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Smack / Jul 19, 2012 / 10:29 pm

Team USA Annihilates Great Britain; Dwight Howard Wants To Go To The Lakers?

USA Men's Basketball - 2012 Olympics

USA Men's Basketball - 2012 Olympics (photo. Nike)

We were in the house Monday night as Team USA barely survived an exhibition against Brazil. And while we weren’t in the house last night against Great Britain, we could’ve guessed what would happen: pure domination. The national team won by 40 and dominated the second half so thoroughly, we thought someone should’ve instituted a mercy rule. Deron Williams (who missed one shot) and Carmelo Anthony led the way with 19 points a piece as the game dwindled into an all-out evisceration in the third quarter. Great Britain’s head coach, Chris Finch, said before the game he figured his guys would be nervous and intimated at first, but would eventually settle down. That was wishful thinking … Team USA jumped out early as Carmelo poured in 12 quick points. But as Great Britain stiffened and a 18-point lead for the national team dwindled to 12, it became increasingly clear that ‘Melo was clogging the lane at times. We’ll win gold if we have ball movement and quick-hitting cuts in the half-court to take advantage of our huge edge in athleticism. Immediately upon returning, Chris Paul ran consecutive pick-n-rolls and opened everything up. Then, Britain’s next two offensive possessions ended in turnovers, and then on the other end, Kevin Durant and LeBron James dunked … Still, Anthony needed a night like this after he got caught against Brazil with his shorts down at his ankles. He looked like a completely different player on both ends, and some of that was probably brought on by pride. Durant replaced him in the starting lineup, as Williams replaced CP3 … In the third quarter, Team USA exploded, creating turnovers, defending, hitting deep shots and generally putting Great Britain through a paper shredder. LeBron alone had three or four easy shots at the rim in the opening minutes. In a fitting end to the quarter, Carmelo dunked just before the third frame buzzer to put our guys up by a whopping score of 89-55. Fran Fraschilla was calling the game, and was busy trying to say the British fans weren’t cheering because they don’t know basketball. Um, Fran, it might be because they were watching the U.S. guys turn the Brits into a four-course meal. Even in the fourth quarter, it was like Team USA could do no wrong. You know it’s your night when Kevin Love catches an alley-oop and finishes with a reverse half-dunk/half-layup. That shocked us. In fact, the dunk cam behind the USA basket was getting some serious work in the second half. We weren’t counting, but the team probably had over 20 dunks. If Blake Griffin hadn’t gotten hurt, he might’ve killed somebody … Speaking of Love, Fraschilla also called him perhaps the most underrated player in the league “because of all the things he does so well” and “being on a bad team, you don’t get to appreciate what he does.” We’ve always been intrigued by Love’s place amongst the elite. On one hand, he was sixth in MVP voting and put up numbers (26 points, 13.3 rebounds a game) that would’ve made Charles Barkley happy. On the other, he doesn’t defend at all, cheats at times for rebounds and has looked relatively human going up against some of the better big men in the league. More than a few people will tell you he gets hollow stats. What do you believe? … Keep reading to hear about the latest Dwight Howard rumblings …

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