This was a game that defied even the wildest expectations for Team USA's dominance. After a largely uninspiring performance against Tunisia, the Americans put on the show of the tournament. The team piled up 156 points on a blistering 71.1 percent shooting, including an astounding 63 percent from the behind the arc. Nigeria, despite a solid individual performance from NBA alum Ike Diogu (11-17 fg, 27 pts), was hopeless to avoid a humiliating 83-point defeat.
Carmelo Anthony's mind-boggling stat line. Thirty-seven points with 10 3-pointers in 14 minutes. Yes, you read that right, 10. Even if it were against a high school team, draining a 3-pointer nearly once a minute is a pretty incredible feat. Melo was nothing short of spectacular. If only the Knicks could play Nigeria every night come fall.
It was important for the Americans to break away from the habit of easing into games. Kobe Bryant, perhaps motivated by the starter's less-than-stellar effort Tuesday night, lead the team on a 13-0 run right from the opening tip. Team USA ended the first quarter up 49-25, effectively eliminating all hope for Nigeria.
It would be an acute case of nit-picking to find something wrong with the Americans' play in this contest. Perhaps the only concern is how this affects the team's mentality going forward. Will back-to-back blowouts against vastly inferior competition affect Team USA's focus?
Next up for the Americans is Lithuania on Saturday morning (9:30 ET). The Lithuanians are lead by a pair of Toronto Raptors -- veteran forward Linas Kleiza and 2011 first-round pick Jonas Valanciunas. Entering the Olympics, they were considered to be one of the more dangerous teams in the tournament. However, an eight-point loss to France handed them their second loss in group play and has them looking more like another pushover for Team USA.