USA vs. Great Britain Basketball: Height Isn't Necessary to Dominate
The United States Men's National Team eviscerated Great Britain on Thursday at the Manchester Arena by a humiliating score of 118-78. In doing so, Mike Krzyzewski's squad proved that it certainly doesn't need a big man in the paint to dominate the competition.
Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams led the Americans with 19 points each and frequently found themselves in position for wide-open perimeter shots.
The excessive amount of perimeter shots has been one of the primary knocks on this team so far through two exhibition games. Those criticisms are certainly warranted, as the United States is going to have a hard time steamrolling its opponents if it goes cold from the outside.
However, the United States showed us something in its third exhibition that we hadn't seen this year. Well, we witnessed something of the like, but nothing like the show the US put on in Manchester on Thursday.
In a high-flying, dunk-filled performance, the NBA All-Stars showed the nation and the world that things are going to be just fine at the London Olympics.
It seemed like nearly every basket of the second half was a dunk. Of course, that was not the case, but there were plenty of slashing, cutting and thunderous alley-oops on display for the crowd.
The primary use of an offensive big man is to pound the ball down low and attack the rim. The United States doesn't have that presence in the paint, but it does have the fastest, most athletic players in the competition.
Who needs a big man when you have Chris Paul dishing to Russell Westbrook for a highlight-reel dunk? The answer is, nobody.
Will the United States' lack of height be detrimental to their gold medal chances?
It wouldn't be a stretch to say that a big man would get in the way on this team. Dwight Howard is one of the best in the league, but he clogs up the paint. "Superman" would get in the way of our beloved throwdowns that are sprung in transition.
Other teams would have an easier time defending a back-to-the-basket big man than they are going to have defending the superior athleticism of Team USA. There's not a player in the world who can defend Westbrook when he is at his best, but the Gasol brothers could feasibly team up to shut down Howard.
A big man would be a luxury on this roster. The United States has everything it needs to destroy the Olympic field in London despite the lack of size down low.
If you were worrying about this team—which you shouldn't have been—you can rest easy after the 40-point thrashing that we saw against Great Britain.
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