Tuneup? US appears plenty ready to roll

Sam Amico

Well, Paul George sure looks OK. And it was only an exhibition, but the rest of the world had better watch out.

That's the story on the United States Olympic basketball team after a 111-74 hammer job of Argentina in an Olympic tuneup Friday.

Team USA led by as many as 41. Argentina led briefly, too -- by one.

So it's easy to believe starting forward Carmelo Anthony, who told reporters in Las Vegas: "We're going to have fun and we're going to enjoy ourselves."

If the U.S. keeps winning like this, the Knicks star may be on to something.

Kevin Durant, now of the Warriors, led the way with 23 points. George, who suffered a gruesome leg injury with Team USA a few years back, came off the bench to score 18 on 7-of-11 shooting.

Anthony added 17 points and DeMarcus Cousins went for 14 points on just six shots (he made four), with a massive 15 rebounds. All that and the Kings center played just 16 minutes.

Cousins manned the middle next to Durant and Anthony in the starting frontcourt, with the Warriors' Klay Thompson (nine points) on the wing.

Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving also started, scoring nine points and passing for a team-high six assists in his first action since winning the NBA championship last month.

''Obviously, they have the best talent and the best size in the world,'' overwhelmed Argentina forward Luis Scola told reporters.

''That's a big difference in their favor.''

Scola is only saying what the rest of the world may soon find out. Exhibition, tuneup, call it whatever you want. This U.S. team has the type of size, speed and skill to run through the Olympics with the greatest of ease.

That doesn't mean it will just happen. But the first scrimmage showed that it can.

"We're going to enjoy ourselves," Anthony repeated. "At the same time, we're going to be focused on trying to get that gold medal."

Argentina was led by Andres Nocioni, who scored15 points.