Monday, August 18, 2008

Howard dominates inside as U.S. beats Germany by 49

Team USA had it going on both ends of the floor against Germany today as the Americans routed Dirk and the Germans, 106-57.

The starters set the tone for Team USA in the first period, outscoring Germany, 31-12.  Things never got better for Deutschland, which could only manage 17 in the second and third quarters, and just 11 in the final period.

I'd seen Germany play in Athens last month, where they lost to Croatia in the FIBA qualifying tourney.  At the time, I thought the German talent-level was about equal to that of a good NCAA D-I team.  Seeing them today, that assessment stands as this Team USA group would beat most good U.S. college teams by 50.

Team USA defended well without fouling as Germany only got to the FT line nine times (Dirk had five of those).  In fact, Dwight Howard (pictured above against Dirk) had as many FTA as the entire German team. Howard dominated inside, finishing with dunks and power moves.

LA Clipper center Chris Kaman was a non-factor coming off the bench for the Germans, shooting 3-9 from the field and grabbing four rebounds.
The outside shooing of Kobe and LeBron, who were 7-10 from 3-point range, really opened things up inside for Howard.

Michael Redd had an opportunity against Germany, but he hit just one of nine shots from the field, missing all four of his 3-pointers in 13 minutes.

Tayshaun Prince logged a team-high 21 minutes, grabbing six rebounds and blocking a shot.

Off the bench, Deron Williams and Chris Paul combined for 19 points, eight assists, four steals, and only one TO.