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Team USA Destroys Angola, Sets Tone for Rest of Tournament

A lot of people were concerned that this version of Team USA didn’t have the same heart, talent or skill as the 2008 group that won a gold medal at the Olympics. A 121-66 dismantling of Angola is a good first step in quieting those doubts.

In what was possibly the Americans’ best showcase of their offensive firepower of the tournament thus far, the team hit 53 percent of its shots and downed 18 of 38 3-pointers. Kevin Durant and Chauncey Billups did a lot of the heavy lifting for the starters, scoring 17 and 19 points, respectively. Rudy Gay and Eric Gordon also did their part, chipping in 17 points apiece.

Angola came out with a predictable defensive game plan: force the U.S. squad to play against the zone. Unfortunately for them, their zone was weak, at best. As a result, the Americans had their pick of pretty much any shot they wanted, and Derrick Rose, Billups and Gordon made them pay. Billups ending up 5-for-7 from long range, while Rose and Gordon went 3-for-4 and 5-for-6, respectively.

Among the most impressive aspects of the game for Team USA besides their shooting was...

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