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U.S.A.-Argentina: First-Half Impressions

Fourth-Place Medal

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In a game full of runs, the U.S. basketball team leads Argentina 49-40 at halftime. Carmelo Anthony has 13 points to lead Team U.S.A. while Luis Scola has 12 to lead the Argentinians. The Americans went an 18-0 run midway through the first quarter and when Manu Ginobili left the game because of a foot injury, it looked like this one would be over quickly.

Argentina responded in the second quarter though, going on an 18-5 run of their own, to make the game close once again. The U.S. squad got very complacent after Ginobili's injury, and seemed surprised that the Argentinian players hadn't given up. Team U.S.A. has stopped playing its game. In the first quarter, the U.S. was running up and down the floor and forcing turnovers. In the second quarter, Argentina controlled the pace, and the Americans have stopped attacking the basket. As Doug Collins pointed out on the NBC broadcast, the U.S. team has taken 33 shots, and 20 of them have been three-pointers.

Team U.S.A. has come out during the second half of every game in this tournament on fire, but it will be interesting to see how they respond in a pressure-packed situation; they have yet to play a game that has come down to the wire. The Americans should look to Dwight Howard early on in the second half to get them back on track in the post.

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