LeBron and the USA roar back from early deficit to finish Brazil.
Unlike the 1st exhibition game, the US got off to a cold start and was down 27-17 to Brazil at the end of the 1st quarter. Brazil’s lead wouldn’t last long however. Led by LeBron, the USA team turned it up and outscored their opponent 20-5. The dominant quarter was highlighted by a 12-0 run to build a 37-32 lead at halftime. James energy seemed contagious to the rest of the team as they wrestled control of the game and never looked back. This was an early test for the 2012 Olympic squad and it was much need, as the games will only get tougher as London approaches. Brazil exposed two of the US squad’s weakness in early stages of the game. Their lack of size was exploited early by fellow NBA players Nene, Anderson Varejao, and Tiago Splitter. One surprise for Brazil was point guard Marcelo Huertas, his solid ball-handling and vision allowed him to exploit team USA’s pressure defense (13 assists). Coach K’s strategy seems to call for constant defensive pressure while taking advantage of the team’s elite athleticism in an effort to conceal their lack of size. People should not be alarmed about the team’s early struggles against Brazil. The shots they missed early are one’s they normally make. The defensive philosophy applied by the coaching staff takes time to adjust to and I’m sure it will be implemented fully by the time the gold medal games begin. At the end of the day, the USA is simply stronger, faster, and more talented than any other team. Though they are not flawless, I would be shocked if this team received anything less than gold at the upcoming 2012 London Olympics.