When Blake Griffin tore the meniscus in his left knee, Team USA lost a valuable big man on a team that was already thin in the frontcourt. To replace Griffin, New Orleans Hornets F/C Anthony Davis was added to Team USA's roster. Despite only playing in the fourth quarter and having little practice time with his teammates, Davis had an outstanding game against the Dominican Republic.
Team USA vs. Dominican Republic
I've been following the Olympic qualifying for Men's Basketball very closely and I had seen the Dominican Republic's loss against Nigeria. The most interesting thing about the Dominican Republic is that they are coached by John Calipari, who coached Anthony Davis at Kentucky.
It didn't take long to realize that Anthony Davis wouldn't be getting much playing time for Team USA against the Dominican Republic. To me, Team USA looked like it was having trouble establishing an offensive rhythm. Perhaps it was by design but Team USA was settling for a lot of three-point shots.
The Dominican Republic stayed in the game longer than I thought they would. But that changed in a hurry when Kevin Durant got going. It was almost scary how easily he was draining outside shots. The shorter three-point line in the Olympics will be a nightmare for Team USA's opponents.
By the fourth quarter, the outcome had long been decided and Anthony Davis finally got in the game. I was not surprised that Davis was not the focal point of Team USA's offense. After all, he's barely practiced with his teammates. But Anthony Davis finally got going on a steal when he was fouled as he tried to score.
The highlight of the game for Anthony Davis was when he was fouled on a made three-point shot. This was not part of his repertoire at Kentucky but as a Hornets' fan it was exciting seeing Davis make that shot. It was priceless when Anthony Davis looked over at John Calipari as if to say, "You should have let me shoot three-pointers last year!"
Considering he only played in the fourth quarter, Anthony Davis' nine points were very impressive. I didn't think Davis would make much of an impact on Team USA considering his youth and inexperience but after his performance against the Dominican Republic, he could play a larger role in London than I thought.
Patrick Michael was born in New Orleans and currently resides in the Big Easy. A loyal New Orleans NBA fan, Patrick was a diehard New Orleans Jazz fan and now cheers for the Hornets. Patrick was in attendance the night the Hornets were one win away from the Western Conference Finals. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
Marc J. Spears, "Anthony Davis ready to fill Blake Griffin's role for Team USA in Olympics," yahoo.com
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