Team USA vs. Greece Live-blog


And let the ‘Redeeming’ begin. This game right here is a major reason for the entire Redeem Team theme (what a rhyme) as the Greeks ruined the American party in the 2006 World Championships. Greece is a physical, bruising team that tries to get under people’s skin. They like to execute their offense and generally run pick-and-rolls and can use our defensive pressure against us. It will be interesting to see how we can defend such a crisp offensive unit. Greece is looking to penetrate, double penetrate and get open shots all day.

Kobe immediately goes to the low-block and scores a jumper. Team USA is really out pressuring early.

Spanoulis penetrates off the pick and roll and gets a pretty easy layup. Not the most encouraging thing ever. I hate how no Greek has an easy name to type. Kobe is attacking early and he’s at the free throw line for the first time of the Olympics. Mamba in the house?

Jason Kidd picked up 3 fouls in less than a minute and a half. Well, hot damn…those were pretty questionable. Tim Duncan would have blown a gasket. I sincerely think that Tim Duncan might join the 2012 team just so he can punch a ref in the face. By the way insert your own jokes about Kidd’s uselessness, I will not oblige you.

Chris Paul immediately comes in and tries a pick and roll lob to Dwight Howard and Greece intercepts.

Oh wow…these International refs sure are living up to their reputations. Kobe got come contact on the fast break…no call. Then Spanoulis rebounds the ball, Kobe semi-swiped at it and the refs called an unsportsmanlike foul (flagrant foul). Unbelievable. Also….the Greeks are in the penalty and it is not even 3 minutes into this game. This is not good news. Team USA is struggling in the half-court early, getting in the paint hasn’t been easy at all.

The Greeks are absolutely slowing it down offensively and just using pick and rolls and cutting to the basket. Very patient to say the least. Of course none of that matters when Dwight Howard blocks your shot.

USA lets whoever was shooting the free throw actually get his own rebound and score a layup. Is Marbury still on this team? Why am I having flashbacks to 2004?

Currently in for USA is Bosh, LeBron, Wade, Paul and Kobe. Very interesting to see how this team deals with Greece’s size.

Not too well. Easy pick and roll bucket for “Baby Shaq” SCHORTSANITIS who is a mix between Tractor Traylor and Big Baby. And why is that in all caps? Because I copied and pasted it from the Olympic website? No way Jose was I about to type that up.

5:14: I’m finally awake enough to use some times. 13-13 after a couple defensive stops led to some transition. A steal off Baby Shaq leads to a Kobe dunk and Team USA with their first lead.

5:16: Team USA gives up another free throw rebound but Baby Shaq runs over Bosh and Team USA will keep the ball. Apparently Baby Big Baby was so mad that he couldn’t get his hair like Bosh’s that he just ran him over. Kidding…but did anyone see his fro against Spain? Combine the worse elements of Olowokandi’s and Ben Wallace and that’s what it was.

Deron Williams is in who I believe is the prototype to deal with the Greeks. D-Wade slashes and dumps to Bosh who scores the bucket and fouls. Amazing because there were 4 Greeks right in the paint. I like how Team USA isn’t settling for jumpers and still attacking. 18-14 USA.

5:18: 24 second shot clock violation on Greece. Now that’s how you get a stop. From now on…that’s how you get a stop. (bonus points if you get that reference) Williams misses a three but D-Wade gets the o-rebound and scores. 20-14. D-Wade then gambles in the backcourt which indirectly leads to a Greek layup. I do like the energy of this lineup Williams, Paul, Wade, Melo and Bosh.

5:20: Paul misses a jumper to end the quarter and Team USA is up 20-16 at the end of 1. The good news? Team USA managed to take a hit early with all the foul calls early and kept their composure. Greece is shooting 6/15, 0/3 from behind the arc with 4 turnovers. Team USA is leading despite 8 fouls and 5 turnovers, they are 1/3 from behind the arc, 3/3 from the line and 8/15 from the field. Defensively they’ve done a great job of toeing the line between applying great pressure and still remaining solid.

