U.S. Tussles With Argentina: Live Blog!

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – When the U.S. Men’s Senior National team takes the floor, be it in a “friendly” or real competition, winning is never enough.

It’s always about style points and the opponent and whether or not the U.S. team looked as good as they could have or should have. Those aren’t are rules, it’s the just the way it’s been for the past 20 years (all the teams that followed the original Dream Team can thank their elders for that bit of circumstance).

That’s why we have to watch this afternoon’s U.S.-Argentina exhibition (3:30 p.m. ET on NBA TV) with a discerning eye. Unlike their previous three exhibition games, this is a contest between gold medal candidates (someone else besides the U.S., Russia and Spain is capable of gold) and fierce international rivals. The U.S. went through Argentina in the semifinals on their way to gold in Beijing in 2008 after Argentina did the same four years earlier in Athens on their way to gold.

This is one of the few teams that can counter the U.S. with NBA stars of its own, a fact not lost on Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and the leaders of the U.S. team. Led by Manu Ginobili and Luis Scola, Argentina also has the added bonus of having a national team core group that has been together for years, a group that has thrived in competitions everywhere.

Both teams will be trying to send a message this afternoon, even though they will do their very best to act like that’s not the case …

(Make sure you tune in at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBA TV and chat with us live here during the action!)

– FOURTH QUARTER –

– 5:34 p.m. U.S. wins 86-80 in a much closer game than it had to be. They fell in love with those uncontested 3-pointers and rolled when they were going in and struggled when they weren’t. Durant led the way with 27, Kobe had 18 and yet CP3’s late 3 was probably the biggest shot of the game for the U.S. They made the game tougher than it needed to be with the 13-for-34 shooting from deep. Curious side note, James Harden didn’t scratch in this game. Gamesmanship or what?

– 5:30 p.m. Spain’s big men (Gasols and Ibaka) have to know that they’re going to have a huge advantage in Tuesday’s game. Should be even more interesting for the U.S., as they try and figure out how to use their speed and athleticism to combat all of that size inside.

– 5:27 p.m. Scola with two huge misses at the free throw line in the final 50 seconds. LeBron draws a foul at the rim. Manu fouls out and gets a nice ovation from the crowd.

– 5:23 p.m. CP3 with a big 3-pointer for the 84-73 lead. The U.S. has closers all over the floor. But Argentina still coming, 84-78 with 1:48 to play.

– 5:22 p.m. Way too much standing around right now by the U.S. on offense. Ginobili drops one in off the pick and roll and gets the foul. We’ve got a 78-74 game with 2:50 left. Crowd is cranking up in Barcelona. And Durant with the dagger! Wow! 81-74 U.S.

– 5:18 p.m. Prigioni with a big 3 cuts the lead to seven, and we’ve got a nice sticky game down the stretch. This is like regular season NBA basketball right now. Argentina’s patience on the offensive end is in stark contrast to the rushed play of the U.S. on that end of the floor. It’s the difference between a team that understands each other’s every move and a team filled with guys learning those things on the fly.

– 5:15 p.m. Chandler can’t make free throws and he can’t stay out of foul trouble … the blueprint for opposing teams that are good enough to draw the U.S. into this trap. Argentina is one of the few capable of doing so.

– 5:13 p.m. Manu is so far and away the best player on his team that it’s remarkable. He knocks down a couple of quick shots and we’ve got a 10-point game here with five minutes to play in the fourth.

–5:06 p.m. Two quick dunks from LeBron pushes the lead back to 15. He hasn’t really imposed his will in this one at all. But he could get cooking here late and give the U.S. the edge they’re looking for. Coach K will have to rotate his point guard relentlessly to keep up the pace that suits his team best.

– THIRD QUARTER –

– 5:01 p.m. The U.S. goes to sleep again with that 20-point lead and Argentina knocks down 3s and takes advantage of careless play by the U.S. to squeeze it back to a close game, down 11 heading into the fourth quarter (72-61). The U.S. can’t catch a breath against a team of this caliber. Simply can’t do it and win big like they are used to.

