The USA Olympic team defeated the Brazilian national team last night, 80-69. Unlike the first outing for Team USA, last night's game was a closer affair as the USA offense was slow to engage. Trailing by 10 at the end of the 1st quarter, USA struggled from the field, most noticeably at the 3-point line (6-24 for the game). Given that Brazil's front line featured NBA players Nene Hilario, Tiago Splitter, and Anderson Varejao, it was clear that the USA's potential weakness - a smallish front line - was going to be put to the test.
Team USA responded by drawing from a strength that should carry them throughout the tournament - their perimeter defense. The USA team held Brazil to only 5 total points in the 2nd quarter and Brazil scored less than 20 in both the 3rd and 4th quarters. Russell Westbrook in particular was instrumental in helping bring extra defensive energy. He grabbed 3 steals in under 15 minutes of play, and the team overall had 19 steals for the game. Hopefully the win against Brazil will be a lesson that Team USA remembers and will lead to a stronger outing by the time they reach London.
After the jump, a short clip that features some of the players mic'd up.