5:22: Amazing…D-Wade saves a ball and it’s an alley oop to Bryant. Yes that was a crappy description but that’s literally what happened. Odenized will hook you up I’m sure. Of course Greece answers with a dunk right now. Dwight Howard answers back with a dunk of his own and gets fouled. Say it with me…it’s a dunkfest. By the way Mike Breen and Doug Collins have been slobbering over D-Wade for about 5 minutes. As leader of the D-Wade bandwagon I am unhappy about this. You two take your seats in the back.

5:24: Another Greek turnover leads to a LeBron dunk. Dwight then deflects another attempt to feed the roll man on the pick and roll. YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOU! Superman that ho.

(A Soulja Boy reference? And the credibility of the Rip City Project plummets like the career of any celebrity who appeared on the Surreal Life)

5:25: Kobe blows an alley-oop from D-Wade. How many times has Team USA done this so far? I feel like LeBron has missed every alley-oop. D-Wade comes out of the game and he….is….ti….red. Breathing like a pregnant woman over there.

5:26: I don’t know who he was or how to spell it but he just got the worst looking and one ever. Nikolaos Zisis the graphic tells me. They are picking on CP3.

5:27: Remember what I said about Team USA’s inability to make shots? Deron Williams with great penetration, find an open Kobe…clank. Should have been buckets. Thankfully the rebound ended up with Bosh getting hammered. Speaking of Bosh I’m impressed with him. He’s handled the physical nature so far. Well done.

(How can you not like Bosh? He surprised everyone by being a really funny goofball. Now his stock is rising thanks to the Olympics. With Jermaine around to take some pressure off of him…dare I say…monster year?)

5:28: Bosh picks up his 2nd foul, Dwight already has 2. Somewhere Tyson Chandler is weeping. Carlos Boozer will not be able to scope for hotties for much longer. 27-22 Team USA.

5:31: D-Wade is back times ten….Kobe finds him on a no-look and he finishes and makes the free throw. 31-22 USA.

5:32: D-Wade with another transition layup. Greece is struggling to keep him in front of them. Flash is straight up Slash….in. They can’t all be winners. Greece has gotten two pretty easy layups in a row.

5:32: It doesn’t matter. D-Wade is in the building. He responds with a three-pointer. Bosh is pestering Baby Tractor Traylor, suckering him into his 3rd personal foul.

5:33: Kobe misses a midrange fadeaway…SEE HE’S NOT AS GOOD AS MJ, MJ NEVER WOULD HAVE MISSED THAT. What do you mean people stopped comparing them months ago? Damnit. I knew I was missing out on something.

5:34: Team USA cannot fall into a lull, they are going to have to be solid for 40 minutes.

5:36: LeBron almost just dunked on Melo and Melo knew it as he started smiling immediately. How’d that happen? Melo missed a layup off the glass and LeBron came flying out of nowhere. 38-28 with a little over 3 minutes left.

5:36: *cue omminous music* The Greeks….in the 2-3 zone.

5:37: *cue Superhero music* Kobe Bryant….Zone Buster. Deep three pointer. I guess Kobe has said F IT I’m shooting NBA threes.

5:37: *cue sad music* Michael Redd….Bench-Warmer. I would pay at least 7 bucks to just hear the conversation (or lack thereof) between Prince, Redd and Boozer.

5:38: Chris Bosh with a three-point play to put Team USA up 44-30.

5:38: LeBron deflects a pass at half court and then finishes with a nasty, nasty, nasty dunk. Coach K is fired up like JJ Redick just made 4 three’s in a row. What do you mean that was years a
go? Greece has 11 turnovers and to be honest I didn’t see this coming. Remember folks, Greece plays terrible from behind if you saw the Spain game they looked worse than Angola. Trust.

5:41: I never thought I would like Coach K’s sneer but damnit I kind of like it. Bosh with another potential three point play.