– 4:57 p.m. Iguodala could be one of the true unsung heroes on this team. He’s such a good defender, and can guard four positions in international ball, and is a much better offensive player right now than he’s been at any time during his NBA career. BTW, the U.S. lead is back to 20 (69-49).

– 4:54 p.m. For every run Argentina or any team will make, the U.S. has a counter. They’re always going to be able to get a defensive stop or turnover and beat you in transition to regain momentum. That said, I’d be interested to see how this team functioned if they had to play from behind in a game … just asking!

– 4:47 p.m. Ginobili needs a SAG card. Seriously, he’s better than Pacino. He fouls LeBron and you see his face and it looks like he got fouled.

– 4:42 p.m. Third quarter kicking off like the first with Durant and Kobe striking early. U.S. with a 52-40 lead just like that. Durant with the pull up jumper and Kobe with the transition 3 … they make it look so easy sometimes.

– HALFTIME –

– 4:28 p.m. That 7-for-13 start from beyond the 3-point line was fool’s gold for the U.S. They fell in love with the deep ball and went 0-for-7 in the second quarter as they were outscored 24-16 and lost that 20-point lead.

– SECOND QUARTER –

– 4:24 p.m. Love seeing the U.S. in this sort of situation. Up 20 to leading by just five in the final seconds of the first half. Defense, transition and a fast break layup from Westbrook results in a 47-40 halftime lead. But make no mistake, Argentina will push them with their ball movement, patience and grit. Should be an interesting second half.

– 4:21 p.m. Delfino always looks better to me during international play than he does during the NBA season. It doesn’t make sense either, because he’s got more of an “NBA” game than any international player I can think of … slick off the dribble, athletic and a streaky shooter. Funky step-back 3 over Westbrook is vintage Delfino. Makes it an eight-point game.

– 4:18 p.m. LeBron hasn’t even started cooking yet. I’d start posting him, Melo too, and see what my offense looked like with Argentina having to focus on those two in the paint. Well, four quickies for LeBron. But Argentina is attacking the rim the way the U.S. should be attacking.

– 4:12 p.m. Lots of tough guy antics from guys who know each other well. Not buying any of this nonsense. Nothing like a little healthy trash talk between acquaintances. For the record, the shoulder to the gut on Paul is what kicked off the foolishness. But this is all just playground-style posturing from both sides. Oh, and I told you Nocioni would get his in. Lead is down to 10, by the way. Excellent work by Argentina.

– 4:07 p.m. Kobe gets swatted on one end and Durant gets it back on the other. Durant’s wingspan is preposterous. No way he should have blocked that. Loving Kobe going after Argentina like this (he’s got 14 points already). Message being sent!

– 4:03 p.m. The U.S. is so fast in transition and they’re ridiculously unselfish. I’m not sure you can appreciate just how good these guys are through a flat screen. On average, they’re two steps faster than Argentina on the run. That’s an advantage no team in the competition (or in the world) can counter.

– FIRST QUARTER –

– 3:58 p.m. The 3-pointers from Durant and D. Will to end the quarter give the U.S. a 31-16 lead and highlights the fact that when they’re making their shots from distance, the opposition has basically no chance. Solid first quarter from the U.S.

– 3:55 p.m. Argentina is going right to Scola in the post every chance they get with Melo on him. Smart basketball. Attacking the U.S. in the one place they are most vulnerable is the only strategy that works. Argentina right back in the thick of this game down 25-14.

– 3:51 p.m. No need to swing for the home run shot every time. The U.S. is trying to knock Argentina out from deep in the first quarter here and it’s really not necessary. They need to attack the rim. They have the advantage inside and out, might as well use it in both places. All of this dramatic gesturing to draw fouls is a clear indicator that Manu is on the floor. You gotta love him …

– 3:45 p.m. Seriously, the Kobe and Durant show is ridiculous. They’re both draining 3s from deep and playing like this is a real game. I knew they would try and send a message in this game. And Argentina is playing with an undersized big man themselves in Scola. Guarantee you Nocioni gets tangled up with someone in the next minute or two. Always love watching him in these international games.

