Team USA defeated Spain yesterday afternoon in Barcelona, 100- 78. However, USA faced some stiff competition early on in the game. Spain boasts a talented front line, featuring Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, and the Thunder's own Serge Ibaka. Given that the front court is the one area perceived as a weakness for USA, it was expected that Spain would give the Americans a stiff challenge.
For a quarter at least, Spain did pose a threat. They went up by double digits early in the 1st quarter, utilizing a slick passing game that opened up Ibaka for wide open shots at the rim (Ibaka finished with 16). Team USA responded with their answer for their soft interior defense - by playing over-aggressive perimeter defense. Using Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, and Andre Iguodala on the wings, Team USA rushed back into the game and finished the 1st down only by 2. Riding the hot shooting of Carmelo Anthony (27 points) and LeBron James' playmaking (25 points, 7 assists), Team USA pulled away and was never threatened thereafter.