5:43: Chris Bosh….destroyer of the Greek pick and roll. He switched onto a guard who tried to drive…dribbled it off his foot. Then he switched again…pull-up jumper attempted? Blocked. Least popular player in Greece? Chris Bosh. Shake them dreads.

51-32 Team USA at halftime. The big story…the defense. Like a swarm of killer bees. 13 turnovers for the Greeks. 14 points off of Greek’s TO’s which to me seems like such a small number. Everyone (including me) talked about Team USA would struggle scoring in the paint and pressuring. False. False. False. False. False. Bosh and D-Wade have led the charge with Kobe and LeBron right behind.

To answer the Q’s…Team USA has handled the pick and roll (Bosh), stayed solid while applying pressure. Just great basketball.

Team USA outscored Greece 31-16 in the second half. Ow.

5:47: The Snapper in halftime studio. No one knows if he’s murdered Kamla or not. “The world has still got a lot of catching up to do”. Well….hot damn.

6:00: Jason Kidd is on Team USA? *gasp*…by the way if there was +/- in the Olympics I think Kidd would be at -48213 right about now. I had to get a dig in on Kidd….all the cool kids are doing it.

(Speaking of digs and Jason Kidd…how would you feel if you’re Misty May’s wife, I mean husband and you see Kidd watching her play and you remember that big tattoo of the roman numeral #5 on her back is a tribute to him. I’m gonna go ahead and say ‘not very good’ and leave it at that.)

6:02: Camera was on Tayshaun Prince for like 10 seconds and he did not look pleased. I guess that means he’s ready. Again…missing out on a gold-mine for entertainment on not letting us hear Prince, Redd and Boozer be awkward.

6:03: Greece with back to back three balls. They didn’t make any in the first half. Semi-lull right about now….do not let Greece back into this.

6:05: Dwight Howard lazily defends the pick and roll allowing the big man to shoot a wide open three. He missed. Chris Bosh is hurting your rep man. This just hasn’t been your summer. Your constant use of the Superman gimmick combined with Oden and Bosh have made you like the #3 funniest big man. People are doubting your skills. Shaq secretly wants to beat you up and make you pay for the laser removal of his Superman tattoo. Just rough going for you Mr. Howard. To the game…Melo hits a three and the lead is back up to 20.

6:07: Dwight Howard gets called for his third foul for pushing off while posting up. Enter Chris Bosh. And the crowd goes wild. Actually that was just me and I definitely think I woke my dog up. She is not pleased.

6:08: Kidd with a steal and one of those crazy bounce passes that only he can do in transition and Kobe gets a dunk. TAKE THAT J-KIDD HATERS! COULD PAUL AND WILLIAMS DO THAT? HUH? HUH? BEST……PG…….EVER!

And just as I try to praise him actually…ya know…doing something, he tries to throw the ball off the backboard to LeBron….with two Greeks in between them. I can’t help you Jason Kidd when you do stuff like that. I really can’t.

And they are ripping on Kidd. (And the best PG ever was a joke just imagine John C. Reilly saying it and laugh before calling me an idiota suprema)

6:10: LeBron and Bosh having a…..BLOCK PARTY! I feel like Stuart Scott. Actually…

Bust out the stereo, BBQ and slip and slide cause LeBron and Bosh are having a block party.

Now I feel like Stuart Scott.

You had to see it…back to back smacks off the backboard. Greece has actually cut the lead to 16 though as Team USA seems to be taking the foot off the pedal a little bit. Not scoring in the half court and not getting turnovers.

6:12: LeBron with another block. Damn. The lead is back up to 20.

6:15: D-Wade with a subtle cocky move…got fouled on a three-ball and patted the defender on the butt. There’s nothing like getting a pat on the back from someone who is killing you.

6:16: For such a Redeem Team…Team USA really does struggle with the killer instinct. The Dream Team would kill you, bring you back to life, take you in front of your family, brag about how they saved you…and kill you again. The Redeem Team just kind of puts you on life support and waits until the last possible moment to pull the plug.

