Hey all, well I went to the game yesterday and boy was it close..........oh yeah, no it wasn't!
Well, I am sure for you lucky folks over the pond who get to see these athletes more regularly, that you end up taking it for granted a little but the crowd in the UK loved watching the USA Olympic team (although the atmosphere was a little quiet for a crowd of 17,000).
There were a few things that I really took in from the game.
One is that Russell Westbrook is a crazy arsed athlete. That boy is so quick and his jumping ability had the crowd in awe (lord knows what they would have been like if Blake was there).
LeBron is so much bigger and dominating when you see him in person that on the TV. He looked totally at ease on the floor apart from one missed dunk that brought a gasp from the crowd.
The huge difference was in the defence though. Every possession, the US team, smothered our ball handlers and tried keeping the ball out of Luol and Pops hands as much as possible. Those two guys tried to attach and got to the line a combined 20 times, which brought a lot of our points but often the lack of supply, and poor shooting options from our UK team lead to lots of transition baskets for the Americans (someone may want to tell our coach that if you want 3 point shots taken after 5 seconds of the shot clock, check to see if Baron Davis has an English grandparent!).It was great to see CP3 in the flesh and he had a few nice assists. I think I was shouting loudest in the arena each time he touched the ball but as I was up in the heavens, no-one heard me!
Offensively, Carmelo and Deron were just in a different class but they often had shots that weren't as contested as they would be in the NBA and also the FIBA 3pt line is closer, making it even easier for you guys.
One last thing for those who haven't seen him play live yet, I think I got to see the beast that is Anthony Davis before most of you!!!!
He looked a little lost to start with but in the fourth quarter, he was out of this world. The blocks he pulled off were beautifully timed and his ability to finish close in was just too much for our bigs. Considering he's not even played an NBA game yet, every report I've read about him was absolutely spot on. The Hornets will be a perennial playoff team with him and EJ.
We in the UK are obviously streets behind but have never even made an Olympics before so it's just progression for us. Maybe the added exposure here will raise awareness but because schools don't teach much basketball, the cream of the athletes in this country will always be moved towards other sports.
Anyway, who cares, I got to see CP3!!!!