Team USA opened up the Olympics with an easy victory over Tony Parker and the French national team. Kevin Durant led the team in scoring, while fellow Thunder teammates Russell Westbrook and James Harden still seem to be searching for their footing in international competition.
Kevin Durant continued to make it clear that he may be the most effective scorer on Team USA during Sunday morning's win over France in the first game of Olympic pool play.
Durant scored 22 points in the 98-71 win, and added nine rebounds and two blocks.
The 6-10 wing man has thrived in his relatively short international basketball career, due in large part to a style of play that favors shooters as well as a closer three-point line than the NBA mark.
KD fits the mold of the European player that has found success in the NBA over the past ten years or so: tall like a center, with the quickness and shooting touch of a guard.
No team in the world has a player that matches up well with Durant, and there's no reason to believe he won't continue to be one of the leading scorers on this team of elite players.
Westbrook still finding his way
Oklahoma City Thunder fans are familiar with this issue, but it's something that much of the world may not have seen yet.
Russell Westbrook is a dynamic player and one of the top point guards in the world, without a doubt, but his game doesn't always mesh well with the games of those around him.
On Team USA, Westbrook is a role player, sharing time at point guard with Deron Williams and Chris Paul, and time at shooting guard with Kobe Bryant, Andre Iguodala and sometimes James Harden.
Westbrook is a dominant athlete, but his game hasn't translated smoothly into international play.
With no illegal defense, USA opponents can pack the lane with zone defenses that make Westbrook's penetrating style more difficult.
He has had his moments of success, especially when the game is played at a run-and-gun pace, but Westbrook still appears to be learning how to fit in a half-court offense without stopping the ball with his dribbling and isolation tendency.
He didn't shoot well from the field against France, going 2-for-6, but he got to the free throw line and finished with nine points, four rebounds and three assists.
Harden plays the background
As the 11th man on the Team USA roster, James Harden doesn't get many minutes and hasn't made a big splash for Team USA.
Most of his minutes have come in "garbage time", when the game has already been decided.
However, Team USA has had issues with fouls during the exhibition schedule and Sunday against France, so Harden could find himself on the floor during important times of the game.
Hopefully, Harden will stay ready, and in the meantime, benefit from practicing and training with the greats of the league, especially Kobe Bryant, who is well-known for his extreme work ethic.
Harden scored five points on Sunday, and has been cold from long-range this summer with Team USA. He went 0-for-3 from 3-point distance against France, and was 4-for-11 during the five-game exhibition tour.
It's not 1992 anymore
The storyline of whether the 2012 Olympic team would beat the 1992 "Dream Team" has been asked and debated over and over since Kobe Bryant made his claim about the current team's superiority earlier this summer.
One of the biggest variables in that discussion is the level of competition faced by the respective teams.
The 1992 team is largely credited with making basketball a much more global sport, and international players have since had a huge impact in the NBA.
Foreign national teams are now stocked with NBA-caliber talent, and now view the stars of the U.S. team as peers rather than idols.
Take the French team, for example. Team USA's most recent opponent included NBA contributors like Tony Parker, Ronny Turiaf, Nicolas Batum and Boris Diaw.
The talent level of today's international basketball is far above that which the Dream Team beat by an average of approximately 40 points per game.
The players the 2012 U.S. men's national team are facing are not only in the NBA, they are serious contributors, and, in some cases, All-Stars.
As we'll see throughout the tournament, There are fewer blow-off games than there used to be. Even the host team, Great Britain, which doesn't have much background with basketball, can trot out Luol Deng and Pops Mensah-Bonsu.
The world isn't on the same level as the U.S. yet, but it's getting there.