Team USA continued to do its best to create international incidents last night, manhandling the Dominican Republic squad 4000-16 in front of an enthusiastic crowd at Madison Square Garden.
Okay – my score might be a little inaccurate, since I ignore the real amount of points scored during these exhibition games and instead assign a final tally based on how evenly the two teams were matched. The score on the Jumbotron read 105-62, but Team USA is clearly more than 43 points better than the DR.
For starters, Team USA is loaded with insanely gifted athletes. There is no team on planet Earth that can out-run our out-leap this squad. That’s a scary thought, especially when you consider that the two best players in the USA, Kevin Durant and Lebron James, are not even playing. The highlights of last night’s game consist mainly of steals, blocks, fast breaks, and alley-oops. Of course, that’s what most highlight reels look like – it’s just that Team USA gives you no shortage of highlights from which to choose. For every five highlights you show, there are another ten plays equally deserving of being seen.
Depth is yet another strength that Team USA holds over the opposition, since any players coming off of the bench for the team are worthy of starting for any other team in the world. Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving started in place of Derrick Rose and nailed all five of his shots, while Detroit’s Andre Drummond came off the bench and scored 12 points and grabbed 5 boards in just 16 minutes of playing time. The roster still needs to be trimmed down to 12 players (it currently has 16), so coach Mike Krzyzewski needs to consider chemistry first and foremost, in order to make sure that his units understand the concept of team basketball. Still, Team USA’s depth is a luxury that any coach dreams of enjoying. As long as the injury bug pisses off, the Americans are guaranteed to be double-digit favorites for every game they play in Spain.
Of course, you all probably knew this before I even sat down to write. It probably seems boring, reading how great USA Men’s Basketball is over and over again, but when you consider the fact that USA Men’s teams are not as dominant in other major sports, such as soccer and hockey, it does provide a nice perspective. Hoops doesn’t get as much love and attention in this country as a few other sports, but the USA definitely can boast that it breeds the best ballers in the world, so it will be fun to watch Team USA remind everyone of this fact come August 30.