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Team USA are your Basketball World Champions; Beat Turkey 81-64

September 12, 2010 – Dr. Dime

Kevin Durant World Champion 2010We’ve all heard that ‘Defense Wins Championships’ a million times over. Well today the Americans proved once again the validity of that statement by locking down Turkey in the FIBA World Championship Finals. Team USA for the first time since 1994 are your World Champions!

Team USA came out slow offensively, as Turkey forced them to the perimeter with intermittent zone defenses. Kevin Durant however was the one US player that was immune to this defensive strategy as he connected on 5 for 9 shots from long range in the first half. Even though his scoring pace was slowed slightly in the second half, he did still finish with a game high 28 points. The biggest of which were two huge threes to start the 3rd quarter that helped Team USA break the game open for good.

Where would Team USA have been in this tournament without Durant? The man is a scoring machine. His offensive abilities are like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Carmelo Anthony all wrapped up into one. Yeah I just said it….and those abilities were recognized by FIBA today who honored Durant with the tournament MVP award to go along with his gold medal.

But it was still a team game, and the United States has won its first world championship since 1994, beating Turkey 81-64.

“Durant scored 28 points Sunday, setting a record along the way for most in the tournament by a U.S. player. He left the court with 42 seconds left and shared a long hug with coach Mike Krzyzewski, who finally won the world title after his previous two attempts ended with bronze medals.

Lamar Odom added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Americans, who won gold in the worlds for only the fourth time, doing so with a team that was no lock after coming to Turkey without the superstars from its Olympic gold medal team.

But Durant was good enough to win without them, qualifying the U.S. for the 2012 Olympics.

With Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Co. sitting home, this group was called a ”B-Team,” which the players were aware of and used as motivation.

And they came through where many of their bigger-name predecessors couldn’t four years ago in Japan in the world championship, beginning to quiet a raucous crowd midway through the second quarter with a superb defensive effort.” {via Associated Press}

At the beginning of this tournament, all the talk was about how Team USA didn’t bring the big guns. Specifically there was a lot of talk in Turkey about the fact that Kobe Bryant didn’t come. The city was littered with Bryant posters and souvenirs. But after all is said and done, my only comment is, “THEY DID BRING THEIR BIG GUNS.”

Kevin Durant is coming of age, and will be entering the early part of his prime over the next couple of years. Forget the fact he is the reigning NBA scoring champ and almost single handedly took down the champion LA Lakers this year in the first round of the playoffs, Durant proved to the world in this tournament he is one of the best players in the game, with NBA or International styles of play.

The NBA better look out this coming season, because Durant is no longer just a scorer, he’s also a leader. The Thunder will be a tough look for any team this year.

But kudos to Team USA, the players, the coaches, the management. They accomplished what no other Team USA squad has done in well over a decade. Win the World Championships!

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