Saturday, August 09, 2008

Russia easily beats Iran 71-49!

In the first game of Men's Olympic basketball, Russia beat Iran 71-49. Granted, this was not the most star studded game in the world (Andrey Kirilenko was the biggest star), it still had its moments.

Russia was dominant in the first half (they lead 38-22), but they seemed to lose their edge in the third. Each team was limited offensively, but the Russian offense was very weak in the third. Iran may have only had five in the first, but I expect more out of Russia. The best part about Russia's play today was their defense (in the first half). They made Iran take tough shots deep in the shot clock, forced shot clock violations and did their best to convert 22 Iranian turnovers into points.

A new addition to the Russian offensive attack is the alley oop. AK7 (Andrey Kilrilenko, using his Olympics number) will run off a couple of back screens and look for a ball to throw down. It wasn't terribly successful, but it's a good addition to their attack.

Also, NBA player Viktor Khryapa played for Russia tonight (he missed the friendly against the USA). He can help Russia in the medal round, his NBA experience could help against the US. I don't see Iran advancing, they are the epitome of why Group A is weak.

Tomorrow morning (US time) team USA kicks off their Olympic tour against China (10:15 am Eastern, on NBC). This is a big game, they want to start this trip to the gold off right. I have my money on the US, but it'll definitely be one to watch.