(Most morbid comparison ever? Yes.)

6:19: 74-54 USA at the end of 3. Greece with their most points in a quarter so far (22).

6:21: Whoever said that Team USA would struggle with Baby Oliver Miller is currently living under a rock.

6:23: Doug Collins confuses Argentina and Spain. RACISM.

6:24: Great sequence for LeBron. Blows by his defender and dumps it to Bosh for a dunk…then steals the inbound pass at half court. Also…as back as D-Wade is he still can’t make free throws. He’s 4/9 from the line.

6:27: Ya know…somewhere Pat Riley is watching this game combing his hair and plotting how to stab (insert Miami Heat’s coach name) in the back and re-take the coaching job. I should know his name. Isn’t it like Erik Spolestra? (close enough…Erik Spoelstra…darn e’s and l’s)



6:29: My man, CARLOS BOOZER IN THE HOUUUUUUSE. And he scored. And I’m done pretending I’m an 80’s rapper. Or at the end of a concert. And yes if you type out any different way you will mysteriously disappear.

6:32: 24 turnovers for Greece. Who saw this coming? I am impressed. Not that Team USA has won but just how they have done it. The defensive effort has just been…damn. Pick and roll? No way. Penetration for threes? Nope. Dominance? Yes. 3:53 seconds left and Greece has only 3 three’s and 58 points.

6:34: Also…not gonna lie Calderon scares me. Just a teensy weensy bit. Ricky Rubio meanwhile does not. Ever since I read this I’ve been wanting to see him get punked.

6:36: So what’s more entertaining….garbage time or women’s basketball. Women’s basketball is the answer don’t be sexist I won’t allow it. I’m sad that the final score isn’t going to look like complete dominance because Coach K wants to be a good guy.

6:37: Evander Holyfield gets a camera shot and he looks happy. Sike. He looks like he owes people money. Oh crap he does. Asshole of the day goes to me. I just hope it’s not the Yakuza or else…well…damn. Doug Collins waxes nostalgic about the 1976 boxing squad….I’m just so happy hes’s gone a whole game without talking about Munich. Dear lord. We get it. We saw the HBO documentary. You got screwed. Shut it.

6:39: Michael Redd with a three-ball followed by a Deron Williams three-ball. 92-67…the score will reflect dominance. Bring on the racist Spaniards.

92-69 Team USA. Damn. A message was sent today. In prior years Team USA was all about complete dominance..i.e. you can’t stop us. Today they said….you can’t score on us. A completely dominant defensive performance by Team USA. Completely. The Greeks were handcuffed. 69 points for Greece not 101. 4/18 from behind the arc, 22% shooting. Greece couldn’t run their pick and roll. They couldn’t go by Team USA. They couldn’t get free for open shots. They couldn’t beast their way inside. Truth be told…They couldn’t do much of anything. While Team USA does have it’s offensive issues…talent-wise they are too good to be shut down for 40 minutes. With the defensive identity and the talent they have…eventually they are going to overwhelm you. Too much depth, too much game, too
much everything. The re-emergence of D-Wade, the fire of Kobe, the evolution of LeBron as a competitor and Chris Bosh playing his tail off. It wasn’t pretty early but once they got rolling they took it to another level. Remember…this team took a hit early on. Kidd picked up three quick fouls, Kobe got a bogus unsportsmanlike foul. Deep breath. Poise and composure. And at the end of the day the Greeks got outclassed. Completely outclassed. I for one am impressed. The players should be commended for playing that hard. This is a team that we can all be proud of representing us in the games. The coaches should be commended for getting the team to not only buy in, but for their job scouting. They were ready for whatever the Greeks were going to throw at them. Stark contrast to the 04-06 era when Team USA would seemingly get surprised by other teams and struggle to make adjustments. Today there was no need for an adjustment. The Greeks were the one’s who were going to have to bend to the will of the Redeem Team.

And bend they did.

Now it’s time for Spain.