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Video: USA vs. Argentina highlights

Jul 23, 2012, 8:01 AM EDT

If you only watched the first quarter of this game, you would have thought the United States was on its way to a cakewalk win. Kevin Durant had 27 points, Kobe Bryant 18 and the USA raced out to a 19-3 lead, hitting their first seven shots of the game.

But it’s not that simple for the USA. A team that relies on pressure and athleticism in transition, if you can handle the pressure, grind the game down and make it a half-court affair you have a shot. That’s what Argentina did well and the result was a comeback that made it an 86-80 win.

Here are the highlights.

If I were you, I would tune in Tuesday for Team USA’s biggest test, Spain. The team that beat Argentina by 20 the other day.

  1. skids003 - Jul 23, 2012 at 8:16 AM

    This team is good, but not near as good as they think they are. They have no weaknesses that have been exposed, and if they are not allowed to grab, hold, and get away with alot of fouls, they are ripe for an upset.

    • ccshocktalk - Jul 23, 2012 at 8:25 AM

      I hope by “they” you are referring to the Argentine’s because it is quite clear that they get away with a lot of moving screens, commit fouls during the shot and don’t get called for it, etc. The international game is a lot more physical (and that’s fine) but if you think that the American players are weak, and that’s is our only weakness then I would say we’re doing pretty good because the last time I checked basketball was about skill, athleticism, teamwork, not about who can shove the hardest. And if it comes down to that, we’ll still kick everyones ass, so sit back, grab some popcorn and shut the $%!# up and let the fun begin.

  2. skids003 - Jul 23, 2012 at 8:17 AM

    Oops, I meant they Do have weaknesses.

  3. connaniii - Jul 23, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    Well, it was only an exhibition game, to me neither team showed their whole bag of tricks, I ‘m sure if they meet again their approach will be entirely different; I don’t believe Argentina will come out with the same defence set up nor do I believe the USA will hit or attempt the same number of threes in the first 3 and a half minutes of the first quarter!

  4. LPad - Jul 23, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    I think this team is being held back by D’Antoni’s offense. Yes, Bosh and Howard went down with injury but there are other players with size like Greg Monroe or Roy Hibbert that could be on play with this team. Both have good low and high post games and having one of them on the team, would allow the US to have a center on the floor at all times. I think they didn’t get a look because D’Antoni’s offense wouldn’t use them and they don’t have the reputation that would demand they are on the team.

    Also, having Kobe, Melo, and LeBron stand at the three point line all game is a waste of talent (and reflection of D’Antoni’s offense). Each player has strong mid-post games that can help the US establish a post game, whichever one isn’t being guarded by a 4 should be in the post.

    • connaniii - Jul 23, 2012 at 10:41 AM

      I don’t believe neither of the three could post against Spain as you shall see as early as tomorrow!! specially if Marc Gasol is inserted back into the starting rotation alongside Pau.

  5. chichi78 - Jul 23, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    While this may be the most athletic USA basketball team ever (maybe most athletic team in all of history), I think this team lacks a bit in basketball IQ, not that it is low or anything.

    Other than Kobe, I think the entire Team USA is under 30, yet the Argentinian team full of 30+ yr old guys pushed them to the limit. I find it hilarious that Kobe thinks that this team could beat the ’92 Olympic squad…while those guys were older (avg age), they were fantastic shooters and passers. They were, on the whole, just more fundamentally sound basketball players. Seriously, I think nearly every player on that squad shot at least 50% from the field during their regular NBA seasons. Just a smart squad.

    • borderline1988 - Jul 24, 2012 at 1:53 PM

      A lot of it has to do with playing together. This Argentinian team has way more experience playing together.
      Team USA shows up less than a month before the games start to practice.

      Look at the Miami Heat and their trio of superstars – I would argue they didn’t play cohesive basketball until the NBA Finals of their 2nd year together.
      It takes time for players to get used to each other, especially when you’re talking about uber-talented and athletic players.

      All of these guys are used to having the ball in their hands. This is literally the only time in their careers that they are playing off the ball. I’ll bet you Lebron and Melo played with the ball primarily in their hands from the second they picked up a basketball in grade school.
      They need to adjust.

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