It’s a rare occasion when NBC’s normally breathless announcers are unable to convey even the slightest sense of drama at the Olympics. But that’s what happened from start to finish of Team USA’s Thursday night basketball game against Nigeria.
This was the complete opposite of Tuesday’s shaky performance of Tunisia, which for a time induced some worries that LeBron, Kobe and Co. might not be taking these Games as seriously as they should.
But by the time the Americans had jumped to a 13-0 lead before the first timeout, those worries seemed as stale as most British food.
The USA was so dominant in the first half that every player made it off the bench — every player that is except Anthony Davis who inexplicably (or maybe attributable to his one-and-done Kentucky education) had no jersey under his warm-up gear.
Regardless, the hapless Nigerians, who were making their Olympic debut, seemed unable to break through a fairly lackluster USA defense and struggled to keep control of the ball, turning it over repeatedly around half-court.
Carmelo Anthony, who, alongside Russell Westbrook, had turned the USA’s initially lackluster performance against Tunisia around, was once again dominant — and absolutely dynamic from beyond the arc.
Desperate to keep people watching one of the few popular events NBC’s networks are showing live, the announcers began to predict whether Carmelo would set a record for most points scored by an American in the Olympics.
Once he set that record, midway through the THIRD quarter, the announcers tried to gin up the viewing audience to wonder if the Americans could set the record for most points ever scored in an Olympic game, which previously stood at 138.
It wasn’t even a question — the final score was 156-73. Thursday night was one of those performances that couldn’t even be described as a competition. But like every game this team plays, it was fun to watch.