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
The L.A. Kings and the New Jersey Devils in the Stanley Cup Finals
The L.A. Kings are charging through the Stanley Cup Finals this week. The Kings are up on the New Jersey Devils by 3 games. The Kings have the chance to sweep the Devils in game 4 on Wednesday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. If the Kings win the Stanley Cup they will be known as one of the greatest playoff teams in the history of the sport. It has been an improbable run for the Kings but they have shown everyone what they can do on the ice during this post season. A sweep would make the 2011-2012 Kings story and legacy even greater. The unfortunate thing about game 4 is that many fans will not be able to watch the broadcast and will miss seeing NHL history made on live television.
Game 4 of the Cup will be aired on the NBC Sports Network (NBCS). NBCS is in far fewer homes than most cable networks. The first 2 games of the Stanley Cup aired on the main NBC Network, if needed games 5, 6 and 7 will also be on the Network channel. Due to scheduling issues games 3 and 4 were relegated to the fledgeling sports network.
Late last year the NHL signed a 10 year deal with NBC. It was a good deal for many reasons. It will bring more nationally televised games to the American audience. Weekly hockey nights air during the season. The playoffs also receive great coverage between the NBC family of networks. The down side is what we are witnessing this week. One of the most important games of the series for both teams will largely go unseen.
This television deal is however a lot better than what was previously in place for the NHL. Most of the games were televised on VS. which this year became NBCS. The problem the NHL had on the VS. Network was that many fans did not get the channel in their homes. Even though there has been a name change there has not been a big increase in homes that receive the channel. At least the NHL does get a lot of games on National TV now via the main NBC Network.
The NHL had better television deals in the past that catered to the national audience. During the 90’s the NHL had a deal with FOX and covered the NHL and the Stanley Cup Finals very well. Probably the best deal they have ever had in the US was with ESPN. Even though ESPN is a cable network, it has a very wide reach and many people have access to the channel. The NHL also received a lot more coverage on the networks flagship show Sportscenter. The NHL’s relationship ended after the 2003-2004 season. ESPN has cut a lot of hockey coverage in the past few years. Hockey has seen a drop in popularity in the US due to the way the television coverage has been in the last 7 years.
I understand that television deals are a very complicated thing. Their however is no reason why the Stanley Cup finals should not be carried in it entirety on the NBC Network. The NHL needs to get this situation changed so it no longer happens. The early parts of the NHL Playoffs can and should be on all the networks under the NBC umbrella, not the Stanley Cup Finals. It is a great tradition with a even greater history and should be treated as such.
If you get NBCS in your home, I suggest you watch and enjoy the greatness of the Stanley Cup Finals and the story of a great Kings team. If you don’t get NBCS there is only one thing you can do, Wait for the highlights.
Posted in NHL
Tagged cable, california, direct tv, dish network, dustin brown, game 4, hockey, hockey tickets, kings, kings tickets, kopitar, L.A., los angeles, nbc, nbc sports, new jersey devils, NHL, nhl tv deal, playoffs, satellites, stanley cup, stanley cup schedule, staples center, what channel is the stanley cup on, www.sport