Quarterfinals time for Team USA. They face the one team who has given them the greatest t..."/> Quarterfinals time for Team USA. They face the one team who has given them the greatest t..."/> Quarterfinals time for Team USA. They face the one team who has given them the greatest t..."/>

Team USA vs. Australia Live-blog

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Quarterfinals time for Team USA. They face the one team who has given them the greatest test this entire summer….the Aussies. During that game Team USA played pretty bad, couldn’t shoot the ball from the three point line or the free throw line. Australia is known to be physical. They shut down the pain. They also can shoot the ball and run a Princeton-type offense. Very patient. We’ll see how it goes.

(Why Lauren Jackson? An excuse to show Australia’s boss women’s uniform. And because she’s very good. And I actually meant that. Even if her ears scare me. See I’m not sexist.)

5:01: I just noticed that Team USA goes 1,2,3 ‘Dominate’ in their huddle. Hot damn. Doug Collins also compared these three games to ‘three Game 7’s’. Yes…the Olympics are like the NBA Playoffs. Can you say groan?

5:02: Inside/out ends up with a Melo pullup jumper. They are going to make Bogut play defense. Uh-oh Australia. Last time he did that his head nearly exploded.

5:04: Dwight misses two free throws but makes up for it the next time down the court with an and one on Bogut. Scouting report = destroy Andrew Bogut on sight. Question….Which is more unbelievable…that Dwight made the free throw or that Jason Kidd had the assist. Trick question, both are unbelievable. 5-0 USA.

5:06: Neilsen with an and one for the Aussies, Melo responds with a layup. Team USA is easily getting to the bucket early. I mean easily.

5:07: Bogut picks up his second foul and he is breathing hard. Mission accomplished? Kobe with a jab…jab…jab…jumper, SCOWL! 9-3 USA.

5:08: LeBron easily handles Australia’s “pressure”, gets a pick from Dwight Howard and drops a three. Jason Kidd threw a lob to Dwight who caught it, brought it down (sorry Jason) and dunked it with force. And I do mean….force. 14-5 USA.

5:09: Patrick Mills is in the game. If you don’t know….he’s lightning quick. He was impressive in the first game even making CP3 look slow at times. If Jason Kidd is anywhere near him he may have to say goodbye to his knees.

5:11: Mills with a three-ball to make it 15-9 USA. Kobe shoots an ill-advised fadeaway and David Barlow with a three-ball to cut it to 15-12. I don’t like the offense right now at all. Too many quick bad shots.

5:12: Jason Kidd with a…pullup? A pullup jumper? And he makes it?!?!??! What’s going on?!?! Australia scores again and Melo comes down, goes one on one and misses a jumper. Currently in a rare offensive and defensive let down for Team USA, Aussies on a 9-3 run and USA is only up 17-14.

5:15: Dwight makes one free throw, misses the next but gets his own rebound and scores. Chris Antsey then makes a three pointer for the Aussies. 20-17 USA, Australia has three 3’s so far.

5:16: Forgot to mention Wade, Williams, Paul and Bosh are in. I don’t have a generic name for these 4 quite yet but they bring the energy. Earth, Wind, Water, Fire…Captain Planet?

5:17: Coach K “Stop being stupid, you are making dumb plays”. Agreed. Not the best offensive performance so far because they are taking the first available shot instead of really moving the ball like before. Australia isn’t having to play defense.

5:18: *cue ominous music* Australia…..in the 2-3 zone. Michael Redd doesn’t even care anymore. Mills draws an offensive foul on Deron Williams. Team USA is forgetting nearly everything they’ve done leading up to this game. No ball movement and a little lack of D. 21-21.

5:20: D-Wade relentlessly attacks the basket and is met by three Aussies. He misses, gets his rebound and passes it to Melo who makes a three. 24-21 USA. I’m slightly worried about the defense right now. USA is very spread out, with Australia very happy with dribbling more towards half court, extending you and picking you apart. Kind of reminds me of what Greece did in 06 with less pick and roll.

5:22: Bosh goes 1/2 from the line. Mills blows by Paul, draws the foul and scores the bucket. He misses the free throw. 25-24 USA at the end of 1. Really an odd quarter for Team USA. Very dominant at first but then got away from nearly everything they wanted to do. Too much one on one offensively. Credit the Aussies for taking a big hit early and handling the pressure. Australia’s defense is working out so far. Big stat…USA has 3 turnovers while Australia only has 1. USA is 5/11 from the free throw line and 2/6 from behind the arc. Zero assists after one quarter for Team USA.

5:26: Bogut’s back in for Australia…and to be honest they’ve been way better without him. Proof is in the pudding as he misses a layup. Why do I say that so much? Blame Cosby. Wade in transition gets fouled and scores. Let’s keep Bogut on the floor. And one makes it 28-24.

