USA Meets Spain – Live Blog

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – The U.S. Men’s Senior National Team plays its final Olympic tune-up on Tuesday. And though both Brazil and Argentina provided the Americans with tough tests, Tuesday’s game against Spain at the Palau Sant Jordi arena in Barcelona is easily the most-anticipated of the U.S. Team’s five exhibitions.

Spain is the consensus favorite to meet the U.S. in the gold medal game on Aug. 12. So, even though there’s a lot of basketball to be played between now and then, the hosts may not want to show their hand on Tuesday.

“It’s an exhibition game. I think both teams are going to try to [use] different lineups, going to try maybe different stuff, but at the end of the day you know you’re not going to show a lot of things to the other team,” Jose Calderon said Monday. “You’re not going to have a medal if you win or if you lost tomorrow.”

Either way, Spain has the size – with a frontline of Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka – that can give the U.S. trouble inside. Thus far, U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski has played small quite a bit, but that hasn’t really worked.

Through their first four exhibition games, the Americans have been outscored 116-115 in 58 minutes without any bigs (Tyson Chandler, Kevin Love or Anthony Davis) on the floor. Meanwhile, in 58 minutes with Chandler in the game, they’ve outscored their opponents 174-91. That’s like winning a 40-minute game by 57 points.

(We’ll have more lineup and plus-minus data from the U.S. exhibitions here in the Hang Time blog on Wednesday.)

So it will be interesting to see how much playing time that Chandler and Love get against Spain. Love hasn’t exactly played well, but size is size. Hey, maybe Davis needs to see a few minutes in this one.

The game tips off at 10:30 p.m. in Barcelona, and can be seen live at 4:30 p.m. ET on ESPN 2. NBA TV will have a replay at 7 p.m. ET.

– FOURTH QUARTER –

– 6:29 p.m. The U.S. continued to struggle against the zone until James Harden hit a pair of threes to close the scoring. Final score: USA 100, Spain 78

A few more thoughts…

The U.S. went zone themselves for a handful of possessions down the stretch. That’s the second time they’ve done that with Anthony Davis on the floor.

Carmelo Anthony led the way offensively, scoring 27 points on 10-for-15 from the field, including 5-for-8 from 3-point range. LeBron James also shot 10-for-15, finishing with 25 points and seven assists.

Pau Gasol led Spain with 19 points, while Serge Ibaka finished with 16, all in the first half.

Kobe Bryant has been pretty inconsistent offensively, but he absolutely dogged Juan Carlos Navarro on the other end of the floor. The U.S. pressure defense, led by Bryant and Russell Westbrook, was really the difference.

Deron Williams was the point guard for most of those zone offense possessions. He needs to get into the paint and make something happen.

– 6:22 p.m. Spain actually goes back to its stars in the fourth quarter, but the game is basically out of reach, as the U.S. scores 20 points on a 10-possession stretch.

– 6:18 p.m. LeBron makes it a 21-point game with a pair of pull-up threes on isolations against Gasol.

– 6:14 p.m. Tyson Chandler fouls out with 8:08 left, but it doesn’t matter much, as the U.S. builds a 17-point lead. We haven’t seen much of Spain’s best players in the second half. And Marc Gasol has not played at all, dealing with an injured shoulder.

– THIRD QUARTER –

– 6:05 p.m. Melo’s big night continues, as he takes advantage of the FIBA rules and tips in a James Harden free throw before it leaves the cylinder. But the U.S. gets just two scores on its final nine possessions of the third quarter, struggling against the zone. Spain gets within 12, but it’s a 14-point game heading into the fourth.

– 5:59 p.m. Lots of zone from Spain in the second half of this third period. Russell Westbrook beat it a couple of times with pull-up jumpers at the elbow, and then gets a dunk off a steal. But the U.S. scores just once on their next five possessions against a zone, and that’s a Melo put-back.

