Throughout the course of the Olympic games, Brew Hoop will provide live blogging, recaps, and analysis of select basketball contests. We kicked off our coverage last night with the not-so-heavyweight battle between Angola and Germany. As both teams are set to compete against Team USA in group B action, we thought it'd be a nice opportunity to provide some armchair scouting and get a closer look at a couple of our upcoming opponents.
Although Time Warner Wisconsin dropped the ball by failing to provide it's customers with the HD Olympic Basketball channel that NBC is offering, all of the games can be streamed live online (or in full replay) at NBCOlympics.com. Also, check your local listings for select games to appear on NBC, USA and Universal HD.
- Los Angeles Clippers center and quasi-German Chris Kaman opens the game in dominant fashion on the low blocks, scoring easily and repeatedly over the much shorter Angola defenders with either hand.
- The much smaller Eduardo Mingas of Angola returns the favor by scoring over Kaman, after which someone screams "He's 6'5!"
- Dirk Nowitzki casually dribbles up the court and strokes a three pointer. While we're on the subject of Dirk, I guess it was kind of a cool thought for the big German and many of his teammates to shave Olympic rings into their hair, but the end result kind of makes them look like they've recently had brain tumors operated on. The styles would have looked fly on a guy like D-Wade, but the look doesn't really work on the big blond noggins of the German frontcourt.
- Angola playing with a lot of movement on offense.
- Joaquim Gomes (one of Angola's top players) takes Kaman outside and hits a jumper in his grill.
- Germany really having success posting up Kaman on the low blocks. He's taking part in a personal tip drill with himself down low, and no one on Angola is able to match up with in the paint.
- Eduardo Mingas splashes a three…and another three. Really quick shots from Angola. The perimeter defense for Germany is not looking good here in the first quarter.
- At the end of the first, Germany leads 25-21. Both teams are hot from behind the arc. Angola has connected on 3/5 threes and Germany is 3/4 from downtown.
- Yao Ming is in attendance to check out his future Olympic opponents, and gets a big round of applause when shown on the Jumbotron (or whatever they call it in China).
- Angola's offensive philosophy is beginning to take shape. They really push the tempo and seem to be looking for three pointers at every turn. When they don't have a good look at a three, they drive into the teeth of the defense and kick it out until a shot becomes available.
- Kaman goes out, and Germany offense becomes much more guard-oriented. Not quite as effective.
- I get the feeling that Mike D'Antoni would love to coach this Angola team. They're really trying their hardest to dictate an up-tempo ball game and continue to stay in the game with their three point shooting.
- Kaman is back in the game continues to be unstoppable down low. The 7-0 Center twists and turns for an acrobatic double pump lay-up.
- Germany is beginning to pick up their perimeter defense, as Angola is not getting as easy looks from downtown here in the second.
- Dirk effortlessly drains another triple, putting Germany up 41-27.
- Kaman scores down low, Angola forces a bad shot and Kaman comes right back with an "And one." Kaman already with 17, all of them from point blank range. The game is starting to slip away from Angola with just over three minutes left in the first half.
- Germany's head coach Dirk Bauermann speaking impeccable English during the team's huddle. That should make things a bit easier for Kaman, a Michigan native and non-German speaker.
- My main man Mingas with another three for Angola.
- Former Buck Yi Jianlian is shown on the Jumbotron and also receives a tremendous ovation from the fans in Beijing.
- Dirk Nowitzki caps off the first half with a ridicules contested falling down three.
Halftime: After a 25-21 first quarter, the Germans outscored Angola 29-13 in the second. Dirk and Co. are 8/10 from behind the arc and destroying their African opponents on the boards 20-6. Dirk and Kaman each have 17 after two quarters, and Eduardo Mingas is the only thing crackin' for Angola with 15 points (on 3/5 from behind the arc) at the half.
- Chris Kaman is up to his old tricks to start the third, scoring easily down low over an undersized Angolan defender (what else is new?).
- In what has to be the greatest single performance that I've ever witnessed…by player from Angola, Eduardo Mingas takes a German off the dribble and splashes a mid range J.
- The German guards are not very physically imposing, but they are starting to play more effectively. Steal and an alley to Nowitzki.
- More Mingas! Eduardo hits a three! Angola (bless their hearts) is still playing very hard. They continue to scrap and dive for loose balls despite the large deficit. Their effort draws some applause from the Chinese fans.
- Germany up 65-43. During a time out, half of "Team Angola" watches some kind of mascot skit with Benny Hill music blasting in the background. They must have been studying Bucks' huddles over the lasts couple of years.
- Benny Hill proves to be inspirational, as Angola is making a mini run. They nail a three, get a stop, and connect on a lay-up to cut the deficit to 17 with three minutes and change left in the third. The crowed really seems to be pulling for the underdogs here.
- Steffan Hamman and the German guards are really starting to put pressure on Angola offensively and defensively during the closing minutes here in the third. Germany up 78-52 after three.
- Honestly, it's tough to keep watching this. I'm beginning to drift, but after Googling "Angola" I did stumble across Micela Reis, a former "Miss Angola" from 2006. I wonder if she's watching…
- The lone highlight of the fourth quarter is Olimpio Cipriano's failed attempt to throw down a vicious jam over German backup Tim Olbrecht. The play resulted in missed dunk and a foul, but Cipriano still felt the need to stare Olbrecht down, despite his team being down by nearly thirty.
- It's over (finally). Germany tops Angola 95-66 behind 24 from Chris Kaman and 23 from Dirk. Angola just had no match for the two NBA seven footers, and was out-rebounded 39-22. Eduardo Mingas led the way for Angola with 24 on 4-8 three pointers.