What We Learned From USA-Argentina Showcase Game

Team USA cruised to an emphatic 111-74 victory over Argentina in their first tune-up for the Olympics in Vegas on Friday night.

Kevin Durant led the way with 23, and Paul George chipped in with 18 on his return to the national team.

It was an overall impressive showing from the Americans, especially when you consider that they only had four days of practice together before the game.  Here’s what we learned from their dominant performance:

The bigs will dominate

The selection of DeAndre Jordan by coach Mike Krzyzewski was highly controversial, but we saw the reasoning behind it last night.

Argentina was no match for Jordan and DeMarcus Cousins on the interior.

The duo ripped down a combined 21 rebounds, 9 being offensive, while Marcos Delia and Roberto Acuna, Argentina’s two centers, combined for just 2 total rebounds.

This utter domination of the paint will be a common theme throughout the tournament, as no country can match the size and athleticism that both Cousins and Jordan bring to the table.

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The 3 is (still) king

The dazzling display from beyond the arc in London four years ago seems to only be a preview of what this team can do from distance.

The United States launched 41 3-pointers on Friday, and shot them at a 34% clip, nothing to write home about.

But that stat can be misleading, as the first half was filled with isolations that resulted in contested 3’s.

However, in the second half, as the perimeter players started getting used to each other, and the floor spacing was greatly improved, the quality of the looks increased, and they shot a scorching 9-20 (45%) after the break.

It only took a single half for the United States to develop a rhythm from deep.  We’re in for a spectacle in Rio.

The new Warriors trio is already developing chemistry

Although the Durant-Green-Thompson trio was only on the floor together for a combined 1:45 on Friday, they already looked in sync with each other.

In that short time period, Draymond and Durant perfectly executed a pick-n-pop three times, all which resulted in KD triples.

Durant also assisted on a Green 3-pointer.

They tried to downplay the situation after the game, but there’s no denying that the two already seem to be developing an on-court bond.

It’s still their tournament to lose

With the backlash that this team has received for lacking the starpower of previous teams, you’d think that they weren’t the best team in the world or something.

Friday night just reassures that the United States are still country miles ahead of the field on the basketball court, and barring a collapse for the ages, they’ll cruise to the gold.

 

 

 

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