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USA vs. Tunisia: Report Card Grades for Every USA Team Member

Stephen BabbFeatured ColumnistJuly 31, 2012

USA vs. Tunisia: Report Card Grades for Every USA Team Member

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    Team USA overcame another slow start to run out to a 110-63 victory over the woefully outmatched Tunisians.

    Underwhelming first quarters have become commonplace for the United States, but so too have dominant second halves. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski ensured as much by starting that second half with a different lineup and by making some defensive adjustments.

    Needless to say, it paid off.

    Of course, the successful performance wasn't the product of coaching alone. It also had a little something to do with the superstar-studded roster that's doing its very best impression of the original 1992 Dream Team.

    Here's a breakdown of how each member of that roster performed against Tunisia.

Tyson Chandler, C

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    Tyson Chandler has come to accept a pretty limited role on Team USA, at least against clubs without a dominant interior presence.

    The blowout against Tunisia gave Anthony Davis the opportunity to get some rare playing time in the middle, so Chandler was held to just 15 minutes. He managed to collect six points, six rebounds and a block in the process, though, so his presence was still felt.

    Don't expect Chandler to put up huge numbers during the London Summer Olympics. That's just not his game.

    It doesn't mean he isn't contributing. He remains a key to Team USA's defense by virtue of his ability to guard the rim.

    Grade: B

LeBron James, PF

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    LeBron James had a relatively quiet game statistically, but his incredibly picturesque fast-break dunk will remain one of the game's defining moments.

    And while his five points don't stand out, the four assists he collected in just under 19 minutes of action typified what he's meant to Team USA. He can score when he needs to, but he's often asked to facilitate his teammate's offense instead.

    Thanks to the highlight and the assists, LeBron still comes away with pretty good marks.

    Grade: B

Kevin Durant, SF

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    Kevin Durant got off to a slow start and wasn't exactly scorching from three-point range, but he still wound up with an incredibly productive outing.

    He scored 13 points, but added five assists and 10 rebounds in 23 minutes of gametime. Using his rare combination of length and quickness to his advantage, Durant helped Team USA out-rebound Tunisia 44-31.

    That was hardly the only difference in this game, but it didn't hurt in contributing to an epic 47-point blowout.

    Grade: A-

Kobe Bryant, SG

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    Kobe Bryant has proven to be little more than a veteran presence for Team USA, and the meeting with Tunisia was no different.

    He scored just four points in under nine minutes of play and appeared to be getting some rest in anticipation of a game in which he'd actually be needed. There was nothing wrong with his performance, but there was certainly nothing remarkable about it either.

    Grade: C+

Chris Paul, PG

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    Chris Paul has proven to be one of the most superfluous members of Team USA.

    His seven assists look nice enough on paper, but his three turnovers offset their impressiveness at least in part. So too does the fact that he scored just two points in nearly 25 minutes of action. With LeBron James so capably distributing the ball and the solid play of guards Deron Williams and Russell Westbrook, Paul has shown up as little more than a big name.

    Count this one as yet another forgettable performance from Team USA's starting point guard.

    Grade: C-

Kevin Love, PF

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    Kevin Love had something of a breakout performance, racking up 16 points in 17-and-a-half minutes. 

    He made six of his nine field-goal attempts and added six rebounds in the process, more than justifying his inclusion on the roster and helping push the lead to the brink of absurdity. When Love is on his game, he proves to be a difficult matchup for opposing clubs to guard thanks to his size and ability to make shots from the perimeter.

    The 23-year-old did what he's done so many times for the Minnesota Timberwolves. He looked like battle-tested veteran.

    Grade: A+

Carmelo Anthony, F

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    Carmelo Anthony was scorching in Team USA's tuneups, and his play against Tunisia was no different.

    The consummate scorer went six for six from the field and scored 16 points in 12 minutes. We've all seen this guy rack up the buckets before, but that kind of efficiency is impressive even by his standards.

    Whether mixing it up in the paint or drilling outside shots, Anthony has proven to be Team USA's most valuable asset in half-court sets.

    Grade: A

Andre Iguodala, F

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    Andre Iguodala only scored six points in a hair under 20 minutes, but he didn't take many shots to begin with.

    He still made plenty of contributions, though, including five rebounds, five assists and two steals. 

    More importantly, Iggy was instrumental to Team USA's transition game in the second and third quarters. Were it not for the game's change in tempo, this might have been a mere 20-point victory instead of something to write home about.

    Grade: B+

Deron Williams, PG

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    Deron Williams made us wonder once again why he isn't getting all of Chris Paul's playing time. 

    In just 15 minutes, he scored an efficient nine points and added on four assists, a steal and a block. It looks like someone is getting excited about that move to Brooklyn and starting to show off a little early.

    And oh, by the way: Williams didn't turn the ball over once.

    Nice game.

    Grade: B+

Russell Westbrook, SG

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    Like Andre Iguodala, Russell Westbrook helped engineer Team USA's transition to an up-tempo game that Tunisia quite simply couldn't keep up with.

    His defensive energy was palpable, and his production was a welcome sight too.

    He tallied 11 points, three assists, three rebounds and two steals. He also looked like the one guy who was serious about his job, and there's no doubt his frenetic presence became somewhat contagious as Team USA began to pull away.

    Grade: A-

James Harden, SG

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    James Harden has been relatively quiet for most of Team USA's exhibition play, but he took full advantage of his opportunities in the second half of this runaway game. He scored 10 points, including a couple of treys that were a promising sign.

    The 2012 Sixth Man of the Year won't be especially vital to the United States' Gold Medal hopes, but he proved that he can help in a pinch.

    Grade: B

Anthony Davis, F/C

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    For his consecutive alley-oop conversions alone, Anthony Davis deserves some high marks.

    The sparingly-used NBA rookie continues to make the most of his limited opportunities, and the second half against Tunisia marked his most exciting performance yet.

    In addition to the highlights, he scored 12 points in just under 14 minutes. Even better, he didn't miss a single field goal or free throw. New Orleans Hornets head coach Monty Williams watched from the stands and had to like what he saw.

    For good measure, Davis threw in three rebounds, a block and a steal just to remind everyone why he was the first-overall selection in June's draft.

    Grade: A

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