July 31, 2012

Thunder's contributions vary on Team USA


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.


Durant's dominance


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.

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