5:27: Melo with a jumper and then D-Wade with a steal..but Williams turns it back over and Mills with a layup. Bosh tries to take a charge…on a 5’11 guy. Le *sigh*.

5:29: Bosh again makes 1/2 free throws…he’s just as broke as Dwight from the line. LeBron comes in for Bosh…small-ball? Despite the two 7-footers on Australia. Has to be D’Antoni’s idea and if it doesn’t workout he will be murdered by Coach K.

5:30: It results in a turnover and LeBron James dunk. Point, D’Antoni.

5:30: Melo gets a foul and in comes Bosh. Damn that was kind of fun. D’Antoni has to be sad or furious. Bogut with a layup. D’Antoni probably tapped Coach K, said ‘See!’ and then walked to the end of the bench to talk to Boozer.

5:31: Smart decision by Kobe to pass up the three with a pump fake and attacking getting a dunk instead. Australia isn’t fast enough to keep rotating, Team USA has got to keep moving the ball and not go one-on-one all day.

5:32: Sloppy sequence that had turnovers from both teams before finally Team USA got it back, got it to Kobe who faked a behind the back pass and scored a layup. The Chinese ooohed like crazy. Aussies called a timeout, 35-30 Team USA.

5:33: Australia is using our pressure against us. Bosh shows on the pick and roll too early so Bogut slips to the basket and scores. This is unsettling. Deron Williams responds with a layup. 39-32 Team USA. Melo has 2 fouls but is still out there.

5:35: Australia with 5 turnovers in the the first half of this quarter.

5:36: Kobe with a forced three-pointer…that’s not playing into Australia’s hand or anything. To say our offense is stagnant would be an understatement.

5:37: I guess you can be stagnant when you have LeBron James bulldozing his way to the basket and scoring an and one. Beast. Mode. He misses a free throw but Melo gets the rebound. Hard foul and then uh-oh…let’s all stare at each other for a little bit like we want to fight. Surprising to you, Melo walked away.

5:38: During my typing Doug Collins snuck in a reference to the 72 Olympics in Munich. *groan*. Tayshaun Prince appearance.

5:39: Newley for Australia gets by Kobe and gets to the line. He will show that to his kids one day. Two free throws. Kobe responds by driving, scoring and getting fouled. Another missed free throw and it’s only 47-38.

5:42: Tayshaun at the line and he only makes 1 of 2. Ray Allen and Chauncey Billups will make the 2012 team just to shoot free throws. 48-40 Team USA with 2:27 and counting in this first half. LeBron drives to the bucket and puts the lead up to 10. Breen says it’s the largest lead of the first half. Thanks for that.

5:44: Curse…Newley drains a three for the Aussies, 50-43. Kobe misses. What the heck Kobe.

5:45: Kobe with a crazy fadeaway off an o
ffensive rebound to put them up 52-43. That’s more like it. Deron Williams with a huge three-pointer at the halftime buzzer to put Team USA up 55-43. Momentum = swung.

The first half…well…it was. The good thing? USA’s up 12. Somehow, someway. Despite shooting 3/13 from behind the arc and 10/20 from the free throw line and only forcing 8 turnovers (although 7 came in the 2nd quarter). Statistically it’s looking a lot like that exhibition game against the Aussies. The big help for USA has been their offensive rebounding. 13 extra shots will help anyone. Offensively they have to start moving the ball more and make Australia play some more defense. Defensively, they have to toe the line between pressuring the ball and still keeping guys in front. They did that against Greece and Spain but today the Aussies have been able to use that pressure against us, something I worried about before. The first five minutes of this 3rd quarter are going to be big. Can Team USA finally bust this game wide open? Or is Australia just going to linger around?

6:01: Craig Sager gives me the most empty halftime report ever. Literally he pretty much said that the USA is happy with everything. Come on now I know better than that! Doug Collins got the scoop from Kobe. “We need to be more solid on defense”. Omg, omg, omg I said that! Up there! Look, ma! Look! I’m smart bitches! Sager did say they were happy with D’Antoni’s small ball lineup. Let’s be real…D’Antoni is the only one who said that. Slipped Sager a crazy looking tie to get him to say that.

6:02: Back-to-back three’s from Kobe and the Melo. 61-43 USA just like that. Now do they have the killer instinct??

6:02: The answer….kind of. Odd sequence as LeBron got a steal then lost it, then got it, then lost it, then had to dive to save it. Except he probably didn’t have to dive he just wanted Coach K to feel funny in his pants. Then Melo misses a three, Kidd with the board and Kobe gets to the line. He makes 1 of 2 as his fingers say ‘F-U’ some more. 62-43 USA.

6:04: Jason Kidd with a layup. 4 points. MVP! MVP! MVP! *Google search* Most Outstanding Player huh…MOP! MOP! MOP!

