Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Redeem Team sinks the team from Down Under... beating them 116-85 in the quarterfinals, sending Team USA to the semifinals to go up against defending champion Argentina to decide who's going to fight for the Gold against either Spain or Lithuania.


But it wasn't all the typical Team USA Basketball Show during the game's first half because, as the NBC play-by-play commentator (who somehow sounded like Marv Albert) called it, the Redeem Team's performance was "sloppy." Well, he got that right.

Considering how, in all of their games during their Group B division play, Team USA practically controlled the game from the start, last night's game didn't look like that at all, at least during the first half. At the end of the 1st quarter, Team USA was only up by 1, and by the end of the 2nd quarter, they only had the lead by 12 points, which really would've only been 9 if not for Deron Williams' hot hands and cool composure to sink a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer.

Somehow, that, along with Australia's Mark Worthington's hard foul on Carmelo Anthony, pumped up the Redeem Team to play the second half a lot more seriously as they went on a 14-0 drive at the start, with 9 coming from Kobe Bryant.

At the end of the game, Kobe, who went from being the team's top defender to becoming the top scorer, had knocked down 25 points - the most by any Team USA player in the Beijing Olympics - with LeBron James and 'Melo adding 16 and 15 respectively.

And so with Australia down, that only leaves 2 more games for the Redeem Team to, well, redeem Team USA's basketball glory. I just hope the whole team's sharp from the get-go because if they'll play the first half against Manu Ginobili and friends the same way they played the first half against the Aussies, securing the win just might not come as easy this time around.

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