The basketball competition at the 2012 London Olympics began today. The US team came into this Olympics with high expectations. This years Team USA has been compared to the great 1992 “Dream Team”. Team USA took to the court against Tony Parker and the French team. The game tipped off at 2:30pm local time in London, England.
(David Becker/Getty Images)
The 1st quarter began with the US getting the first points on the board. Both teams were missing nearly all of their 3 point attempts. There were reports that the Olympic basketballs were sometimes slick and even over inflated, it would make sense given all of the missed 3 pointers. Neither team had very flashy play other than when Lebron James threw a long pass to Kevin Durant for a dunk on the French side of the court. The 1st quarter came to an end with France’s Yannick Bokolo hitting the games first 3 point shot. The score when the quarter ended was 22-21 in favor of team USA. Tony Parker led the French team in the 1st quarter with 6 points, while the USA’s leading scorer was Kevin Durant with 7 points.
Lebron James started off the 2nd quarter with a 3 pointer. The US team played the French team well on defense in the early part of the quarter. Kevin Durant had an inedible blocked shot on a Nicolas Batum shot in the paint. The US team committed a lot of fouls in the 1st half of the game, the french team did well at the free throw line when the fouls were made. Durant continued his excellent play in the 2nd quarter with a beautiful 3 point shot with a little more than 4 minutes remaining in the half. Team USA moved the ball around very well and started racking up points. The half ended with the Team USA leading the French team by a score of 52-36. The leading scorer for the US in the 1st half was Kevin Durant with 14 points. The leading scorer for the French was Florent Pietrus with 8 points, he also was 4 for 4 at the free throw line.
The US continued the excellent defending against the French in the 3rd quarter. Lebron received a great pass from Deron Williams for the layup at the rim with 5 minutes left to go in the quarter. The passing of the US team was perfect and counted for a lot of the scoring by the team. Kevin Love played really well in the game with his signature shooting and aggressiveness. The US ended the quarter leading 78-51. The US really played more fluid and started clicking better in this quarter.
Tony Parker began the final quarter on the bench. Parker had been out of playing shape heading into the Olympics due to the eye injury he sustained a couple of months ago. The game was all but over, all that was left to do for Team USA was pull away even more in the score. The NBA’s #1 draft pick Anthony Davis got into the game in the final quarter and put his 1st ever Olympic points on the board. James Hardin made a nice break away dunk with 4 minutes left to go in the game. The bench was on the court for Team USA most of the 4th quarter, they are all top level players and showed it by holding the lead. The game ended like most thought it would with Team USA taking the game by a score of 98-71. Kevin Durant was the lead scorer in the game with 22 points, Ali Traore was France’s leading scorer with 12 points.
Team USA looked really good today. They proved that they can play well together as a team and are likely to win the gold medals this year. Kevin Durant came out of this game as the teams best player and lead the team very well today. Many will say it’s Lebron’s team but after today I would say it’s Durant’s. Tunisia will be their next opponent on Tuesday night. That game like this one should not be a difficult one for a squad with this many great players.
Posted in 2012 London Olympics, NBA
Tagged 1992 dream team, 3 point, all stars, america, BASKETBALL, champions, coach k, competition, deron williams, england, Florent Pietrus, france, free throws, gold medal, group a, is this the best team, james hardin, kevin durant, kobe bryant, lebron James, location, london olympics, msnbc, n2012, NBA, nbc, nbc sports, Nicolas Batum, olympic team, schedule, sport, sports, team, team usa, tony parker, tv, what time, when is the game, world
Lebron James with the one prize that eluded him for over 9 years.
(Photo By: David Dow/Getty Images)
So the craziest thing happened on Thursday night, well maybe it was not so crazy after all. Lebron James and the Miami Heat won the NBA Championship over the Thunder. James who is one of the best players in basketball captured his first NBA Title. It should be no surprise that he won a ring but for many it is. James has had many ups and downs during his 9 year career and had 2 failed Finals opportunities. It was what he had done in those 9 years that made a lot of fans skeptical. He should a lot of immaturity and also made a lot of bad decisions when the pressure was turned up. He was able to overcome all of that but he still has not won the hearts of many.
Lebron showed how much he had grown up during this playoff run. He not only had his best playoff games and stats ever but he also handled the loses and the dealings with the media better. Now of course James is not the only player on the Heat but he is their focal point and as he goes so does the team. The Heat are a talented group with two other superstars in Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade plus a good cast of supporting players. They can win without James but need him to win it all. He came through big during this post season and we should be seeing more of this in the years to come.
The “James Haters” are still out there and they are showing everyone that they are not going anywhere. In many ways James created a lot of this himself. He turned a lot of people off during his time in Cleveland with his behavior during their failed post season runs. His biggest offense would have to be the way he left Cleveland and let the world know where he was going. In a live prime time special James from a Boys and Girls Club in Ohio told the world he would be going to…Maimi, really? James may never let that one down.
