After a historic 83-point walloping of Nigeria last week, the United States men’s basketball team (5-0) finally showed some weaknesses in their last two games, especially defensively. Unfortunately for the rest of the Olympic field, they also showed that they can rebound from most missteps and put on an offensive show like no other.
The most recent example of that was their matchup against Argentina (3-2), FIBA’s third-ranked team. After keeping it close against the Americans, trailing by just one at halftime, the Argentinean defenders let up on two of the US’s biggest stars, LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Big mistake – James scored seven straight points in the opening minutes of the second half, and then Durant went off for 17 points in the third quarter. He matched the entire Argentinean team in the third quarter with that point total; the Americans scored 42 points in the frame to essentially end the game. The Oklahoma City star finished with 28 points and 8-of-10 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc.
After going undefeated in the opening five games, the men’s team will go on to face Australia (3-2) in the quarterfinal round at 11:15 AM on Wednesday. The Boomers (as they’re known in Australia) are led by Spurs guard Patty Mills and David Andersen, their two NBA representatives; they also have players with extensive overseas careers.
After upsetting Group B winner Russia earlier on Monday, hopes will be high for the Australians. The way that the American offense has been running, however, it doesn’t look like they’ll stand much of a chance.