A recap of Team USAs 110-63 win over Tunisia:
How it happened:
Tunisia is the weakest team in the Olympic field but held with team USA early, getting out to an 8-4 start and leading 13-2 with just under just over 2:30 left in first quarter. USA coach Mike Krzyzewski wasnt happy with his starters and pulled the entire starting five.
DeRon Williams, Russell Westbrook, Andre Iguodala, Caremlo Anthony and Kevin Love entered the game and immediately led the US on a 14-0 run. They did so by turning up the intensity defensively and fighting for loose balls.
Coach K sent a message early on by benching his starters at the beginning of the second half. His second unit drove the point home even further leading the US on a 23-3 run to start the third quarter.
While the starters settled for jump shots Williams and Westbrook pushed the tempo leading to several uncontested lay ups and trips to the free throw line for team USA. The US outscored Tunisia 39-14 in the third quarter and never looked back.
What it means:
By benching Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Tyson Chandler Coach K sent a strong message to his entire team. He will not tolerate lethargic play no matter who the guilty person might be. Pulling a move like this could be a wake up call for team USA going forward.
Before the game Coach K had already promised his squad a day off on Wednesday so its no surprise that the starters got off to a slow start. They were able to recover and eventually impose their will against Tunisia but that task won't be as easy against Spain or Argentina.
Stat of the night:
Team USA made 15 of 18 shots from the field in the third quarter. At the end of three quarters of play they were shooting 82 on 2-point field goals.
After getting out to a sloppy start team USA outscored Tunisia 64-30 in the second half. Although hes likely the last man of the bench No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis was very impressive. He ran the floor very well and was rewarded with several dunks, scoring 12 points off the bench.
The US is the only team in Group A that went undefeated in the preliminary round. Next up is Nigeria on Thursday.