By Eduardo Maisonet, III / @edthesportsfan
For FOX Deportes
Its funny how you can win by 47 points and still have people say that you “struggled” in a basketball game. Such is like for Team USA, as the 54-point favorites over Tunisia missed the mark by 7 on Tuesday in their 110-63 victory. Team USA was ahead with a shocking 46-33 advantage before the floodgates opened it up in the second half. The second unit turned it on with a 21-3 run and the nail was officially in the coffin.
So much so that the Tunisian players plotted on getting their shoes autographed by Kobe Bryant, and were successful.
Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love led the Americans with 16 points apiece, and the team will have an impromptu day of rest before taking on Nigeria on Thursday. Here are some quotes from the players and coaches involved in Tuesday’s Pool A contest at the 2012 Olympics in London.
”You brought sunshine to my day.”
— Mike Krzyzewski’s response after a polish reporter stated his name in a question that only a Polish native could.
”We knew that they were going to come out and play hard. We missed some shots early on and we gave up some easy baskets, but we came back and started fighting a little harder.”
— Kevin Durant on Tunisia’s effort in the first half and Team USA led 46-33 at the half.
“I was just having a ball.”
— Anthony Davis response after being asked about putting home two highlight-reel alley-oops, courtesy of Chris Paul and Kevin Durant.
“And he doesn’t even really know how to play the game yet. Once he figures out that, he definitely can be a scary player.”
— Deron Williams on the emergence of Anthony Davis and how good he possibly could be.
”That was a great lift, man. That’s the best thing about this team, there’s no drop off. We’ve got All-Stars off the bench. Those guys did great job for us.”
— Kevin Durant speaking on Team USA’s second unit of Carmelo Anthony, Deron Williams, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love and Andre Iguodala who helped Team USA open up a huge lead versus Tunisia with a 21-3 run and a 67-36 lead in the third quarter.
”They could have absolutely have taken us to the cleaners but Coach K’s discipline made sure that didn’t happen.”
— Tunisia head coach Adel Tlatli, speaking through an interpreter, after his team lost by 47 points and falling to 0-2 in pool play.
”This isn’t a sprint, it’s a longer race and there’s a lot of things that have to be done before the medal round. I know people go quarter by quarter, minute by minute, that’s not the way you develop a team. ‘What did we get accomplished tonight? We won by almost 50 points against a team that really wanted to play hard against us.”
— Coach K responding to the slow start of Team USA. Krzyzewski decided to cancel Wednesday’s practice 11 hours before Tuesday’s opening tip.
”We might go to some events tomorrow. We’ve been going non-stop and put a lot of work in.”
— Carmelo Anthony on his prospects for Wednesday’s day off.
”It’s a dream for us to see these kinds of players, but now we play with them.”
— Makram Ben Romdhane’s reflection on playing against the vaunted Team USA squad. Ben Romdhane finished with 22 points and a nice coast-to-coast highlight dunk.