6:05: Kobe gets to the basket and gets fouled. He dribbled the ball for about 15 seconds to get to it though. It literally looked like pick-up basketball for a second there. 11-0 run by Team USA to start the second half. That’s how you start the second half…from now on that’s how you start the second half.

6:07: Kobe misses a free throw, Dwight gets the board but gets blocked by Chris Antsey? Antsey = kryptonite. Kobe drains a three-pointer to bump the run to 14-0 and the lead to 69-43. Doug Collins with another good point about not needing to deliver the knockout punch in the first five minutes. See. See what happens when you don’t make Munich references every 5 minutes.

6:09: Nielsen misses both free throws but then Jason Kidd turns it over. And he was doing so well for a while there. Patrick Mills with a three pointer to finally end the run.

6:10: Doug Collins says (slight paraphrase) ‘you have to give a lot of credit for these guys, going to all the other events…’ So I’m supposed to give them credit for being good human beings? And doing what Olympians are supposed to do instead of locking themselves in? I refuse kind sir. You were doing so well for a second.

6:11: Collins wonders if Mike Brown is going to open up the offense in Cleveland. Clearly Collins had a fluke. Mike Brown does not know what offense means. He has one play and one play only and we all know it is ‘Here LeBron’. Mute. Button. 71-48 Team USA halfway through the quarter.

6:12: Bogut hurt his foot and could be done. That’s all I got for that one. I would say Milwaukee is sad but…can it get much worse for them?

6:13: Weird how ball movement actually works. Paul penetrated and found LeBron who found Bosh who then dunked on someone vicious. How’s about that for a Shrimp on the Barbie?

(1 hour, 13 minutes without a corny Australian reference. I’m so proud of myself. Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system..lets see….Crocodile Dundee, Kangaroos, Outback Jack, Foster’s, Cathy Freeman and Bloomin Onion. I feel better now.)

6:16: D-Wade banks a three-ball to extend the lead to 80-52. Remember when D-Wade brought the bank shot back when he was dominant? I swear playing pick-up guys who had no business shooting bankshots starting shooting them. And the old white guys who could looked a lot cooler. Collins and Breen have been slobbering over LeBron for about 5 minutes straight now.

6:18: Tayshaun Prince with a three-ball from the corner to make it 85-55. I can’t even remember when this game was close and that’s crazy to me.

6:21: Completely dominant third quarter. USA outscored them 34-18. Team USA really wears on you. No one has been able to stick with them for longer than a quarter and a half. To be honest, Australia did the best job so far and look at them now.

6:26: Really good ball movement from Team USA as everyone touched the ball before it got to D-Wade who jabbed and then shot a three. He missed. Well…they tried. Michael Redd is in the ballgame so he can talk trash to Bogut all year. He nails a jumper immediately.

6:29: Kobe makes two deep, NBA-like threes back-to-back. LeBron banks it in and Australia calls a timeout to put them up 101-70.

6:29: Timeout….Stephon Marbury has the record for most points scored by an American in the Olympics? 31? Is that right? Can’t be. Holy crap. As usual….Starbury gets the last laugh.

6:33: If you want to torture your friends or significant others make them listen to Doug Collins and Mike Breen during garbage time. Collins calls Nielsen from Australia ‘the agitator’. I call him a ‘punk bitch’. Let’s agree to disagree.

6:35: Also…while Breen is dropping all the names of the crew, I send a shoutout to Lolo Jones. Damn.

6:36: Paul with a nasty one hand pass to Williams who misses the layup. The rivalry renews.

6:38: Nielsen is definitely like the drunk guy at a bar at 2 AM who is just looking for a reason to fight. He of course gets fouled hard by Carlos Boozer. Yes, Carlos.

6:39: Garbage time topics…birthday’s and the crew. Amazement over Kobe being 30? To say I can’t wait for this game to be over so my ears will stop bleeding is an understatement.

116-85 Team USA with another dominant performance. I’ll admit the first quarter freaked me out, not because it was close but because of why it was close. Bad habits were creeping in all over the place. Quick shots, one-on-one, defensive lapses, being spread out all over the place…I was having flashbacks to Athens. But the difference is Team USA made the adjustment. In 2004 and 2006, what was scouting? What was making adjustments? They didn’t exist as concepts because we were “so freaking good”. Those concepts were replaced by panic. Not today. Despite blowing an early lead, Team USA kept playing their game before getting a big momentum swing from Deron Williams’ three at the end of the first half. Then in the second half they made the correct adjustments. They played a much more solid game defensively. Cut down on the excessive pressure and stopped gambling. That combined with them finally making shots lead to a dominating third quarter run that put Australia way back in the dust. Team USA’s greatest strength is the fact that they wear teams down and the scary part is they understand that. That’s exactly what they did today. If you look at the box score it wasn’t that pretty. Australia only had 11 turnovers and still lost by 30. That says a lot.

Someone go make fun of Chris Sheridan.