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Kevin Durant the most lethal weapon for Team USA this time around

By Royce Young | NBA writer
Kevin Durant did as Kevin Durant does against France in Team USA's opener. (Getty Images

A pretty common theme you'll hear during the Olympics is that Kevin Durant's game is "built for international basketball."

That's actually completely wrong.

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Because Durant's game is built for basketball. Period. Anywhere you want to play it, under any set of rules.

A guy 6-11 with that kind of handle, touch and ability to shoot is unfair, but even more so when you shrink the court, bring in the 3-point line and put players like LeBron James and Chris Paul around him to get him shots.

It's becoming fairly routine for Durant to lead Team USA in scoring, which is what he did in the U.S.'s opening 98-71 demolition of France. Durant finished with 22 points and eight rebounds, hitting 3 of 5 from 3, knocking down all seven of his free throws and scoring efficiently with only 13 attempts.

It was kind of a typical Durant scoring night. The 22, which easily led all scorers, came fairly quietly as Durant scored methodically throughout his 28 minutes on the floor.

A team like France just doesn't have an option against him. The French have a quality wing defender in Nicolas Batum, but he can't guard three players at once. With LeBron brilliantly facilitating -- that 60-foot bounce pass to Durant was something special -- Carmelo Anthony ready to fill it up at any moment and then Durant. How do you defend that?

(And don't forget Kobe, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Kevin Love...)

So much was made about Spain's interior size with the Gasols and Serge Ibaka, but clearly Team USA presents the most impossible matchup questions because there's just too much overwhelming talent. Focus on Melo, Durant gets you. Try to take away LeBron, and he just plays setup man. Pack the paint and that FIBA 3-point line will kill you as Durant and company bomb away. There's really just no good answer.

France stayed close for a quarter but once Team USA turned up a little defensive pressure and the 3-ball started to drop, the blowout was on.

There's not a whole lot you can do to slow down this American team, other than hope all of those incredible weapons malfunction at once.

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