John Schuhmann of NBA.com finally finished flying home from Beijing, visting with his family, and filing his expenses.
Which means it was finally time to write a wrap-up of the epic gold medal match.
Schuhmann has tallied himself some new numbers from that game:
... through their first seven games, the U.S. allowed just 88.9 points per 100 possessions, which is about as good as it gets defensively.
But in the gold medal game, Spain scored 127.4 points per 100 possessions (107 points in 84 times with the ball). That's better than the U.S. offense had been through it's first seven (125.6). And it's not like the U.S. D was bad on that afternoon. The Spain offense was just hitting on all cylinders.
Of course, so were the Americans on the other end of the floor. Their offensive rating of 140.5 points per 100 possessions was their second best of the tournament (they put up a 141.5 in the quarters against Australia).
So, credit Spain with a great offensive performance against some very serious defense.
Schuhmann also addresses the zillions of people who e-mailed him from Spain about the refereeing in that game. We have heard a lot of complaints about travel calls that weren't made. Schuhmann isn't convinced that the referees stole this one for the U.S.:
I saw the three plays (which were all during pool play) shown here, but when I watched each of the three the first time, none of them was obviously a travel.
I do know that throwing a towel far onto the court (which Spain did early in the second quarter) is a technical foul in any league, but the refs didn't call it in the gold medal game. That would have given the U.S. two shots plus the ball back (they had just scored on a Kobe dunk), potentially a four or five-point whistle. Also, the one item in my notes about a foul not being called was late in the fourth quarter when Marc Gasol pushed Chris Bosh on a play where his brother hit a short jumper to make the score 104-99.