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USA sleepwalks past Iran 88-51 at World Championships

Sep 1, 2010, 2:20 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for USA_Logo.jpgWell, that was pretty much what we expected — including the part where Kevin Love was the one guy to show up and care.

The USA was going to roll past a clearly less talented Iran team and came out with all the intensity of an intersquad scrimmage. Eventually they got there, winning 88-51 and securing the USA the top spot in Group B at the FIBA World Championships. They face Tunisia tomorrow morning in the final game of group play.

Iran hung around early as the USA’s sluggishness led to a lot of missed shots and turnovers. Iran kept it to a six-point game after one quarter, while the Americans piled up 7 turnovers.

Then the USA started to roll in the second quarter, using their pressure defense to create turnovers and easy transition points, as they have done against every team that could not come close to matching their athleticism. At one point Iran had 21 possessions where they had scored and 20 where they had turned the ball over (according to John Schuhmann of

It was 42-28 at the half and with an 8-0 run to start the third quarter it was all over but the full half of garbage time. Kevin Durant had a dozen for the USA, Derrick Rose 11.

Two guys of note.

Kevin Love led the USA with 13 points — in just 11 minutes of play. He continues to be the best USA big man (starter Lamar Odom had 2 points and 2 rebounds in one of his classic disappearing games). Love defended well, rebounded and was the one USA player who seemed really focused and on his game from the second he stepped on the court.

Why isn’t he getting more minutes? It’s a mystery why Tyson Chandler was off the bench before him. If it wasn’t for wanting continuity, I’d suggest starting Love at this point, but at least he should be getting a lot more minutes than he is now.

The other guy to watch was Memphis’ backup center Hamed Hadadi, who finished with a team high 19 points for Iran but was a real mixed bag. He rarely used his 7’2″ frame to power inside (which he should have done more to Odom) but did show some nice touch from the outside. He can hit the midrange. But his shot choices are questionable and he seems to love the fade away when he should be powering toward the hoop. He can rebound some, too. But he is not mobile.

Basically, he’s a backup center, one that will survive around the league because of his size and touch, but not much else. Used in the right setting he can have some value, but he is not a transcendent player.
Basically, nothing Grizzlies fans didn’t already know.

  1. cygnus x-1 - Sep 1, 2010 at 3:23 PM

    all hail the great satan!the infadels rule!

  2. ElGatoGrande - Sep 1, 2010 at 4:22 PM

    obviously you don’t get it.You don’t show all your cards or ask your guys to play 100 mph on round one,you do that on the next round.Odom is playing center so it’s only logical that the first man off the bench is the only real center they have and by the way,this is what you may call squad B from USA .Only Durant and Rose will be considered first tier players. This squad is starting to understand international play and of course ,this is the time in the tournament to do it.By the way….they are winning and at the end of the day all that all that counts ,unless you want them to play a perfect game every single time and win every game by 50 or more.

  3. Tress - Sep 1, 2010 at 4:37 PM

    He doesn’t get it at all. If you read any of his other posting on TeamUSA, he writes the same crap. He wants to make whoopie with Love and he wants tro trash LO. Pathetic!

  4. Omnius - Sep 1, 2010 at 4:54 PM

    So what if Lamar Odom had one of his disappearing games, let’s not forget that this laugher against Iran certainly wasn’t anything akin to his playoff performances during the NBA Finals. It looks like most of Team USA was MIA as well for this laugher. As long as Team USA keeps coming up against chump teams like Iran and next Tunisia it’s going to be tough for these guys to get excited like they do playing NBA playoff ball. So far so good for Team USA and soon it will be on to the elimination round and then we can’t have any players taking games off, but then the intensity will be there as each game will be win or go home.

  5. cathy - Sep 1, 2010 at 5:23 PM

    I was really sad after hearing Fran Frachilla said curry should be taken out of the game to give him a lesson during the game against Iran when he just missed the pass. The Team USA players sacrifice their time to represent our country,I’m sure all of them want to win for USA. There should be no double standard for the starters or bench players.When you compare the minutes Curry played and the assits,steals he had, at least Franchilla should not be that rude, and don’t keep on showing off his international basketball knowledge,just give some moral support if you really love your country.

  6. Craig W. - Sep 1, 2010 at 6:16 PM

    Kurt started the ForumBlueAndGold Laker blog, so he has had plenty of time to evaluate exactly how Lamar Odom plays the game. He also was definitely not a LO hater and isn’t looking to find every fault in his game.
    If you have followed Lamar for a number of years, as I have, you know he is the definition of inconsistent – as well as having insane talent – and will not always make good decisions under pressure when he is handling the ball. This is Lamar, and this is the reason he is not the 2nd banana on the Lakers, but is the first player off the bench. Lamar is a great teammate and extremely unselfish – then again, didn’t coach K just tell Kevin Durant to stop being so unselfish and score the dam* ball?
    Anyway, Kurt knows the entire background when talking about Lamar.

  7. harold - Sep 1, 2010 at 8:00 PM

    this is kinda funny.
    I’m not really sure if Kurt gets a kick out of these replies defending Odom, as he’s a lifelong Laker fan.
    As a Laker fan myself, I am at complete peace (maybe not) with Lamar’s unpredictable performance. It’s like watching Ron, except with Ron you are rolling dice with his comments and antics, while with Lamar you’re gambling with what kinda numbers he puts up. No wonder they’re good friends, come to think.
    At any rate, it’s not like Kurt’s ‘bashing’ Odom, if you can read, really. It seems blatantly obvious that he’s sort of acknowledging more than he is bashing..

  8. Mark McKee - Sep 1, 2010 at 8:19 PM

    “Why isn’t he getting more minutes? It’s a mystery why Tyson Chandler was off the bench before him. If it wasn’t for wanting continuity, I’d suggest starting Love at this point, but at least he should be getting a lot more minutes than he is now.”
    But wouldn’t that send the wrong message to the youth of America? Play hard on every play? Hustle? What century are you from? Today’s young athletes need to focus are a whole different skill set, like being able to count how many kids you have by how many different women, and for bonus points, be able to name those kids.
    Get with it man, it’s the 21st century!!!

  9. Cygnus_X-1 - Sep 1, 2010 at 8:34 PM

    Lame. Someone poaching my nick.

  10. cygnus x-1 - Sep 2, 2010 at 12:31 AM

    been using that name for years buddy.

  11. cygnus x-1 - Sep 2, 2010 at 12:36 AM

    this official statement just in from iran on the U.S. domination of it’s b.b team via camel express: death to america praise alla

  12. warren - Sep 2, 2010 at 1:04 AM

    Love is the best center on this squad. Lamar is not a center. he plays this at times with the Lakers as a designed strategy, which is why he only “looks” like he could play center.
    But in Fiba games you have to be a real center to play at a sucessful caliber.
    In this sense, Love is the real center here, ergo, he’s the best one USA has. Chandler is a real center too but Love is better.
    If USA would let Lamar play as a slasher and filler on the wings in fast breaks, his game would drastically improve. And that way no team would be able to match up with him.

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