– 3:40 p.m. Zone early from Argentina and Kobe makes them pay with the third straight 3 from the U.S. They haven’t missed a shot yet. Ideal start for the home team. And another 3 from Durant pushes the lead to 14-1 just like that. This is the start you want every game from the U.S. Maybe it’s the throwback unis?

– 3:37 p.m. Durant from deep for the start. And another one. That international 3 is just not fair for a shooter with his size and length. Not fair.

–3:34 p.m. Another tweak today with the lineup with CP3 replacing Deron Williams from the Great Britain game. Loving the Dream Team throwbacks. Wish they would wear them throughout the competition in London.

86 Comments

  1. Law064 says:

    Blah Blah Blah Ricky Rubio? Well if Dwight was playing also D Rose & Wade C’mon even without these guys USA will win the gold. Oh They beat spain by 22 points lol

  2. RubioDMan says:

    This exhibition game are useless, Winning in any of this game(s) wont give any team the GOLD. Lets just wait for the olympics to start then see who will get the GOLD medal.

    *** If only Ricky can play this coming olympics. It will be Spain’s complete lineup

  3. Eduardo says:

    It’s sad to see the USA squad struggle to find good bigs to play for their country, the problem is when the NBA caters to guards and wings, the american big man is dead. I remember a time when the leagues rules were strong and pretty clear, now they’re calling weak calls, just because the defender is not man enough to hold his ground and flopps to the floor, Bigs can’t play their game. After a while the power forward and center positions become unappealing when all the guards and wings get all the calls and none of the fouls. We need to start returning to the old ways like in the 80’s and early 90’s. If you look at the old dream team, they didn’t have the best post players of that time, they actually had the most versitile. We need to change the rules back or we will lose our skilled bigs for ever.

  4. pop says:

    too much expectation for spain..remember spain never beat usa in international games..before spain go against usa..they should first beat the darkhorse of pool B.. brazil and russia…remember russia beat spain in euroleague …

  5. Candian says:

    Imagine spain with rubio? More like imagine the US with dwight howard dwayne wade and derrick rose. I still think it will be a close game though that could go either way.

    From a canadian

  6. C’mon sekou lebron flops more than ginobili, how can a 200 pound shooting guard send a 280 pound monter to the floor like that, that was the best acting job since tom hanks in saving private ryan

  7. SPAINREALDREAMTEAM says:

    How will Americans stop Pau Gasol and Marc Gasol? They could not stop Luis SCOLA! ROFL!!! How much BETTER are Pau Gasol and Marc Gasol than SCOLA?

    Do not say USA will apply pressure on Spain guards cause Spain guards have experience. USA guards could not stop BRazil guards and SPAIN HAS BETTER GUARDPLAY THAN BRAZIL! ROFL!!!!

    TEAM USA is NOT THE DREAM TEAM. TEAM USA IS TEAM OVERRATED! SPAIN IS REAL DREAM TEAM! IMagine if Spain has Rick Rubio???? This team beats USA by 40 points instead of 25.

    TEAM USA and arrogant american fans. HOPE YOU READY TO ALL LOSE!!!!

    SPAIN ARE BASKETBALLL CHAMPIONS OF 2012!!!!!

    • BasketballFan says:

      You gotta be a Spanish person, so selfish, i’m laughing at your comment, saying Marc and Pau are better than Scola in the post? They may be bigger, but Scola is so much better attacking in the post. USA will beat you so nasty, you won’t be winning the gold medal, not this olympics.

    • spain real dream team?Is that a joke or what?Gasol is gasoft,calderon is a dinossaur,fernandez can´t play defense,navarro is not what he used to be!Spain a team of has beens!LOSERS!USA will beat spain again and capture the gold!

  8. Celtic fan says:

    FIBA RANK: TOP 3
    USA
    SPAIN
    ARGENTINA

  9. Well done…again. Sekou I hope you keep writing more blogs like this one. Thank you for the info Sekou.

  10. Will says:

    LOL at anyone who thinks the U.S. team will have an easier time at the Olympics.

