The Unites States is into the 2010 FIBA World Championships quarterfinals after beating Angola on Monday. The 2010 FIBA World Championships have been kind to Team USA when it comes to the brackets. They will next play the winner of the Russia vs. New Zealand game. It is possible that they will have to play Argentina in the semifinals, and Argentina is currently the No. 1-ranked team in the world when it comes to professional basketball. It would really only be fitting if the two countries met up to decide which one will be playing in the Gold Medal Game on Sunday, Sept. 12.
The United States beat Angola with a balanced attack on the court, and the final score was 121-66 in favor of Team USA. The United States jumped out to a 33-13 lead at the end of the first quarter, and finished the game strong with a fourth quarter that saw them out-score Angola 30-10 to put them away for good. An estimated 15,000 basketball fans saw the game take place, and the United States won its sixth consecutive game of the tournament. This places them just three wins away from claiming their first FIBA World Championships Gold Medal in quite some time. Currently Spain is the defending champion.
Chauncey Billups led Team USA with 19 points in 19 minutes, including five three-pointers. Kevin Durant, Eric Gordon, and Rudy Gay all hit for 17 points, showing that the starters and the bench are ready to come up big later on down the line. The balanced attack included almost equal playing time down the roster, with Derrick Rose and Eric Gordon leading the team with just 21 minutes played, and everyone getting at least 13 minutes on the court. Team USA out-rebounded Angola 48-23 (21-8 on the offensive glass) and did it all with spectacular ball control that led to 30 assists and only five turnovers.
Angola was the No. 40-ranked team in the world coming into this tournament, so they shouldn’t be confused with one of the basketball powers from around the world. As such, we have to take the victory by Team USA with a grain of salt on Monday. The United States played their best team game of the tournament, though, and it seems that their practices following the end of group play have really helped this team bring it together. The next game for Team USA is now Thursday, Sept. 9. Hopefully they can continue playing the team basketball that Team USA played at the 2008 Summer Olympics, which ended in Gold.