Team USA Basketball 2012: 3 Stars Earning International Love

Benjamin Klein@BenjaminJKleinContributor IIIJuly 31, 2012

Team USA Basketball 2012: 3 Stars Earning International Love

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    Team USA is planning to take on the competition at the London Olympics by storm and several stars have already been playing lights out.

    In Team USA’s opening pool play matchup, they cruised to a 27-point victory over France. They will play Tunisia on Tuesday and then three more pool play games before the medal games begin. It seems as if Team USA won’t have much competition until they play Argentina and enter the medal games, since they’re so deeply talented.

    Nearly every player on Team USA’s roster has been an NBA All-Star over the course of their careers and some have had great success in the Olympics in the past. Which stars are already off to a great start in London?

    Here’s a look at three Team USA stars who have shined overseas thus far.

Carmelo Anthony

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    Carmelo Anthony might not have shot as accurately as he has in the past, but he still did make an impact in Team USA’s opener by rebounding.

    Anthony averaged 8.2 rebounds per game last season with the New York Knicks and pulled in three offensive and six defensive boards on Sunday in less than 17 minutes.

    Carmelo did have nine points over that span on the floor, but he only shot 38 percent from the floor and missed both attempts from the three-point range.

    There’s no doubt that Carmelo’s shooting percentage will improve as he gets more time on the floor, but Olympic games are shorter than regulation NBA games. I don’t see any way that he shoots 38 percent throughout the rest of the Games.

Tyson Chandler

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    Tyson Chandler played the second-shortest amount of time during the France game to Anthony Davis, but still had very impressive numbers.

    Chandler was on the floor for 10.5 minutes, but had eight points and nine rebounds—four offensive and five defensive. Chandler, the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year, also had a blocked shot in the victory and drew a team-high four fouls.

    Chandler is one of Team USA’s biggest options on the floor and needs to be a role player whether he’s starting or coming off of the bench.

    A solid opening performance for Chandler is a good sign going forward.

Kevin Durant

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    Kevin Durant finished first in scoring this season in the NBA and continued his high-scoring abilities with a game-high 22 points in Team USA’s first pool play game of the London Olympics.

    Durant didn’t shoot particularly well from the field, but he did hit three of five shots from three-point range. He was also perfect in seven attempts from the free throw line. Aside from his offensive statistics, Durant pulled in nine rebounds as well.

    Durant is one of Team USA’s most important players in London, and they could be in trouble if he doesn’t play well during the medal games. The other players on the rosters could pick up the slack, but he is definitely a vital piece.

    Getting a good start in London is good for Team USA and Kevin Durant. If he keeps this up, winning the gold medal will be a guarantee.