from LeBron and Dwight just routinely dunked on guys like they were not there. Neither of these things are really relevant to US's chances at gold. But both are pleasing to the eye.