Basketball: Team USA makes its bid to begin discussions about greatest ever

It was 31-28 after the first quarter. China had made an impressive opening, scoring nearly half the average Team USA had allowed per game during these Olympics. China was right there.


Yeah, that was over immediately. Team USA outscored China 30-8 in the second quarter, and went on to win 114-66. That's not a typo. I'm not exagerating. They won by 48 points. It was the most points scored by a U.S. women's Olympic team, just three days after the men set the Olympic record for points scored against Nigeria. 

And just like after that game, we have to examine just how good this team is. Granted, the men's team promptly proceeded to need a slithering escape to get away from Lithuania. But this team USA certainly has the look of a dominant performance for the ages.

Averaging 92 points per game is 21 points better than their next closest opponent in play. They're averaing 23 assist per game, an outrageous number on par with the men's team's 27 per game. Tthose numbers don't compare with the '96 team, featuring Cheryl Swoopes and Lisa Leslie, which averaged over 102 points per game.

But the 2012 team is actually defeating teams at a much higher margin, winning by 36.6 points per game, as opposed to the '96 team's 28.6 point differential. That's a pretty stunning number considering the uptick in global competition over the past sixteen years. Bu the 2008 team still has the lead, winning by a stunning 37.6 points per game. 

That team featured many of the 2012 members, including Tamika Catchings, Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi. But the additions of Tina Charles and Maya Moore may make this team more versatile. They have a was to go, but while women's basketball is still struggling to get traction in the United States, what Team USA's women are accomplishing needs to be noticed. 

Because they are straight up destroying the competition. Even after a rough first quarter. 

If you want to go just off the numbers? How about this insane one. In the 1980 Olympics, famous for the U.S. boycott, and against pitifully weak competition, the U.S.S.R. team beat its opponents in six games by an average of over 44 points. (*whistles*)

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Moore's colleagues have been known to describe him as a "maniac" in terms of his approach to covering the NBA, which he has done for CBS Sports since 2010. Moore prides himself on melding reporting,... Full Bio

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