Team USA got another scare today in facing a second team (Brazil was the first) that featured numerous NBA players. Argentina was able to put Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola, Carlos Delfino, and Andrew Nocioni on the court and they did a solid job keeping within striking distance of the more talented USA squad. After one quarter it seemed like Team USA would pull away, running ahead 31-16, but as we've seen in the past the US team is falling in love with the shorter 3-point shot. The team attempted 34 3-pointers in the game (making 13) and Kevin Durant attempted 11 of those by himself (making 7).
As a result, Team USA's offense was hit or miss; in the 2nd quarter they only scored 16 points and in the 4th they only had 14. Argentina was able to narrow a 15 point deficit at the 6 minute mark to only 4 in less than 3 minutes and had a legitimate shot to pull off the upset. Fortunately for Team USA, Durant stepped up and hit a 3-pointer, Chris Paul followed up with one of his own, and the team escaped with a 6 point win. The meager point differential though underscores a revealing trend - USA likes to shoot 3-pointers a bit too much and by too many players while failing to look for offense inside as well as outside.
A few more highlights after the jump.
Russell Westbrook brings the hammer.
Old man Kobe proves he can still get up when he has a running start.
Chris Paul to LeBron James for the ally-oop.