With the start of the Olympics, we finally have some more basketball in our lives again. The weekend brought several basketball games that were interesting to watch for a variety of reasons, as it is always fun to watch the US Men's team dominate the opposition and to see the star players show off their immeasurable skills as well as getting to see some of Europe's most talented players.
It was all smiles for the US Men's team as they summarily dispatched China, their first opponent, 119-62. The US team was led by Kevin Durant, who scored 19 points on 9 of 12 shots and Klay Thompson who had 17 points. The game was never in question and six players scored in double digits. The Chinese team was led by infamous chair-destroyer Yi Jianlian, who finished with 18 points.
Team USA will have another soft match-up tonight against Venezuela, who was promptly destroyed by Serbia in their first game of the tournament.
The other big game of the weekend was Spain vs Croatia, which was chock-full of NBA talent and included our very own Ricky Rubio. The game was not Rubio's finest performance and he barely played in the second half. Rubio's shot did not look great and whoever was tasked with guarding him on defense played way off of him, daring him to take the three point shot. While the differences with Olympics, international basketball, and Spain's gameplan in comparison to the NBA make evaluating Rubio's success during the tournament something of a fool's errands, this game will most certainly serve as an example for the argument that Ricky's shooting woes will prove problematic in the playoffs if other teams completely ignore his shot.
For the Croatia team, Bogdan Bogdanovic was especially great, he finished with 23 points on 8 of 15 shots, and a last second block by Dario Saric on Pau Gasol sealed the game. This was really a game that Spain should have won, as they are an international powerhouse, but Croatia was able to steal this one away.
I was able to catch a bit of Lithuania vs Brazil and Domantas Sabonis had a nice game. He has impressive footwork for a young big man and it will be exciting to watch him play for the Thunder next season.
The USA is currently leading the Olympic Medal Count at 12 with three golds, five silver, and four bronze. Our swimming team was extraordinary last night, as well as our women's' gymnastic program. Hopefully this week will continue to bring us great competition across all sports.