The United States men's basketball team put on a defensive clinic Thursday against the Dominican Republic national team, allowing just 59 points en route to a dominant 113-59 victory.
John Calipari's Dominican team had virtually no breathing room against a USA team that was far and away faster and more intense than their opponent.
Team USA certainly wasn't at its collective best Thursday night, but if it continues to play the same defense that we saw throughout this game, there aren't going to be many teams that stand a chance at coming close to competing—let alone getting a win.
The Dominican Republic had a really hard time getting the ball inside the three-point line, and it was clear that this game was going to be a laugher from the beginning.
Tweets of the Night
This one was over early, but ESPN Stats and Info made sure we knew the stats:
At the half, Dominican Republic has 27 pts, 9 FG, 3 3-pt FG. Kevin Durant has 21 pts, 8 FG, 5 3-pt FG. Deron Williams & DR both have 7 ast.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 12, 2012
The fake Bill Walton account shares a GIF of a James Harden to Kevin Durant alley-oop:
Bleacher Report writer Ryan Rudnansky with a zinger:
And I thought the Dominican Republic was good at basketball this whole time… #TeamUSA— Ryan Rudnansky (@RyanRudnansky) July 12, 2012
Thanks for settling the debate, Larry Bird. The 2012 team would beat the Dream Team:
Larry Bird on whether current Olympic team could beat Dream Team: "They probably could. I haven't played in 20 years and we're all old now."— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) July 12, 2012
Faux Bill Walton strikes again with a poetic description of a Carmelo Anthony dunk:
Carmelo ANTHONY with a disruptive annihilation of the rim, a spine tingling sensation felt fromLas Vegas to the shores of Sicily!— Not Bill Walton (@NotBillWalton) July 12, 2012
Iman Shumpert was watching the game. He saw what happened to those poor, poor Dominican Republic players:
Dear number 14 from DR...meet D Will!!!!— Iman Shumpert (@I_Am_Iman) July 12, 2012
Deron Williams serves one up to LeBron James for a thunderous alley-oop.
Deciding Factor: The Overall Skill Level of Team USA
There's really no other explanation for the thumping that we saw on Thursday night. Team USA is faster, stronger and just better at playing the game of basketball than the Dominican Republic.
This game got to a point where you almost wished that there was a mercy rule for International play. At one point, the U.S. had twice as many points as the Dominican Republic when the score was 88-44.
Game MVP: Kevin Durant
There was plenty of team basketball tonight, but Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant led the way for Team USA with 24 points and 10 rebounds.
It's hardly fair for the three-point line to be this close in International basketball. Durant's five threes looked as easy as layups for a sharpshooter.
Team USA trains for the next three days before heading to the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. to take on the Brazilian national team on July 16 on ESPN2.
Then it's a couple more days off before a matchup with Great Britain on July 19 at the Manchester Arena in England.
The U.S. plays its first Olympic game against France on Sunday, July 29.