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Saturday, 16 August 2008

Spain 45 - 61 USA : at the half

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If you haven't been keeping up with the Ball Don't Lie live blog of the match, or watching it on TV, well you should be... but regardless, here's how the first half has panned out so far.

1st Quarter

USA seemed to be going right against their strengths by using the tried and true "get the ball to the big guy" offence, aka the Bill Cartwright offence. They kept on pounding the ball into Dwight Howard with varying success.

On the other end, Rudy Fernandez was not shy in putting up a few outside shots, whilst the ball was not yet going into Pau Gasol very much.

Spain certainly are not shy in running with USA -- taking the ball in quickly off the inbounds on more than one occasion.

Plenty of physicality early, on both sides, but in particular LeBron and Melo are dishing a bit of a beat-down out to the Spanish bigs, apparently in an attempt to disguise their lack of height.

Tight early on, with USA up 9-7 with 6:29 to go.

Dwight Howard goal-tended a shot into the stands. A shot which was well and truly short of the mark, as more of an intimidatory move. Stupid if you ask me.

Kobe shows that there is no love between NBA teammates when it comes to the Olympics, as he levels Pau Gasol!

Much of the Spanish offence is going through Rudy Fernandez and Rayez.

Jose Calderon is handling the USA pressure well. A nice fading baseline jumper over Jason Kidd. When will he be subbed for CP3/Deron?

And here we go at the 4:30 mark, CP3 and Chris Bosh come into the game. Spain replies with Juan Carlos Navarro and Marc Gasol.

USA is double-teaming Calderon A LOT. It's not doing much so far.

17-year old Ricky Rubio gets a run with 3:41 to go in the 1st. And he certainly does not look flustered against his higher profile opponents. You go boy.

3:20 to go and Wade gets a signature steal at half-court for a dunk. He follows that up with another steal in traffic in the paint.

USA is pressuring Rubio. Twice he draws fouls at halfcourt, from CP3 and then Deron.

At quarter time, it's USA 31-22.

2nd Quarter

Rubio v Kidd -- young v old. Rubio still doesn't looked fazed.

Prince comes in and hits a trey straight away.

Juan Carlos Navarro makes a foray into the paint and hits the floater.

The physicality continues as Howard gets called for a charge.

LeBron is looking very pumped in this game -- he has that look in his eyes.

As the 2nd quarter goes on, USA starts to draw this game out a bit. They are leading in three point shooting and are still killing with their patented fast breaks.

Spain ends the quarter with some full-court defence of their own, which seems surprisingly successful and pressures USA out of some shots.

54-36 USA at the half.

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