Team USA cruised to another easy victory, this time defeating Team Venezuela 80-45. Klay Thompson and Kyrie Irving lead the game with 13 points apiece.
It’s more of the same for Team USA in terms of outcome, but this game played out differently than their previous showdowns.
This game was more defense oriented, as Team USA scored just 80 points. However, their defense was top notch throughout the contest.
Not only did they hold Team Venezuela to just 45 points, but they also collected 12 steals and swatted 8 blocks.
Team Venezuela was held to just a 23.9% field goal percentage, and this game served as a very encouraging sign for Team USA going forward.
In terms of the Warriors trio, Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green combined for 25 points out of that 80 point total.
Their offense didn’t click like it had in their previous exhibition games, but they still found a way to win commandingly. Instead of overwhelming their opponent with offensive prowess, they dominated this game with suffocating defensive tenacity.
The Chicago fans got to see the return of Tom Thibodeau to their arena, and gave him a warm reception. Thibodeau was the head coach of the Bulls from 2010-2015. He’s serving as an assistant coach for Team USA and is preparing to be the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves starting this upcoming season.
One more exhibition game is remaining for Team USA before heading off to the Rio Olympics on August 5th.
They’ll take on Team Nigeria in Houston on August 1st, and it would be a huge confidence boost for them if they can close out the exhibition schedule with another rousing blowout.
Nothing in these warm-up games have suggested that Team USA shouldn’t be definitive favorites to win the gold medal.
Their defensive performance against Team Venezuela is even more disheartening for opponents, because Team USA has now showed that they can still win through defense even if their offensive rhythm stalls.