USA 51-32 at Halftime
[Live blogging the U.S.-Greece men's basketball game]
Well, so much for that. The Americans haven't looked great, but the Greeks have looked considerably worse, and are struggling both to handle the ball and to shoot it. They also look completely undone by the athletic U.S. defense, which means this could get ugly. The U.S. will be challenged at some point in this tournament, but this apparently won't be the game.
A massive dunk from fan favorite Kobe Bryant early in the second quarter brought the crowd to its feet and started "USA" chants. The next possession? A Dwight Howard dunk. The next possession? A LeBron James dunk. Near the end of the half James dunked again on an impressive follow, and then later on a fast-break reverse, which ended with him glowering into the crowd. No one on Greece can possibly glower at the crowd like LeBron does.
The Americans could quit now and still finish with the most dunks in this tournament, and that's not hyperbole. (Although Kobe missed a dunk late in the quarter, leading to an "Oooooooh" from the fans.)
The Greeks are 0 for 7 from three-point range; no European team can possibly beat the Americans without making long-distance shots. The Greeks are also being surprisingly sloppy with the ball, with 13 turnovers at halftime. (The U.S. has 9.)
Reserve guard Dwyane Wade continues to be the Americans' most dynamic and complete player; at the half he has 10 points, and also has 3 rebounds and 3 assists. Two consecutive possessions at one point yielded a Wade fast break layup and a Wade pull-up three pointer, both of which the Greeks had no chance of defending.
Chris Bosh leads the U.S. with 12 points; Bryant has 11, and James has 11 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. No Greek player has reached double digits. Several U.S. Olympians are in the crowd, including at least a half-dozen members of the U.S. women's basketball team, sitting in the front row behind one backboard.
Oh, and the halftime routine? Trampoline dunkers dressed like the Ghostbusters cheered on by cheerleaders with pom-poms, all to the Ghostbusters theme music. I'll give that a B+ or so. Not bad at all.
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