Well, that was quite the game yesterday, wasn’t it? Team USA put on a shooting display that I, personally, have never seen been before and I have watched a lot of basketball. Starting with Carmelo Anthony and stopping with Anthony Davis, Team USA showed the world why they are the best.
Old records were broken and new ones were set in Team USA’s 156-73 trouncing of Nigeria. I am not going to run through every single record, but what did stand out was this:
Anthony’s 37 points in only 14 minutes, including 13-16 from the field and 10-12 from behind the line. Anthony averaged 2.64 points per minute and 2.25 points per shot.
Team USA made 29 three-point shots after cold shooting hindered them in all of their exhibition games and the first two games of the Olympics.
Team USA scored 49 points in the first quarter and 78 points in the first half, both are records.
The 156 points scored by Team USA is the most in USA and Olympic history. Brazil previously held the record when they scored 138 points in an Olympic game.
Kobe Bryant and LeBron James didn’t play a single second in the second half.
Team USA had 41 assists and seven turnovers, good for a 5.85 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Team USA shot 71.1% from the field (59-83), including 81% from inside the three-point line (30-37).
Team USA’s message was clear: We are the best team in this tournament. I could tell from the start that Team USA was going all-in against Nigeria when Bryant came out hot in the first quarter. From that point on, everything came together for Team USA. I wouldn’t doubt it if this was the most efficient basketball game ever played. Team USA scored 156 points in a 40 minute game, meaning they scored nearly four points (3.9) per minute. Excluding the nine free-throws they made, Team USA scored 147 points 83 shots, equaling 1.77 points per shot.
This is what happens when extreme talent meets extreme efficiency resulting in extreme consequences for the opponent. And for anyone who is complaining about Team USA running up the score on Nigeria, this isn’t grade-school or middle-school athletics. These are grown men, playing with pride and for their country. If Nigeria would have cared, even a bit, the score would not have been as bad. They showed little effort and put up zero resistance. Their fast-pace style played right into Team USA’s hands and Team USA made them pay. I certainly don’t feel sorry for Nigeria and they should be embarrassed with their lack of performance. They have multiple players on that team who played college basketball in the States and three players who played or are playing in the NBA.
You witnessed greatness yesterday so just take it for what it’s worth; Team USA is the best in the world and 83 points better than Nigeria.
Team USA will play Lithuania on Saturday. Maybe they will go easy on them?