USA Basketball vs. China: U.S. Wins 101-70
Dwyane Wade picked up right where he left off in exhibition play,leading Team USA to their first Olympic basketball win with 19 points. Despite Yao Ming's rise to stardom, the Chinese are still incredibly weak in basketball because they lack the physical stamina, creativity and toughness it takes to win on the international level. Their best finish was a meager 8th in the 2004 Athens Olympics - and just three of their players have NBA experience (which is almost a necessity these days to understand how to beat Team USA mentally).
China played an impressive passing game, especially in the early going, as Yao Ming was surrounded by defenders. Chinese players loved the three-point line; the first points of the game were scored on a three (by of all people, Yao) and by game's end, no less than six Chinese players had hit threes. Yi Jianlian and Wang Zhizhi, both of whom have NBA experience to add to their maturity as international-level players, each hit four threes.
TEAM USA used relentless defense to trigger turnovers and force the weaker Chinese team into mistakes - leading to countless easy layups and highlight reel ally-oops. Although the weakness of the American team is all too apparent: Zero halfcourt offense. It's really scary that a team composed of guys like LeBron and Kobe, and penetrators like Deron Williams and Chris Paul struggle in a half court setting, but these guys manage it somehow. If Team USA doesn't force turnovers to create easy baskets, you're going to see them struggle to put away opponents like Germany, Argentina, and Spain. We'll have to see if the opposing countries try and slow down the game of the Americans to force them into a half-court set. The ROAD TO THE GOLD has only just begun for "The Redeem Team."