USA vs Croatia: Team USA Makes a Statement

Rose on the Drive

Derrick Rose

If you like a lot of offense, you owe it to yourself to start watching Team USA in the FIBA tournament.

Team USA outscored Croatia 26-6 in the 2nd quarter, on its way to a 106-78 victory. In doing so, Team USA made a strong early statement about their offensive mindset in this tournament. This team runs an fast paced offense and favors moving the ball around.

Even if they’re not on the fast break, their offense is just fast.

To illustrate what I mean, I feel like if I had a stopwatch with me while watching this team play, and I hit the start button every time they hit the half court line, they will have their first play complete – and/or will have scored – in less than 7 seconds about 80% of the time.

For those of you who don’t know much about this tournament, this is basically basketball’s version of the World Cup. Team USA hasn’t won this in 16 years. Not only that, but most of the world is convinced that Team USA can’t win this without Lebron and Smoke Monster.

And the guys on this squad are well aware of people’s opinions on the matter.

For them to come out in the first official game and drop 106 on a team like this is notable.

I know that a 106 point game doesn’t sound like a lot, but to give you a benchmark, all 24 teams played today, and the points per game average for all teams in the tournament (minus the US) was 74.17.

Not only that, but Team USA only went 12-22 from the free throw line, so their score should have been another 5-6 points higher.

This high octane offense looks to be the key advantage that Team USA has in this tournament.

Don’t get me wrong, I was impressed with the defense shown in the second quarter (Croatia was held to 3-17 from the field). Coach Boeheim’s defensive energy looks to be rubbing off on these players, but ultimately it appears that the points are the thing for this team.

Team USA plays Slovenia tomorrow. We’ll see if they can keep it up.

I say they can.

USA vs. Croatia – Aug. 28th 2010
Country Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
USA 22 26 30 28 106
Croatia 20 6 22 30 78

ESPN Box Score

FIBA Standings

FIBA Full Schedule

Game Photos
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~ by djepperson on August 28, 2010.

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