– 5:47 p.m. More turnovers for Spain, preventing them from taking further advantage of the size mismatches. And with Durant draining a pair of threes, the U.S. scores 12 points on their first six possessions of the half and builds a 15-point lead.

– 5:40 p.m. With Chandler in foul trouble, the U.S. starts the half playing small. Pau Gasol takes advantage with an easy post-up turnaround over LeBron.

– SECOND QUARTER –

– 5:22 p.m. Felipe Reyes had a pretty bad half, but he closes the scoring with a pair of free throws, making it a 48-40 game at the break.

The highlight of the half was a double-clutch dunk by Kobe Bryant, on a post-up and baseline spin move.

Serge Ibaka has played well offensively, but has three goaltending calls on the other end.

It’s been a pretty quick pace: 41 possessions each in the half.

– 5:19 p.m. The U.S. is starting to pour it on. Their pressure defense has forced Spain into 11 turnovers, and as usual, they’ve flourished on the break. They take a 13-point lead before Rudy Fernandez hits a three.

– 5:11 p.m. Melo is carrying the U.S. offense, with 18 points on 7-for-9 from the field. After a short CP3 pull-up and a LeBron transition bucket, the U.S. has a 37-32 lead.

– 5:04 p.m. Back-to-back threes from Melo and LeBron give the U.S. its first lead since the opening minute, 28-26.

– 5:01 p.m. Slow start to the period, as the teams combine for just four points on the first 10 possessions. Tyson Chandler picks up his third foul, defending Pau in the post, with 7:41 on the clock. Again, Anthony replaces him and the U.S. goes small.

– FIRST QUARTER –

– 4:55 p.m. After missing an ill-advised three, Deron Williams gets a big and-one on a drive. That sparks an 8-1 run to end the quarter, capped by a Westbrook drive past new Blazer Victor Claver, for the U.S. Spain leads 23-21 after one.

– 4:48 p.m. Serge Ibaka scores 10 straight points for Spain, eight of them off dimes from Jose Calderon. Then a Victor Sada baseline jumper makes it a 22-13 lead for the hosts. Spain is just carving up the U.S. defense.

– 4:43 p.m. The Melo/LeBron/Durant frontline hasn’t been very good offensively thus far, but Melo hits a pair of threes to keep the U.S. in it.

– 4:39 p.m. After Paul’s three, the U.S. goes seven possessions without a score. That stretch includes five turnovers. Meanwhile, Spain scores on three straight possessions to grab an early 10-3 lead. And then Chandler picks up his second foul. He’s replaced by Carmelo Anthony.

– 4:36 p.m. Paul and Pau Gasol trade threes to get the scoring started. Meanwhile, Chandler picks up his first foul early. That could be trouble, given the U.S. Team’s lack of success playing small.

– 4:30 p.m. Krzyzewski starts the same group that started Sunday’s win vs. Argentina: Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Tyson Chandler

***

John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. Send him an e-mail or follow him on twitter.

53 Comments

  1. jp says:

    its not fair to compare the 92 dreamteam to the 2012 usa squad. the competition to around the world is Alot better than it was in 92. the dreamteam would definitley win but they wouldnt beat spain by 50 it would be a good game the same for argentina and brazil.as far as a head to head match up the 2012 is banged up. if we had blake and howard i believe strongly that 2012 would beat the dreamteam i would even go as far as to say that they would beat them in a 7 game series!! no disrespect to jordan and the rest of the greats but im all about lebron and durant. and as far as spain go the have a good squad but we was playing with them. also i think kevin love should get more playing time he had like 10 boards in limite action against spain

  2. Shut YO MOUF says:

    I AM NOT IMPRESSED WITH THIS OLYMPICS TEAM AND FOR KOBE TO HAVE THE NERVE TO SAY THAT THIS TEAM COULD BEAT THE 92 DREAM TEAM? PLEASE! LET THE CHURCH SAY “NOT GON HAPPEN”. KOBE, PLEASE HAVE SEVERAL SEATS.

