ESPN: It’s official now. This is NOT Japan and the 2006 World Championships, not to mention Athens and the 2004 Olympics.

This is Beijing and the 2008 Olympics, and the U.S. is back in men’s basketball.

These Americans, who looked so lost two years ago at the World Championship in Japan, appear to have found their Olympic way in China.

Batting away balls or swatting shots on seemingly every possession late in the second quarter, the Americans broke open a close game and went on to a 92-69 victory Thursday night to clinch a spot in the medal round.

“We played like we wanted to win. We played together,” U.S. guard Dwyane Wade said. “We were very aware of their offensive sets, we were very aware of their personnel and we played like that. So we were kind of a step in front of what they wanted to do because we kind of knew everything already.”

The Americans were also able to find the range on jump shots when the Greeks went to a zone defense to slow them down. Kobe Bryant, who entered the game shooting just 37 percent in the first two games, was 7-for-14 from the field and finished with 18 points.

Chris Bosh also had 18 points, Wade added 17 and LeBron James had 13 for the United States (3-0), which moves on to a matchup of Group B unbeatens Saturday night against world champion Spain. The winner will earn the group’s top seed for the quarterfinals.

Greece stunned the Americans two years ago in the semifinals of the 2006 World Championships, shredding the U.S. defense for 63 percent shooting with clinical execution of its pick-and-roll offense in a 101-95 victory.

Continue reading ‘Bryant scores 18 as U.S. gets revenge on Greece’

  • Antequerano

    This is disgusting. This is supposed to be a LAKERS blog, not a USA blog. You only talk about USA, USA and more USA. But OH! THERE IS ANOTHER LAKER PLAYING THE OLYMPIC GAMES, HIS NAME IS PAU GASOL, AND WITH HIM SPAIN HAS BEATEN GREECE, CHINA AND GERMANY!

    I hope Spain destroys USA next Saturday so you´ll learn at least USA isn´t the only national team playing the Olympic Games, and Kobe isn´t the only Laker playing the Olympic Games.

    PD: There is a 3rd Laker playing the Olympic Games. His name is Sun Yue and he has been the best China man after Yao in the China-Angola game.

  • daboss1849

    STFU Antequerano. We don’t give a shyt about Spain. We want the gold for USA…. We’ll root for Pau in october, now he is the enemy…

  • LA_Hova12

    FREAK^^^

  • anti antequerano

    dude stfu we are in America. F Spain right now

  • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/ topher96

    Breaking News hoopshype.com

  • BringDFishBack

    First of all, the Lakers are in the NBA. Therefore most of us here want to hear about how NBA players (Team USA) are doing in the Olympics, especially since it’s offseason and hardly anything to write about. I wouldn’t mind stuff about Spain, but as far as I know none of the major sites (ESPN, SI, Yahoo! Sports, etc.) don’t write articles on the games that Spain plays, so what are they supposed to post? And it would be kind of confusing, knowing like 4 of the players they talk about in the entire article.

    As for the game, wow, it was impressive. The Raptors need to hire Coach K as their coach asap. Whatever he’s done to Bosh is amazing. Since the first exhibition game, he’s been steadily giving Bosh more and more time. Now in the game against Greece, with Howard in foul trouble, he played a lot and looked amazing. He’s so quick and with his long arms he can disrupt so much. He must have had close to 10 deflections on defense. Not only that, but he was able to play the pick and roll much better than Dwight because he’s much quicker. You gotta give credit to all the other guys too, whenever Bosh ran on a fastbreak (almost everytime), they rewarded him almost everytime. His confidence was through the roof in this game, and if he continues to play this way he should be the MVP of the tourney and the US should have no problem winning it all.

    Other than Bosh, Wade played amazing. They are huge sparks off the bench and really help the team. Wade was playing great defense, and getting a ton of steals. He also looked great as a point guard on the fast break, distrubting well. He and Deron Williams had some sick passes. Lebron looks completely dominate out there, he had one play where Melo was on a fastbreak and went into 2 defenders and missed, but Lebron came out of no where and grabbed the ball and threw it down. He also looked great on defense, getting a couple nice blocks. Kobe looked good too, but he still goes 1 on 1 a little too much. When they need the points and he goes 1 on 1, it’s fine and helps the team. But sometimes when they are doing good he’ll do it, and it kinda ruins their rythm. He’s done a good job in the beginning of the games to get a few quick buckets and get the USA going.

  • Antequerano

    You are the ones who must STFU, you arrogant Americans. You must remember Spain is the CURRENT WORLD CHAMPION.

    And what I want to say mainly is that this is a LAKERS blog, not a USA blog. So, players must be treated in equal conditions, not Bryant for one way and the other players for another. Learn from the web of Club Lakers, they´re giving the news of how Bryant and Gasol do in the Olympic Games equally.

  • maccassedy

    [Comment ID #48852 Will Be Quoted Here]

    STFU LOL

  • maccassedy

    STAY O[Comment ID #48852 Will Be Quoted Here]

    U A JOKE..STAY ON CLUB LAKERS THEN…FAGBOY LOL

  • DCLAKER

    That Wade to Kobe ALLEY-OOP…ULTRA!

  • iskerfan567

    leave that spain guy alone, let him talk, we dont own him, so dont be such a dick, hes fron spain and hes rooting for his homeland

  • Freshh

    Kobes gonna heat up.

  • long legga lai

    i love spanish punany.

  • BringDFishBack

    [Comment ID #48852 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Then read clublakers, not the lakers nation. Sorry, but last i checked to get to this site you type in thelakersnation.com, and at the top of the page it says The Lakers Nation. NOT CLUB LAKERS. At the Lakers Nation we care about the NBA, and the Spanish team only has I think 5 NBA players, and the US teams has 12.

  • Anonymous.

    Jesus christ. Even though this is a Lakers blog, the Lakers are a team in the USA. MOST FANS THAT GO HERE ARE AMERICAN. What’s wrong with posting info about team USA when majority if not all of everyone who is here comes from the U.S.

    On a side note, dwade and chris bosh carried the team over the hump.

  • ignard

    Whats with the f’n freethrow shooting?

  • klingsor

    I am totally rooting for Spain and Argentina. Although they are the world and olympic champs respectively, the way USA is playing makes them the underdogs. And somehow I still think that KB is the only player in team USA that can outsmart Spain and Argentina. This is gonna be probably the most exciting olympic basketball tournament EVER!