Skip to content

USA handily beats Tunisia but doesn’t earn many style points

Jul 31, 2012, 7:20 PM EST

Andre Iguodala, Mohamed Hadidane AP

Every time the 2012 Team USA steps on the court they face two opponents. First, it’s the team lined up in the other colored jerseys. Second, there is the USA Basketball legacy — the 1960 team of West and Robertson, the Dream Team and beyond — and how they measure up.

Team USA beat Tunisia 110-63 thanks to a monster 39 point third quarter Thursday at the London Olympics. The USA is now the only 2-0 in Group A play and controls their own destiny.

But in the style-points battle with legacy the Dream Team and history got the win. Not that this current team really cares much about it, but games like this give their doubters (in terms of this team’s legacy) fuel.

That’s because Team USA started out with some lethargic play and struggled in the first half to put away a vastly inferior Tunisian team. Tunisia opened the game up 8-4 and had a 13-12 lead more than seven minutes into contest. It happened in part because USA again was cold from the outside —they started 0-8 from three. And the USA’s defense was passive. This was a Tunisian team that scored 15 points in the entire first half against Nigeria and equaled that inside eight minutes against USA.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski had seen enough, subbed out all five starters at once (hockey style) late in the first to try and change defensive energy. It worked. The USA went on a 12-0 run. In fact it worked so well that Coach K started that unit for the second half.

Let’s give some credit to Tunisia — they are feisty and hung around. They actually got the lead down to five in the second quarter before USA went on 11-0 run. USA was up 46-33 at the half — it was the least impressive 13-point lead in the history of basketball.

Team USA’s second unit started the second half on a 23-3 run and the USA made a run at the 54-point spread that Las Vegas had on the game. Team USA shot 15-of-18 in the third quarter, they were 10-of-17 from three after the first quarter and blew the game wide open. That included Anthony Davis getting lob after lob for dunks from teammates.

The USA outscored Tunisia by 34 in the second half and the rout we all expected was on.

The only scary moment of the second half was when Kevin Love drove the lane and had some knee-on-knee contact with a Tunisian big man, which had Love limping to the sidelines. However, it was more of a just a bruise, he was moving fine a few minutes later and when Anthony Davis had a beautiful dunk he was leaping out of his seat cheering like he was just fine. He returned to the game in the fourth quarter.

Tunisia was led by Macram Ben Romdhane who had 22 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists.

The USA had six guys in double figures with Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love leading the way with 16 points. Anthony Davis had 12 points on a perfect 5-for-5 shooting night.

It ended up being a laugher and the USA got the win they expected. It may not have lived up to the impossible standards of how we view the Dream Team through rose-colored glasses, but that doesn’t really matter in the end. This team will let the old guys have the win on style points and they will take this one, which moves them one step closer to their goal of a gold medal.

Next up for the USA is a slightly tougher test against Nigeria on Thursday. But only slightly.

Latest Posts
  1. Report: Pistons looking into Norris Cole trade

    Jan 27, 2015, 11:33 PM EST

    Miami Heat v Detroit Pistons Getty Images

    Hornets also reportedly had interest in Heat point guard

  2. It’s official: Zach LaVine, Greek Freak Antetokounmpo headline All-Star Dunk Contest

    Jan 27, 2015, 7:23 PM EST

    Milwaukee Bucks v Los Angeles Clippers Getty Images

    The best news may be the return to the classic dunk contest format.

  3. LaMarcus Aldridge says he’s back for rest of season

    Jan 27, 2015, 6:50 PM EST

    LaMarcus Aldridge AP

    Barring any setbacks with hand injury

  4. Paul Pierce on why trash talk is down in league: NBA2K

    Jan 27, 2015, 5:15 PM EST

    NBA 2K15 promo

    My gaming experience suggests you talk a lot of trash to the guy next to you.

  5. Wisconsin Governor plans for $220 million in state bonds to help pay for new Milwaukee arena

    Jan 27, 2015, 3:30 PM EST

    Scott Walker Getty Images

    It essentially uses increased jock tax revenue to pay off the bonds.

  6. Iman Shumpert mocks his own failed crossover (VIDEO)

    Jan 27, 2015, 2:40 PM EST

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Cleveland Cavaliers Getty Images

    Shumpert dribbled it off his foot against the Thunder, then tweeted the clip.

  7. Lakers’ players trying to adjust to Byron Scott’s random rotations

    Jan 27, 2015, 1:55 PM EST

    Byron Scott AP

    Players like a routine, a rhythm to games, and the Lakers are chaos theory.

  8. Kobe Bryant uses Super Bowl analogy to describe how he feels about season-ending injury

    Jan 27, 2015, 12:30 PM EST

    Los Angeles Lakers v Houston Rockets Getty Images

    This is the third consecutive year Bryant has had his season prematurely ended due to injury.

  9. Nets coach Lionel Hollins calls idea he doesn’t like advanced stats ‘dumbest thing I’ve ever heard’

    Jan 27, 2015, 11:50 AM EST

    San Antonio Spurs v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Three Getty Images

    Hollins was reportedly not brought back in Memphis because of an aversion to the use of advanced statistics.

  10. UPDATE: Knicks, Langston Galloway agree to contract for this season and next

    Jan 27, 2015, 11:10 AM EST

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznptzmzwflzdg4ntbmzwflndvmowjizjg2oti2nmy3ztk5-e1422370631910

    New York doesn’t want to offer Galloway any guaranteed money for next season.

  11. Brian Shaw upset with officiating after not getting a call late in loss to Clippers

    Jan 27, 2015, 10:30 AM EST

    Brian Shaw AP

    Matt Barnes intentionally fouled Danilo Gallinari late, and Shaw believes free throws should have been awarded.

Featured video

Stephen Curry leads NBA MVP race mid-season
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. K. Bryant (7448)
  2. H. Whiteside (6900)
  3. R. Rubio (6273)
  4. L. Aldridge (6261)
  5. N. Batum (6144)
  1. K. Martin (5976)
  2. J. Noah (5795)
  3. K. Walker (5740)
  4. C. Anthony (5596)
  5. D. Howard (5333)