2010 FIBA World Championship: Team USA Rediscovers Dominance Against Angola

September 6th, 2010 by Robert Kleeman Leave a reply »

The Americans heard the dinner bell and ran so they would not miss a minute of Monday's African feast. The Angolans rank as the best team on their continent, but their undersized lineup was no match for a U.S. squad starving for a domineering, wire-to-wire slapfest after a slapdash finish to pool play.

Using 13 first-quarter fast-break points, a balanced attack, and suffocating pressure defense, Team USA set an early tone it would carry through most of its 121-66 win. Angola runs a lot of NBA sets, as opposed to continuity in the half-court, and its best player, Olimpio Cipriano, did not take off his warmups. Still, this 40-minute asphyxiation was an upgrade over the sleepwalking efforts against Iran and Tunisia.

The best parts of this pleasure cruise: five total turnovers (the lowest number this summer), 30 assists on 41 field goals, 65 points in 20 minutes, and better ball movement—including a set play to start the third period that resulted in a Derrick Rose trey.

Sure, the U.S. victory had its warts: defensive breakdowns in transition, too many three-pointers, and some tacky fouls. Th ...

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