Team USA Basketball

Olympic Basketball Scores 2012: Analyzing Team USA's Dominance of Nigeria

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: Carmelo Anthony #15 of United States attempts to shoot whilst under pressure from Derrick Obasohan #13 of Nigeria during the Men's Basketball Preliminary Round match against Nigeria on Day 6 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Basketball Arena on August 2, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Steve MazeCorrespondent IIAugust 3, 2012

In case anyone was wondering how dominant Team USA Basketball can be, their performance against Nigeria illustrated it.

156 points in 40 minutes! That's two buckets away from a basket per 30-second average. While previous games had seen sluggish starts, Team USA finally began a game hot—particularly Kobe Bryant with 14 points in the first quarter.

The high scorer of the game, Carmelo Anthony, continued the trend of leading scorer's being bench players.

Anthony has become the catalyst for the team off the bench. This is similar to the role Dwayne Wade played in 2008 as he went on to be the team's leading scorer. If head coach Mike Krzyzewski keeps Anthony in the sixth man role, it's very likely he continues leading them in scoring. His 37 points on Thursday were the most by any American in the Olympics ever.

The question arose during this game though: how fun can this much dominance be?

From a fan's perspective, it leads to more fast break jaw-dropping dunks. That said, seeing the United States play zone defense in the fourth quarter became a tedious task of closing out the game. No wonder most are looking forward to more competition in the likes of Spain and Argentina. 

For nit-picking purposes, there were several moments when the Team USA front court allowed Ike Diogu to worthy his 9th overall selection in the 2005 NBA Draft. This is a concern because of how strong rival Spain's front court is. That said, someone had to score for Nigeria, and their best players were power forwards, so 27 points from Diogu can be forgiven.

In fact, most anything can be forgiven when the team shoots 71percent from the field and 63 percent from the three-point line.

Overall, Team USA's performance was amazing, awesome, and expected. Still yet to be tested in London, the road will soon become tough in their attempt to repeat as gold medalists.

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