    Do you really think that because these are just exhibition games the players are not taking it seriously? Can you imagine Coach K. telling the players “alright guys, let’s play hard, play tough, get that win, but you don’t need to go all out ’cause this is just a friendly match. Save it for the Olympics”? No way!

    If anything, he’s probably telling them to go out and make an example of their “friendly” opponents. But guess what? That ain’t happening, and not because the U.S. team isn’t trying. It’s simply because the level of competition is much tougher today. Probably tougher than they expected…

    This team will truly have to EARN the gold medal, and I don’t think they can do it without big guys like Howard, Bosh and Griffin.

  11. john says:

    It’s funny when people say Spain will destroy the US. I remember a close game during exhibition in the Worlds. What happened Spain? Didn’t even medal , so please be quiet until the Gold medal game.

  12. Emir says:

    In a series I wouldn’t give anyone a chance against the USA team, but in one game knockout situation it’s possible! Gap is getting smaller and smaller. Brasil & Argentina games, not comfortable!!

    Nonetheless USA has by far the best basketball program in the world so they will remain the most constant NT!

  13. Travis says:

    Whoa! This Olympics is going to be very interesting USA only beat Argentina by 6 call it an exhibition all you want if the U.S wasn’t trying hard nether was Argentina I can’t wait to see the Spain game.

  14. ???? says:

    US 2012 is a dreamteam if no one is injured!
    PG.cp3,williams,rose
    SG.kobe,wade
    SF.lebron,durant
    PF.griffin,love,bosh
    C.howard,chandler i think bynum is better than chandler

  15. ???? says:

    US 2012 is a dreamteam if no one is injure!
    PG.cp3,williams,rose
    SG.kobe,wade
    SF.lebron,durant
    PF.griffin,love,bosh
    C.howard,chandler i think bynum is better than chandler

  16. Law064 says:

    Well not a pretty win but it was a win. USA shot so many 3’s and were not making them, good game from Argentina making the US work for it. Bottom line is yes this is just exhibition games similar to pre season games but they will provide some experience for the real games. USA will win gold because they have to much to lose. In my Homer Simpson voice USA USA USA!!!! Go Team USA not the dreamteam but your the best competing in London!!!!!!

  17. Celtic Fan says:

    There is no way that the dream team would allow a comeback like that.

  18. Dre' says:

    Calm down guys this is just exhibition games. Once the real olympics start then we can start judging.

  19. 2012 win onli by just 6 points,,,,, den their dreaming of going head to head with d 92 dreamteam ?????? c’mon… dey can’t even dominate dis argentinian team,…. pls stop compairing d 2 team :)

  20. Craig says:

    I feel that Spain is the real dream team in 2012.
    I predicted they can beat the USA by 10 points

  21. jcrazy says:

    Ghana will win gold no doubt if you don’t think that you don’t know basketball.
    GHANA GHANA GHANA FOR GOLD

  22. Bob says:

    The final will be USA – Spain. I won’t be so sure that USA can beat Spain. Spain have more affinity, they won the last 2 european competition, lot of players play in NBA at the highest level and with Gasol’s brothers and Ibaka will dominate the inside court. I really don’t get Kobe, his few words spout around 1 week ago created a turomoil around the team that it’s dragging them down. Even at 34 he still can control his huge ego, what a pity.

  23. Mr. Basketball says:

    Look how Luis Scola destroy team usa in the post. Gasol brothers are 5 times better and bigger than small Scola. Team USA will be destroyed by ESPANA. Everybody will come back here to make excuses.

    • BasketballFan says:

      Gasol brothers could be bigger than Scola, but Scola is much better than Marc in the post, and Pau isn’t better than Scola playing with post moves, he maybe a better rebounder but definitely not a better player in the post, none of them.

  24. Mr. Basketball says:

    Team USA is full of weaknesses. Espana will destroy them.

