ESPN: LeBron James threads a low bounce pass to Kobe Bryant cutting baseline. Bryant goes up and under for a reverse layup. The Thomas and Mack Center crowd goes wild.

Dwight Howard blocks a Team Canada baseline jump shot attempt. Jason Kidd scoops up the ball and flicks it fifty feet to a sprinting Carmelo Anthony for an emphatic dunk. The fans roar.

Anthony underhands a ball, like a bowler, to Bryant. Another big dunk and another giddy huzzah from the stands.

There are sweet, sublime moments aplenty when Team USA takes the floor for a FIBA Americas Championship game. The highlight reel is full of them.

But if the all-star team’s offensive exploits are a given, they aren’t definitive, they aren’t what characterizes this team in action.

If Saturday’s 113-63 win over Team Canada is any indication, the heart of Team USA ‘s game, the essence of their identity, is an unrelenting collective will, a nasty killer instinct.

They’re not just beating teams in this tournament, they’re driving them into the ground, pounding Venezuala by 43 points, Virgin Islands by 64, and now Canada by 50.

Continue reading ‘Team USA puts the hammer down on Canada’



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