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Olympic Notes: Team USA defeat Australia, Bogut injury not serious, Argentina up next

  • Team USA defeated Australia 116-85 (recap/quotes) on Wednesday morning. After a sluggish start, the Americans pulled away during a convincing 34-18 third quarter. Australia forced more turnovers (13-11) than the Americans, but were killed on the glass, as Team USA had almost as many offensive boards (19) as Australia had total rebounds (28). Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 25 and LeBron James added 16 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and four steals. Oddly, the two superstars hit just 1-4 at the line each, and the Americans converted 18-31 (.581) at the line total. In spite of that, Team USA came out with yet another convincing, 31-point win. It's a bit strange that its closest Olympic game thus far was a 97-76 win over Angola, easily one of the weakest teams in the Olympic field.
  • Andrew Bogut lasted only 11 minutes before departing the game with an ankle injury. Thankfully, reports indicate the injury is not serious.
  • Neither Bogut nor Michael Redd made much of an impact in the game. Bogut was quiet in Australia's impressive start, scoring four points and turning the ball over a couple times. As usual, Redd didn't get on the court until later in the game, and finished with five points in nine minutes.
  • ESPN.com's Chris Sheridan recaps Team USA's quarterfinal victory over the Boomers.
  • The Australian's Luke McIlveen writes that Australia's "Rocky" wish turned into more of a "Texas Chainsaw Massacre"  against Team USA. Ouch.
  • TheWest.com reports speedster point guard Patrick Mills, who gave Team USA fits in the the team's pre-Olympic matchup, says the Americans sledged him physically and psychologically in the rematch on Wednesday.
  • Bob Wolfley of JS Online reports that GM John Hammond is impressed with Team USA's Olympic performance.
  • Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don't Lie examines how a leader has emerged for Team USA.
  • Meanwhile, TrueHoop's Henry Abbott is happy to report that Team USA has no King.
  • Up next: Team USA versus Argentina at 9:15 a.m. central time on Friday morning. It was curious to see that many experts weren't so high on Argentina prior to the tournament, with many deeming at least Spain and Greece superior. But with Manu Ginobili surrounded by a stable of familiar teammates, the Argentines remain highly dangerous, and it's difficult to imagine they won't give the Americans a good game.
  • On that note, FoxSports.com's Charley Rosen warns that Team USA must take Argentina seriously.
  • The victor will advance to the Gold Medal game against the winner of Spain versus LIthuania, which precedes Team USA against Argentina. That games begins at 7:00 a.m. central time. Charlie liveblogged Spain's 72-59 quarterfinal win over Croatia that got them to the semis.
  • Sheridan previews Team USA's showdown with rival Argentina.

    Argentina prefers to play man-to-man defense, and Scola said his team has not played one single second of zone during the tournament. That could change if Argentina adapts one of the few defensive styles that have been effective -- to use that word loosely -- against Team USA, but it's likely the teams will go at each other straight up as the game goes through its early stages.

  • SI.com's Alexander Wolff pinpoints Argentina's problem: depth.
  • Bryan Armen Graham of FanNation makes semifinal predictions.
  • USA Basketball has a ton of pre-semifinal quotes from Team USA players.
  • Dime is wondering who will be on Team USA in 2012. And who wouldn't want to be?
  • Bethlehem Shoals at the Sporting News says the Olympics are proving that the NBA's style of play still rules the hardwood.

    Dunking at will, wreaking havoc on defense and spending about two-thirds of each game in transition -- and covering up their weaknesses with raw ability and invention -- it's some of the most exhilarating basketball in recent memory.

    Sounds a lot like the NBA, doesn't it? Or -- even worse -- an idealized version of the All-Star Game.