Team USA is Golden!Posted: August 13, 2012
Both Women and Men won the gold medals they were expected to win. The women, I think, doing it more easily than the men. As I am writing this, the closing ceremony is ending and the 2012 Olympics are wrapping up. All in all, a good games were had. Some ups and some downs (as I will highlights later in the post) and I can put Coach K back into his proper place…coach of that other team, Dook.
The women beat France 86-50 for their FIFTH straight gold! After Team France (Le Blue, as they are called) won their semifinal to get into the gold medal game, their coach, Pierre Vincent, said, “I’m gonna party…The US built the game…They cannot be beat.” He was right! Q1 was a bit sloppy around the basket, but the US had a 12 point lead at halftime and never looked back. This takes nothing from France, they played good basketball and never gave up, but they were just outplayed. All 12 US players scored and, for me, Candace Parker stepped onto the court and blew it away. That is not to downplay the contributions of Sue Bird, Maya Moore, and the rest. Team USA put on a basketball clinic for France and the rest of the world.
The US held France to 28% field goal shooting and 18% three pointers, while the US made 47% of their field goals and 37% of the threes. France outshot the US 80% to 68% at the free throw line (always room for improvement, ladies!)
Then came the men. Could they hold up their end of the bargain and get a gold for the US? Could they finish the run on the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Dream Team? It was a bit hard to watch, at times, but the US men won the gold in a 107-100 battle with Spain.
In a game that featured 16 lead changes and 6 ties, US men were able to power their way onto the gold medal stand. In this game fouls hurt the US, stopped the clock, and constantly disrupted the flow of the game. but it did allow Team USA to shoot 77% from the line. (Spain shot 84% from the line in this game, so there is room for improvement, gentlemen). The free throw shooter of the day, by far, was Kevin Durant. He was 9 for 10 from the line! But overall, I think Spain’s size was an issue for the USA. Maybe more big men in 2016? When Chandler was on the bench, it was often Kevin Love that came in for him. Love is an impressive player and outstanding rebounder- no doubt, but more than one big man, please!
Well, now that Olympic basketball is done- Let’s start the countdown to college play. Late Night with Roy anyone?! (Oct 12, 2012)
As an addendum to this post: I have loved the Olympic games this year. I was lucky enough to have time to watch a lot of them. While I am not an athlete myself, I am an avid fan and love to cheer others on. Hard work should be rewarded, no matter where you finish in the pack. This year we got to cheer for women from every country for the first time as well as have athletes like Oscar Pistorious and Natalia Partyka compete in both the Olympics and ParaOlympics.
There were the highest of highs. US runner Manteo Mitchell finished the starting leg of the silver medal winning 4×100 relay with a broken leg. US BMX rider Brooke Crain crashed, flew over her handlebars, and with the help of the medical team managed to cross the finish line. That is what you do. You compete, you represent. Apparently not if you are Morgan Uceny and that is a shame. She fell as she was about to make her move in the final lap of the 1500. She fell in 2008 in Beijing and at last year’s world championships in California. Yes, it SUCKS! But she hit the ground like a child having a temper tantrum and walked off the track. I know she worked hard to be here and her frustration at falling during major meets must be great, but you are representing yourself and your country and you needed to finish that lap, congratulate the winner and act like a woman. As someone that watched her throw a fit, cry, and leave after watching Mitchell and Crain, I was astounded at her actions and left wanting more sportswoman like conduct. She did not break her leg, she did not face plant into a hill, she fell. Finish the race!