Team USA opened Tuesday's Olympic match-up with African champion Tunisia with a tempo that was less than dreamy. America's starters allowed the 55-point underdogs to hang around, relying on jump shots and in general playing like they expected Tunisia to roll over.
When Tunisia didn't, Andre Iguodala and the second string pushed it over. The reserve's 21-3 run to open the second quarter turned Tuesday's affair more in what was expected, an exhibition of American basketball prowess that include highlight reel plays like this:
Iguodala scored just six points, but stuffed the stat sheet elsewhere: five rebounds, five assists, two steals and no turnovers, accrued in 20 minutes of floor time. Only Kevin Durant and Chris Paul played more.
The contingent that powered Team USA's resurgence was a veritable Who's Who of Pac-12 stars. UCLA alumni Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook both scored in double figures, 16 and 11 respectively. Arizona State product James Harden scored 10.
The inspired play Iguodala and the rest of the Pac-12 alums provided sparked a lackluster effort against a clearly over-matched team. But where their contributions Tuesday could prove significant further down the road is when Team USA draws contenders like Spain in the medal round.
Depth was a key difference between the gold medal-winning 2008 squad, and the disappointing bronze won in 2004. How much more Mike Krzyzewski integrates the bench after Tuesday's effort is an intriguing story line to follow Thursday against Nigeria.