    I CAN SEE THE TEAM WINNING THE GOLD BUT FROM WATCHING THE EXHIBITION GAMES, I AM NOT “WOWED”. THEY TOOK TO LONG TO GET HOT YESTERDAY VS SPAIN AND THEY BARELY WON BY 6 POINTS AGAINST ARGENTINA.

    NEXT!

  3. Buddy Love. says:

    Im pretty sure that US will get gold medal but they will struggle to achieve it.

  4. s27m says:

    Love that old school kobe Jam!!!! Nice to see he can still get up there!

  5. Law064 says:

    @Spaniard what are you talking about Hombre? Spain will not beat US in the gold game if Spain even make it that far. The US has Lebron Melo Kobe CP3 KD Russ Westbrook D.Will the list goes on. Do you seriously think that Spain or any team competing in London can beat this team? They are not the 92 dream team but they are really the next best thing. Homer Simpson voice USA USA USA. Just face it Spain is good but they are not better than this US team. Go USA we will bring the gold home.

  6. Vini says:

    Melo is a beast!!! He is the man

  7. Im The best player hope they draft me next year so i can help USA to win in Olympics theyre so lame without me they gonna lose to spain in the championship olympic match gonna fall under category of 2012 lame team vs 92 dream team.

  8. Spaniard says:

    ROFL!!!!

    You Americans are funny.

    Espana does not have Marc Gasol and they played their 2nd line against USA best and you thinks that TEAM USA will do the same thing.

    Espana will beat you in GOLD MEDAL GAME you see. IBAKA, MARC GASOL, PAU GASOL TOO STRONG FOR YOU INSIDE!!!

  9. ko0kie says:

    anyone knows where I can watch the olympic games of team usa online? seems like nba.tv won’t show those..

  10. nbafan says:

    @BOVVERED wow man your pathetic.. very laughable reading your comment. Are you that mad????Maybe someone should starting picking a new hobby or watch baseball or golf.. I dunno i just think its unfortuneate that we have people like you in this world. Why does it always have to be about race.. If you dont like it just dont watch it. PERIOD. GO USA! WE DONT SEE COLORS WE BLEED THE SAME. GO USA!

  11. Carolo says:

    US Team has the best players but i think that if US and Spanish team reach the final we won´t see a friendly game, hope Spain being better team, there will play Marc and Sergio with deeper roaster and i won´t expect awful free throws percentage from Spain as well as i don´t expect higher than 50 percentage of 3p from US, I don´t expect rapid transitions easily,in a hypotethical final the game will be drastically different, we will see the result.

  12. nbafan says:

    hey spaniard u like eating your words? cause it looked like we just took a s on the spain team today =) go lebron! go USA

  13. Kobe Bryant says:

    Hey, it’s Kobe. I know I’m not doing that well out there in the U.S. but I’ve found the time to look over here, and yes, Spain will be a tough team to beat in the future, and my team chemistry may going down with Pau, but I will do everything I can to work with these guys, and bring home U.S.A the gold.

  14. The FACT MAN says:

    I really hope team zimbabwe wins it all! The U.S has no chance against them.

  15. Not Bovvered says:

    USA – majority white nation, rely exclusively black men to fight for them on international stage. African Americans are the source of most things that are genuine and original about American culture – blues, jazz, Tap, R n B, hip hop culture, civil movement and related “civilizing” of american social and political life, And yet far from being revered as the ones that created unique American cultural manifestations and made it something more than cheaply repackaged European culture, they are still being discriminated in a subtle, yet even more vicious way. The American sport that other people (non-americans) also care about is basketball and its all about African-Americans. I admit, you guys, made a great strides towards tolerance and political and social equality, but the growing economic inequality is threatening the awsome progress in these areas that has been achieved.