  25. Ballers says:

    If people not satisfied with their performance you are wrong,basketball is a game team play,heart and determination. Exhibition is a fair play they will not put all their energy it’s just a pride for each country, If they look bad on Brazil and Argentina.they will Erase Gasol Brother’s and Ibaka on front of the homecrowd..It will be a close game but USA will win all including Olympics…

  26. Carlo says:

    You’ve said it… It’s just an exhibition game… It’s just a fun game for some… The real competition is in the olympics… Let’s wait for it… Before you say something… Okay???

  27. Mr. Basketball says:

    HAHA!

    This is funny!

    Team USA is NOT THE DREAM TEAM. You barely beat Argentina. You barely beat Brazil. Espana is better than these 2 teams put together.

    ESPANA 2012 OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALISTS IN BASKETBALL!!!

  28. rich says:

    SEKOU my man, you have been working all weekend! TAKE A BREAK. Everyone else is on their boat this weekend. Are they paying you double time for this? You are the best they have, hope the know that.

  29. International says:

    Actually it is no way, that other team than US can capture gold. USA team is just too strong. You know it is only exhibition games and they do not play all the time 100% focused. Of course other teams are able to compete, but americans still win games and that’s what is the most important. I don’t doubt that they will beat Spain, cause Spanish team do not play very well, do not dominate, is not as quick and athletic, they play well only in short periods of time. And Gasols are not very good players, Ibaka plays badly in offence. I think that Spanish team is overrated. It is probably the strongest team after USA, but one game which was extremely successful to them in the finals of Olympiad in 2008 and they still does not make them a team that is almost as strong as U.S. Spaniards lack good defence, because you can’t outscore americans without good defence.

  30. AirMagicMamba says:

    You people sayin they couldn’t beat the Dream Team based off of these games realize these are just exhibition games right and how many of the players on the opposing teams are Nba players compared to when the Dream Team played

  31. JustAFan says:

    Anybody else think that the 2012 team needs to worry about things like, oh say, winning and playing their game as opposed to being The Dream Team? I’ve never seen so many grown men so obviously trying to emulate and please another group of grown men as much as we’re seeing right now. The Dream Team had focus, this current group has ego. They don’t seem to care about winning as much as they care about proving they could play alongside the 92 guys. But in their lack of focus they’re letting teams hang around and get close which is a potential for disaster.

    I don’t want to hear any more Dream Team talk until this team can prove it can maintain focus for longer than a few quarters. And I’m sorry but as an American I find it sadly funny that our guys are wearing throwbacks in an attempt to say “yeah, we’re that good” and then only win by 6. This team is far more concerned with style and hero ball over substance.

    The competition from the other teams is better than it was back then and if the US team can’t stop thinking about a team from 20 years ago the opponents in the here and now are more than capable of serving them a bit of humble pie. Play hard and win. When it’s all over then you can compare teams. Comparing them now is obviously a disastrous distraction these over inflated egos are so very poorly equipped to handle.

  32. Towers says:

    disgusting review!!! it seems that you didnt see how refs helped the US! It isnt good for you, as in the olympics you wont have this kind of favours and things will get tougher

  33. m.g.pereira rivera says:

    and to add to insult you tried to emulate by using a throuback uniform,you’re kidding me,the vest dosen’t make the knight boys.the legacy make the history,deal with that…

  34. tennesseepreacher1 says:

    Team USA reverted back to its superstar, “I’ll save the day” mindset. Nothing inside, one of the best three-point shooters on the team, Kevin Love, had no touches in offensive sets. Love and Chandler were often trying to block out three Argentine players for rebounds. Anthony displayed his matador defense. I don’t understand Coach K’s rotation unless he’s trying to placate the egos of his “superstars.”

  35. m.g.pereira rivera says:

    “As i told before,the quest in this exibition tour is SPAIN ,then they could even think about talk of beating THE REAL DREAM TEAM, by only 6 against the GAUCHOS(ARGENTINAN) ??????” kb24 u talk 2 fast buddy,and to make it CLEAR ,im a LOS ANGELES LAKERS fan SINCE Ervin “Magic” Johnson.

  36. Bruno says:

    Guys, never underestimate the heart of a champion, Argentina is a great team…

  37. Juan says:

    Two quarters to each one. In the first the score made the difference the for USA team game. This game was an alert for USATeam.

