What a final match. It had everything, drama, suspense, passion, both teams played unbelievable, put everything out there and in the end, Team USA was just a little better, barely. Though defensively, both teams could've have played better, I felt that Spain really couldn't have done any more to stop Team USA, and Team Spain were hitting some unbelievable shots that Team USA couldn't have defended any better.

Obviously, the big plays in the 4th quarter were the 4-point play by Kobe Bryant and 3-pointer by Dwyane Wade with 2 minutes to go and up by 4. Though in my opinion I thought Lebron James was the key to the win. Bryant got the scores, but I felt Lebron made all the big clutch plays even though they probably didn't get noticed much.

Hustle on Defense and Offense:

With 5 minutes to go and Team USA up by 9, this was one of those sequences where you look back and say, this could've been a potential 4 point swing either way. Thankfully for Team USA it went their way. First, after a Team Spain miss, and a battle for the defensive board, the ball is tipped by Dwight Howard. It should've gone out of bounds but Lebron chases the loose ball and saves it to his teammate,

Then Lebron runs the floor, gets the ball and goes up for the laypup. He misses, but gets the offensive rebound and goes up strong and scores, Team USA stretches the lead to 11,

High Post Zone Offense:

When Coach K put Lebron in the game at that high post position against the zone, that was a key tactical substitution. Once Lebron got the ball in the high post, the defense must respect his ability to attack the rim with 1 dribble or less. Watch as 3 Spanish defenders converge on Lebron, he gets one dribble off then pitches it out to an open Dwyane Wade who hit that huge 3-pointer that put the game away,

Defensive Rebounding:

Rebounding wins games. In a game where the bigger Spanish team actually outrebounded Team USA 37-31, it's WHEN you get the rebounds that matter. After Team Spain misses a 3-pointer, you can see Pao Gasol actually try to push Lebron who has position to get the rebound. Lebron doesn't budge, skys for the rebound and pulls it down. Danger averted,


Team USA were never really in a tight game going into the 4th quarter prior to this game so we never knew how they would respond or who they would go to. Now we know. Kobe and Lebron made the big plays down the stretch and one has to wonder if they win this game without them. It was a well-deserved win for Team USA and Team Spain played their guts out, fighting and clawing their way for every basket. It was fitting that the best game of the tournament was also the Gold medal game, the way it's supposed to be.

For more great winning strategies from a truly great basketball mind, take a look at Hubie Brown's DVD on Playbook for Success. Don't forget to check out the X's and O's of Basketball Forum to discuss this and other basketball topics.