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Team USA Basketball 2012: 5 Key Stats from Men's Early Olympic Wins

Ely SussmanCorrespondent IAugust 1, 2012

Team USA Basketball 2012: 5 Key Stats from Men's Early Olympic Wins

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    The USA men's basketball team has cruised to easy wins over France and Tunisia at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

    These key stats analyze their first 80 minutes of action for those of you who haven't been watching, as well as for those who haven't paid attention to what's important.

    An average margin of victory of 37 points doesn't indicate invincibility, but there's plenty of reasons for optimism.

    Here are five numbers that stuck out to me.


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    Free-throw percentage against

    France and Tunisia—12th and 32nd, respectively, in the FIBA world rankings—aren't exactly gold-medal threats. Against the United States, they committed costly, unforced errors that more formidable teams won't commit.

    At the foul line, for example, they barely made half of all attempts.

    From making 48 total trips, it's obvious that these opponents did not shy away from contact. But failing to convert from the charity stripe is a reflection of their ineptitude, not America's greatness.


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    Chris Paul assist-to-turnover ratio

    The seven-year NBA veteran was particularly careful with the basketball this past season. His 4.38 assist-to-turnover ratio as point guard of the Los Angeles Clippers reflects that.

    For whatever reason, he has struggled for Team USA.

    One of Paul's primary responsibilities is to facilitate ball movement and make wise passing decisions.

    When facing high-quality competition in the coming days, he'll need to find his place in the Princeton offense. Otherwise, expect to see a lot more of Deron Williams.


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    Turnovers per game

    Overall, though, the United States hasn't suffered from too many giveaways.

    With so much athleticism and professional experience, this squad doesn't need to take unnecessary risks.

    Few possessions are going to waste. If that continues, so will the high scores.


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    Three-point attempts per game

    The men have yet to come to terms with their offensive identity.

    Instead of playing to their strengths, they've been chucking up a lot of ill-advised three-pointers. Long-distance shots comprise more than one-third of their field goal attempts thus far.

    USA has sufficient agility and ball-handling skills to get to the rim at will. Hopefully, that adjustment is on its way.


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    Time—out of 80 minutes—that Team USA has trailed

    Dominance is always enjoyable, but it can soften a team and put minds at ease.

    The reigning world champions haven't lost an international matchup since 2006. Only one game in that span has been decided by single digits.

    As a result, the Americans are unfamiliar with adversity.

    Though their past two victories in the Olympics helped develop team chemistry, I worry that these players are unprepared for legitimate challenges.

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