For all the talk of how the 2012 version of Team USA lacked size, they sure stood tall when it counted the most.
No, Sunday’s gold medal thriller against Spain won’t go down as one of the greatest games ever. With 54 personal fouls being whistled, including four each on LeBron James, Marc Gasol, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love, not to mention Rudy Fernandez fouling out, the game lacked any real consistent rhythm. But as they did in 2008, Team USA picked up their play at the right time, pushing a three-point lead out to nine with just under two minutes remaining to seal their second consecutive gold medal. Clutch plays by LeBron, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul helped offset a brilliant effort by Pau Gasol, and set off a raucous celebration following the final horn, with players dancing, hugging and even dousing Coach Mike Krzyzewski with bottles of water. For Team USA, it was the culmination of another long journey, and it’s safe to say their celebration was born not only of joy, but also of a little relief. Read the rest of this page »