FIBA World Championship 2006 - Unofficial Blog

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Team USA crushed Australia to face Germany

In a very powerful demonstration, the United States Basketball team defeated Australia 113-73 Sunday, sending an unmistakable message to the FIBA world championships. This isn't the squad that proved an embarrassment in recent international competitions.

"We wanted to make a statement coming into the round of 16," forward Chris Bosh announced, who grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.

In fact, this was a day that every American scored. Carmelo Anthony led the U.S. with 20 points while Joe Johnson added 18 and Dwyane Wade 15.

Granted, the Australian team wasn't much of a test. They went 2-3 in group play and have few weapons beside Milwaukee Bucks center Andrew Bogut, who scored 20 points.

However, the Americans made it look almost too easy, turning a tight game into a laugher by outscoring the Australians 32-6 in the second quarter.

Now the U.S. can look forward to its quarterfinal -up Wednesday night against Germany, another team with a star NBA center and a mostly anonymous supporting cast. Dirk Nowitzki of Dallas is third in tournament scoring, averaging 24.5 points.'

Given the way the Team US is playing, it might be more fair to make them face Bogut and Nowitzki together.

"I think our biggest opponent is ourselves right now," Johnson admitted. "We've just got to keep our intensity up."

Asked if the U.S. is unbeatable when its shots are falling, Johnson said, "No doubt. When our shots are falling and when they're not falling."


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