Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — The fact that Elena Delle Donne – the 2015 WNBA’s Most Valuable Player and is 0.2 points away from leading the WNBA in scoring average this season – doesn’t even start for Team USA is clearly indicative of the Americans’ biggest luxury. That luxury, you ask? Rolling deep in talent. And it has shown, in more ways than one, after three dominating performances in Rio.
The world witnessed history watching Michael Phelps swim his way to his 21st Olympic gold medal. And although Phelps’ craft is beyond compare, the world also witnessed history watching the United States win its 44th straight Olympic basketball game. In fact, the USA hasn’t lost a basketball game since many of us 24-year-olds were conceived.
Between the Breanna Stewart and Brittney Griner block party, and Diana Taurasi cashing in buckets from long range, it never quite felt like the Americans were going to lose to Serbia. There was a touch of drama when Serbia took its first lead midway through the first quarter, but other than that, it was smooth sailing for Team USA.
Everything seemed to be going Taurasi’s way after rattling off five three-pointers in the first half alone, before eventually setting a new American Olympic record with six. She led all scorers with 22 points at the break to help give the United States a nice 22-point cushion heading into the final two quarters.
With that said, I would imagine the skeptics who complain about the dominance of UCONN women’s basketball are also the same people who refuse to turn on their television to watch Team USA seek its sixth straight gold medal.
Just how can being extremely good at something possibly be seen as a downfall? Beats me.
Those people are missing out on an insanely talented squad – the best of the best on one of the most prestigious platforms in sports – from veterans like Sue Bird, to young bucks like Stewart, and one of the many UCONN greats Maya Moore.
Do close games, generally speaking, draw more spectators in? Do they stir up more storylines? Probably. But why take dominance for granted? Everybody loves to win and wants to win, whether playing or watching. Well, ask and you shall receive. Team USA can give you just that.