The U.S. Men’s basketball team began the defense of its Olympic Gold with a thorough domination of China, winning its opening game 119-62. The team is now focused on doing the same to its next opponents Venezuela. The game will take place on Monday, August 8, and is scheduled to begin at 5 PM. ET.
On Saturday, Kevin Durant picked up where he left off in 2012, scoring a team high 25 points against China. Durant scored 30 points in the Gold Medal game at the 2012 Olympics, helping the U.S. hold off Spain for their second consecutive Gold medal win at the Olympics.
Carmelo Anthony, who is the first U.S. men’s basketball player to participate in four Olympics, is trying to become the first three-time Gold medalist in men’s basketball history. Anthony finished the game with 9 points, and after the game, he told reporter that the team wanted to make a statement with their opening game.
“We just wanted to send a statement to the rest of the world,” Anthony said. “Come out this first game and let everybody know that we’re focused, we’re locked in and we’re about business on this trip.”
DeMarcus Cousins scored 17 points for the United States, and Paul George chipped in 15 in a game where the outcome was never in question.
Despite not having LeBron James, Steph Curry, and Chris Paul on the team, head coach Mike Krzyzewski said the team has bonded as much as any of the other teams he has led to the Olympics.
“Just because they aren’t here today, we’ve got another batch of guys that’s walking around on the streets saying they want to win a gold medal and we all have something in common,” Durant said. “It’s cool to have a fraternity of guys who have won a gold medal. It’s rare.”
Venezuela is coming off a 24 point loss to Serbia, and need a win to keep their hopes of advancing past the group stages alive. However, they likely aren’t going to fare much better against the United States.
During warmups for the Olympics, the United States and Venezuela played an exhibition game which the Americans won 80-45. It was the lowest offensive output the United States had during the exhibition season, but it had more to do with the Americans missing shots they usually make than Venezuela’s defense playing well.
Despite their offensive struggles, the U.S was still able to win by 35 points, so expect them to play much better and run Venezuela off the court.
USA vs Venezuela Odds
The United States are in cruise control right now because they won’t face any real competition until the knockout rounds. Expect to see them blow Venezuela out and win by more than 50 points.
Play: Team USA -49.5 @ Bovada.lv