Though it might not have been a flawless victory, the U.S. national team accomplished several things Thursday. For starters, every team headed to the Athens Games later this month was undoubtedly watching, so the Americans' ability to hit some outside shots and establish a nice inside-outside game was important. But the team's biggest strength is its depth, and this might be the deepest U.S. women's Olympic squad in history. Paced by Yolanda Griffith's nine points and nine rebounds, Team USA's bench combined for an unbelievable 18 points and 18 boards in the first half. Those numbers might even have been better if Sheryl Swoopes and Katie Smith weren't both sidelined with injury. The U.S. women are big and strong, and boast a nice blend of veterans and younger players, any of whom could be starting. They are just that talented. The Americans also are great passers, even the posts, and they always seem to get the ball to each other for open shots. And except for Dawn Staley and Shannon Johnson, Team USA is very big on the perimeter. Tenacity and chemistry also remain strengths. No one in the WNBA is more intense than Tamika Catchings or Swin Cash, and Team USA is lucky to have both of them on the same team. It was a smart move by coach Van Chancellor to play Cash, Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi -- teammates on UConn's 39-0 squad in 2001-02 -- at the same time. They still know each others' games, and Bird and Taurasi still complement each other perfectly and seem interchangeable in the backcourt.
-- ESPN's Nancy Lieberman