Most of James’ faults in the past could have been put away with the Heat capturing the NBA Championship on Thursday. Except there is one more thing lingering around. When he went to Miami in 2010 the Heat had this ridiculous pep rally event to show off James and he said something that will haunt him probably until he retires. The great Lebron told the fans of Miami that they were not only winning 1 championship but 6. Yeah he really said that. Whether that will happen is unlikely but even if it was he made a bad move by saying that. Because he said that it takes away from every championship he will win until he reaches that number. The anti-Lebron fans and media will not forget that anytime soon if ever.
Lebron has accomplished great things in the league and has finally got the championship monkey off of his back. He still has a ways to go to clear his image. If he continues to mature and wins another championship or two it is possible the haters will disappear. If he doesn’t then Lebron will be remembered not only for his incredible talent but also being known as the most polarizing player in the history of the NBA and maybe even professional sports.
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Kevin Durant (Left) and Lebron James (Right), two of the NBA’s best take to the court to see who is the best in the NBA Finals.
(photo by: Troy Ballard/Getty Images)
Tonight Game 1 of the NBA Finals takes place tonight. The Miami Heat will take on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Oklahoma City. Two of the NBA’s best player will match up in the same position in the same series for the greatest prize in all of Basketball.
The Heat have gone through the playoffs with some minor issues but did not really have a problem until the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics. The Heat ended up taking the series in 7 games. Lebron had a incredible game 6 in that series where he scored 45 points and had 15 rebounds. Lebron proved a lot of the critics wrong that said he can’t win an elimination playoff game. The series with the Celtics has prepped the Heat and Lebron for their battle with the Thunder.
Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder have also had a good playoff run this year. The worst situation they were in was in their Western Conference Finals series against the San Antonio Spurs. The Thunder were losing the series by 2 games to 0 until they kicked things into gear and won the next 4 games to take the series. The Thunder impressed by taking the series from a very tough spurs team that was undefeated until they matched up with the Thunder. Kevin Durant is the leader of the Thunder and has been one of the best in basketball for the last couple of years. The Thunder want to show the world what they have on the big stage and they will get their opportunity tonight.
This is a very intriguing match up between the Thunder and Heat. The most intriguing aspect has to be Lebron VS Durant.
Durant is the young player that keeps getting better every year and with in no time could be the best player from year to year. He and Lebron were neck and neck this year for the MVP trophy of this season. Durant is a player that in no time will be a mega star.
Lebron is an incredible player and will probably go down as one of the top 10 players ever in the league. Lebron has caused a lot of criticism with his falling apart in games when he needs to step up. He has also never won an NBA Title yet, many thought it would be a short time before he won a title when he was drafted in 2003. Oh yeah, Lebron also pissed off the city of Cleveland and a nation of basketball fans when he left the Cavs in 2010 to play for the Miami Heat on a super team with 3 big stars. The Heat lost in 6 games to the Dallas Mavericks last year in the same NBA Finals.
Can Lebron win his 1st NBA Championship? Can Kevin Durant win his 1st also and defeat the great Lebron and the Heat? We will find out pretty soon. I think this will be a very close series. I think that Kevin Durant and the Thunder can take this series in 6 or 7 games. I feel Lebron will not take the title for another year in a row. He just does not have the heart and I don’t know if he will ever take a ring home. Durant is going to amaze a lot of fans and the sports world this series. He will probably take his 1st title and show that he is the new big superstar once and for all. It is just a matter of time before we see how it all unfolds. It will be a series to enjoy no matter what happens.
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The San Antonio Spurs are one of the least entertaining teams to watch in all of sports. The Spurs are in one word “Boring”. They have been that way for many years. It is due to a combination of playing a methodical and a very non flashy style of basketball and the lack of charismatic stars.
They have one of the best centers in the NBA Tim Duncan. Duncan has had a great Career and will be in the Hall Of Fame one day. The unfortunate thing is Duncan has no charisma at all and never says anything that is not obvious when being asked questions in interviews. Their other stars Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are not much better.
San Antonio Spurs Star Tim Duncan
There is one thing you cannot dispute though, the Spurs are really good. They have especially excelled this year in the playoffs. They swept the Utah Jazz in the first round of the post season. They continued into the second round where they swept the L.A. Clippers and their superstar Chris Paul.
On Tuesday night the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder by a score of 120-111. With that victory the Spurs are up on the Thunder 2-0 in the Western Conference Finals. The Spurs are undefeated this postseason. They have won 10 straight games and while they have not been exciting while doing so, it is an impressive feat.
Will we see the Spurs in the NBA Finals? Probably but the NBA will not be happy about it. The ratings for the NBA Finals have been declining over the last few years. The Spurs will likely drive those numbers down. Even with the Miami Heat or Boston Celtics as their opponents it could be a rather sleepy Championship Series.
For now I suggest you get your pillows ready. The Spurs are not going anywhere for now, which means the boring brand of Spurs basketball is going to sweep across the nation and put viewers in a NyQuil type sleep state.
Posted in NBA
Tagged arena, BASKETBALL, court, kevin durant, live sports, mvp, NBA, nba finals, oklahoma city, playoffs, San antonio, sport, sports schedule, spurs, thunder, tickets, tim duncan, tony parker, west