J.A. Adande really put it best after the United States ripped off a big run to eliminate Australia.
“Two most explosive of the Olympics: Usain Bolt and Team USA hoops squad.”
Against Nigeria, it was Carmelo Anthony. Against Argentina, it was Kevin Durant. Against Australia in the quaretrfinals, it was Kobe Bryant.
A 20-4 Team USA run is on the table at all time. A six-point game could be turned to a 26-point one in a matter of minutes. Eventually, with all that talent on the floor, one of those guys is going to feel it. Somebody is going to get hot.
It wasn’t Durant this time around, but he played another pretty steady scoring game finishing with 14 points and five rebounds. He hit 4-of-9 from 3 and had one pretty nice dunk.
One thing that’s becoming incredibly apparent though is that Durant is essentially a spot-up shooter for the most part. A lot of the players on this team are that too, but we’re not being treated to the well-rounded offensive arsenal that KD possesses. He’s not going to the post, he’s not putting the ball on the floor much, he’s not getting the ball in isolation at the top of the key. That’s the nature of the team though with all the talent. KD knows it. He’s having to play different. He has to pick spots, has to find his moments to assert himself. This one against Australia wasn’t one of those.
One thing Durant did do: Australia started the second half on an 11-0 run and cut Team USA’s lead to three and Coach K was preparing to call a timeout. Instead, KD drilled a corner 3 to re-establish a little control of the game, the timeout got waived off and eventually the U.S. rolled on to a blowout.
The other two Thunderers didn’t have much an impact on the game as James Harden scored seven points in garbage time and Russell Westbrook picked up six on only three shots. Harden did finish two very nice dunks though, which was fun.
Next up for the U.S. is a rematch against Argentina in the semifinals.