USA Basketball passed its first test with flying colors on Friday night. The team had its first exhibition game during the lead-up to Rio 2016 against fourth-ranked Argentina, and the Americans were dominant, taking down their South American foes, 111-74.
While Argentina is an aging team led by NBA veterans Manu Ginobili and Luis Scola, along with ex-NBAer Andres Nocioni, it was still an impressive performance by the USA. The big stars on the night were Kevin Durant and Paul George, as the two high-scoring wings went for 23 and 18 points, respectively. The other Americans in double-digits were Carmelo Anthony, who dropped 17 on the Argentines, and DeMarcus Cousins, who went for 14 points and 15 rebounds.
The game gave us a look into the starting five that we’ll probably see in Rio: Kyrie Irving and Klay Thompson in the backcourt, Durant and Anthony on the wings, and Boogie down low. The guards are a pair of dudes who started and performed well in the 2016 Finals, Durant is one of the three best players on earth, Anthony brings a ton of Olympic experience, and Cousins is the best pure center on the United States’ roster.
Next up for the two-time defending Olympic gold medalists is an exhibition against China on July 24. The 14th-ranked team in the world according to FIBA, China has two guys who were selected in the 2016 NBA Draft (Wang Zhelin and Zhou Qi), along with former NBAer Yi Jianlian.