  38. maxi says:

    Leiva definitely cant play in this team

  39. Will says:

    After watching the three exhibition games the U.S. has played thus far, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that this team is not gonna win the gold medal at the Olympics.

    They did not look sharp against Brazil, they looked bad against Argentina, and I think they will look even worse against Spain on Tuesday.

    The rest of the world has been watching these games, and now everybody thinks that this team is beatable. The invincibility aura this U.S. team had is all but gone.

    At least now people who were comparing this team to the ’92 Dream Team realize how that silly comparison really is.

  40. valanciunas says:

    lietuva olimpic winner

  41. Spanishman says:

    The final was 86-81, not 86-80.
    Un punto es un punto…

  42. Chuful29 says:

    THis should be the medal game already!!

  43. When the dream team meets australia they will be well match even without bogut we still have some good players over here that you don’t know about. p.s GO ROCKETS

  44. luis says:

    I have to eat my words. argentina showed a lot of heart and really impressed me with their teamwork. keep it up

  45. srch4trth says:

    Team USA has already played from behind. They were down 10 to Brazil and we all know the outcome of that game.

  46. amigo says:

    i think spain can beat usa in the finals

  47. Jon says:

    Facundo Campaso gave how play baket in Kevin’s face!!

  48. Kobe says:

    Go USA will be supporting them in the Olympics all the way they will crush argentina all of Argentinas best players play in the us then act like they play in another country crush those dwarfs

  49. #1 Jazz Fan says:

    JAZZ KICK BUTT!
    GET A GOOD 3 POINT SHOOTER, AND YOULL GET YOUR FIRST TITLE!!!! #JAZZNATION #KOBEHATER

  50. tj says:

    Somebody please tell that announcer how to say Kobe instead of Colby. How hard is it to say??

  51. Sambo says:

    Is there ANY way to watch this live without NBA TV or at least the box score live?

  52. AJ says:

    Man our (USA) guys have looked so disjointed in all of the exhibitions, but it’s incredible, they’re so skilled the ball just drops. It’s pretty amazing. Lebron has been dead silent, yet they’re still up 12 GO USA!!!

  53. Maxout34 says:

    USA can dominate this team.

  54. dealuser says:

    Dream team will win by 40 :)

  55. Tim says:

    USA comes out focused and ready to play and they can dominate ALL teams!

  56. no team could match the quickness and the athleticism of team usa

  57. chris says:

    the game will be on tonight at midnight

  58. jcrazy says:

    the chickens in the barn go crazy for spinach

  59. ujee says:

    here comes USA!!

  60. bt says:

    how about philippine team..hehe..just kidding….Go US…LBJ Rules….

  61. I.M. Ziggy says:

    The key word to this game is: Exhibition.Nuff said GO USA !!!!!

  62. chris ramos says:

    shuhada argentina!!!!!!

  63. caid says:

    on my tv i went to nba tv and it doesnt say that its playing at all until 9pm tonight? whats the problem

  64. J says:

    USA # 1

  65. rednation says:

    USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA

  66. Louie says:

    I love to see the Argentinian team play. They have been together so long and you can see it on the floor. That is a big part of what makes them so good. Unfortunately, the USA team is too loaded….. Good luck fellas, and GO USA!!!

  67. adinan says:

    i like U.S. Men’s Senior National team

  68. luis says:

    Argentina’s has some excellent players, but they cannot match against the US team this year. Spain beat them by 20 points, they don’t have a chance

  69. maxi says:

    QUE NO JUEGUE LEIVAAAAA!!! ^^

  70. Sven says:

    Only Spain, Russia and Argentina can cause any problems for team USA. Really looking forward to the game!

  71. HeatH8r says:

    Someone beating the United States. What a joke. The Americans will destroy Argentina.

  72. two says:

    Argentina may be our toughest opponent of the ones we have faced so far.

  73. agustin says:

    Vamos Argentina !

  74. Fede says:

    Go Argentina!!!!Manu is our pride!!!! Love the NBA and Kevin Durant I think is gonna be the next jordan , but my country is above everything….