  16. CantGetRight says:

    The FIFA officials are dirty, unfair, crooked, depraved and delusional… The mighty Tam USA kicked Spain’s butt real good in spite of the officials doing all they could do to change the outcome… Marc Gasol won’t make a difference in London either. GO TEAM USA

  17. JAy says:

    I would like to see Spain or Argentina play by NBA rules on an NBA court, then their only advantage over team USA will be gone and games will end with a minimum 40 point margin of victory for you know who. What I would really have liked to see is Howard and Bynum at center, a healthy D Wade and Bosh. Then you can talk about beating the Dream Team of ’92.

  18. DANYTEL says:

    spain win . spain win , ohhhh i was dreaming , chingao

  19. vergil313 says:

    usa won via blowout vs spain!!! spain can’t win even with the help of the referee.

  20. Tommie says:

    Was it me or was that some of the most “home court” officiating? I understand it was FIBA rule but call it both ways man

  21. OKC fan says:

    Boo

  22. SABRINA says:

    hope USA WINS!!

  23. Spaniard says:

    ROFL!!!!

    TEAM USA IS NOT A DREAM TEAM!

    ESPANA IS THE DREAM TEAM. SPAIN WILL WINS GOLD 2012!

  24. Ernest says:

    I dont know why everyone is so worried. This is not the 92 Dream Team but they have our scoring champion, Kobe, the MVP and the defensive player of the year. If we cant win with that then we are in real trouble.

  25. Alexies says:

    2 words, “exhibition game”

  26. Cuco says:

    I’m spaniard. We know USA has got the best team, so I want to see a very good match! No matter who wins.

  27. Spain has the defensive edge says:

    I think Spain may have a shot, USA should be worried. Size will be an issue, I say Spain by 1 point.

    I hope I’m right.

    I’m probably not, but I hope I am.

  28. nbafan says:

    i know in america its at 4:30

  29. nbafan says:

    Lu go online and check time zones may help ya bro

  30. Lindsey says:

    @ Lu it will be about 430 am HK time

  31. Repko says:

    Hope Spain will win. Just to show the US that the best NBA scorers aren’t enough. Curious to see Davis, hope he’ll play a lot to show him what he’ll be up against very soon.

  32. ESPANA CHAMPIONS!!! says:

    ESPANA WILL GET ITS REVENGE VS. TEAM USA.

    ESPANA BIGGER AND MORE EXPERIENCED. GASOL BROTHERS ARE TOO STRONG.

    WITNESS END OF TEAM USA BASKETBALL!

    ESPANA CHAMPIONS 2012!!!!

    • USA CHAMPIONS !!! says:

      @ESPANA CHAMPIONS!!!

      Cheer while you can because pretty soon the team USA will destroy Spain!!

      The starting lineup should be PG: Westbrook SG: Black Mamba (Kobe) SF: King James PF: The Unibrow (Anthony Davis) C: Tyson

      • Larkersforever says:

        I diagree completly it should be Chris Paul, Kobe, KD, Lebron, and Tyson Chandler. I wouls rather have Kevin Love to start over Davis anyday. He is a rebound machine and european bigs are all jump shooters and finess players anyways.

    • Jason says:

      I guess you forgot the U.S. has Lebron James. USA!!!

  33. Lu says:

    What time will the game start HK time? it’s 3:43 am right now

  34. USA will beat spain!

  35. Alisadunk says:

    starting 5 shoulde be Bron (PG), Kobe (SQ), Keving(SF), Davis(PF), Chandler(C), this is the best line up.

  36. rage says:

    there can only be one !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!team usa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lets do this…..

  37. Brian says:

    If the US is depending upon an unproven (from an NBA or international perspective) Davis to win when we’ve got the league’s reigning MVPs and scoring leaders on the team, we’re in serious trouble!

  38. Travis says:

    I can’t wait to see this game I think the U.S is undersized and they’ll need Davis to pull it out I hope I’m wrong!