Kevin Durant led the way scoring 30 points and grabbing nine rebounds in the game. Durant set a U.S. record for most points scored in a single Olympics in the game and also had the most points ever by a U.S. player in a gold medal game.
LeBron James added 19 points becoming just the second player ever along with Michael Jordan to win an MVP, NBA title and gold medal in the same year.
Team USA was pretty dominant for most of the Olympics but Spain made them work for gold, trailing by just one entering the final quarter. Team USA came out hot in the final quarter and would make the big plays when they needed them down the stretch.
Here are the final grades for each Team USA player:
LeBron James – 13.3 PPG, 5.6 APG, 5.6 RPG, 60 FG%, 30 3PT%, 75 FT% – A
LeBron looked like the best player in the world when he wanted to in these Olympics. He came up huge down the stretch of Team USA’s two closest games vs. Lithuania in pool play and Spain in the gold medal game. He silenced any critics with everything he did and has to feel pretty good right now. LeBron showed us nothing new in the Olympics except maybe an overwhelming sense of confidence in everything he did on the floor. He was arguably the most valuable player on the team leading everyone in assists and defending much bigger players for most of the tournament.
Kevin Durant – 19.5 PPG, 2.6 APG, 5.8 RPG, 49 FG%, 52 3PT%, 89 FT% – A
Durant not surprisingly led the U.S. in scoring. He was huge for them in the gold medal game and without his 30, could have easily lost to Spain. His display shooting the shorter three in these games was remarkable. He seemed the most unfair of the Team USA players vs. the international competition. Durant most importantly stepped up his defense as the tournament went on. His length really seemed to bother the international players a lot who aren’t used to seeing someone his size move so agile. Durant produced more consistently than any other player on Team USA in every game and that’s why he deserves just as much as LeBron to be recognized as the team’s MVP.
Carmelo Anthony – 16.3 PPG, 1.3 APG, 4.8 RPG, 54 FG%, 50 3PT%, 79 FT% – A
Anthony made the most noise on this team in their record-setting pool play win over Nigeria. He set a U.S. Olympic scoring record in that game with 37 points and made 10-of-12 threes. It is often said how perfectly Anthony fits into the international game and that was definitely evident again in these Olympics. His shot was on in almost every game as he was less of the isolation player we see him as in the NBA and more of just a catch-and-shoot guy. He came off the bench as Durant started every game but it did not faze him as he embraced the role. Team USA really couldn’t have asked for much more from Anthony.
Kobe Bryant – 12.1 PPG, 1.3 APG, 1.8 RPG, 43 FG%, 44 3PT%, 91 FT% – C
Kobe looked really bad in these Olympics until the medal round when he kind of came alive. Other than Deron Williams, Kobe had the lowest field goal percentage on the team and was a liability on defense as well. He was the old man of this team and that’s exactly what it looked like. He rarely kept up with his teammates on the fast break, never made the right pass when leading a fast break and simply made you start feeling a little sorry for him a lot of the time. Kobe did step up and play better in the medal round and that’s why he isn’t getting an F grade here. The truth is that Team USA would have been much better without Kobe than they were with him.
Chris Paul – 8.3 PPG, 5.1 APG, 2.5 RPG, 51 FG%, 46 3PT%, 50 FT% – A
Paul underratedly had a pretty fantastic Olympics. It was no surprise that he did a good job setting up his teammates in every game and played great defense on opposing point guards, but it was his shooting that really stood out. Paul is a very capable shooter in the NBA but really came through in the Olympics too with his 3-point shot. Deron Williams is considered possibly the better international style point guard but Paul made it clear that Williams is not in his league with his play in these Olympics. Another great job by Paul was that way he let LeBron be the playmaker while on the floor with him, something he is not used to doing in the NBA.
Deron Williams – 9.0 PPG, 4.6 APG, 1.5 RPG, 39 FG%, 40 3PT %, 77 FT% – C+
Williams had a pretty disappointing Olympics for the most part. He was never terrible in the way Kobe was but he definitely underperformed. He could have seen a lot more playing time had he been hitting his shot a little more often. As a result, he ended up barely playing in the gold medal game.
Russell Westbrook – 8.5 PPG, 1.6 APG, 1.6 RPG, 48 FG%, 33 3PT%, 74 FT% – B-
There were some pretty high expectations for Westbrook coming into these Olympics as Kobe and a few others, mentioned that he could play the role Dwyane Wade did back in 2008. Westbrook didn’t do that and playing behind Paul and Williams, he didn’t get a lot of playing time in general. His game is not made for the international style and he didn’t look like he fit in too much. He wasn’t playing point and had the ball much less than he does in the NBA. He made a lot of bad turnovers and didn’t have many assists either. He could have easily played at a level where he demanded more minutes than Kobe but he just didn’t. His greatest value to the team was the pressure defense he put on opposing guards, especially from the weaker teams.
Kevin Love – 11.6 PPG, 0.4 APG, 7.6 RPG, 63 FG%, 36 3PT%, 57 FT% – B+
Love really came on late in the Olympics for Team USA and basically became part of their crunch time lineup. There weren’t many bigs on the roster so the opportunity to find minutes wasn’t hard for Love. All he had to do was rebound, which he did better than anyone else on the team, and make shots, which he struggled with a little. Love clearly didn’t love the FIBA ball and it showed with his low shooting percentages. He still made himself an invaluable part of the team with his rebounding.
Tyson Chandler – 4.0 PPG, 0.4 APG, 4.0 RPG, 70 FG%, 33 FT% – C-
Chandler started every game but only averaged 11.3 minutes per game. He got in a lot of foul trouble and was never anything special on defense either. He was never a liability while on the floor but he definitely underperformed. Even against Spain, when Team USA needed him more than ever to compete with their size, he only played nine minutes. It’s safe to say, Chandler was a huge downgrade from Dwight Howard.
Andre Iguodala – 4.3 PPG, 1.4 APG, 2.8 RPG, 70 FG%, 56 3PT%, 50 FT% – B-
Iguodala didn’t play much either in these Olympics but did a pretty good job while he was out there, you just didn’t notice him much. He shot a high percentage from three but out of a small sample size. He could have been used more in lieu of Kobe for his defense but that was a tough decision Coach K chose to avoid.
James Harden – 5.5 PPG, 0.8 APG, 0.6 RPG, 50 FG%, 30 3PT%, 57 FT% – B-
Harden wasn’t going to play a lot in these Olympics and really didn’t do too good of job in the little time he did play. Whenever he came in, he was going to take a few threes but he only shot 30 percent on them. He had a few really nice dunks but that was about it. With Durant and Anthony shooting so well from distance, there was never a moment for Coach K to look to Harden to come in and provide some outside shooting in a close game.
Anthony Davis – 3.7 PPG, 0.0 APG, 2.7 RPG, 65 FG%, 67 FT% – A
Davis was one of the biggest winners of these Olympics. He got to piggy back on to a team filled with the best talent in the NBA before ever even playing in the NBA, and comes home with a gold medal. Davis was impressive when he was on the floor too. His defensive presence was maybe the best of anyone on Team USA and he clicked very nicely on some lobs with the point guards. He will be a very good NBA player, that’s how you come away feeling about him after watching him play in London.
Topics: 2012 Olympics, Andre Iguodala, Anthony Davis, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Gold Medal Game, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Spain, Tyson Chandler, USA Basketball