Basketball Prospectus on the Gold Medal game
Kevin Pelton, writing for Basketball Prospectus, posted a great article today breaking down the men’s basketball gold medal game from last night. He really nails everything on the head, especially this part:
Those who did not watch this game might take a look at the score and think the United States let down on the verge of completing its pursuit of a gold medal. Alas, most of the night, that was the way NBC broadcasters Mike Breen and Doug Collins presented the game, nitpicking the Americans’ performance. While the criticism wasn’t entirely unwarranted, it missed the point: This is a great Spanish team that won the FIBA World Championships two years ago for a reason, and it rose to the occasion to give the USA a legitimate test for the first time in these Olympics.
Yes, we may have beat them by 37 in pool play, but everyone knew this game would not be easy. Spain is a good team, and most definitely deserves their silver medal. They gave it their all, and aside from the lack of composure (I’m sorry, but FIBA refs need to be a little more stern; you do not get multiple warnings for any sort of unsportsmanlike conduct, on the second offense it should be a technical, no exceptions), they played an incredible game of basketball. I could tell USA wasn’t as sharp as they had been, but even when they were playing the great ball we had seen this Olympics, I was still never certain the game was in the bag.
Kudos to Spain, but more importantly, congratulations Team USA. It’s nice to have the gold again after a dismal eight years.
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