Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

USA Basketball Game 3: USA 92 – Greece 69

This was the United States’ first big test, and the passed it easily (although certainly still with some room for improvement). It truly did appear as though Coach K spent all his free time (and a good deal of his official time for Team USA) developing a way to beat Greece, as he came up with basically the perfect defense and his cadre of athletic players (there is more athleticism on Team USA’s bench than on most other teams) to execute the dominant defense, which was just amazing to see, as Team USA smothered Greece in this statement game.

Chris Bosh’s strong play continues – for whatever reason, he has really stood out more in international play than in NBA play (not that he is not an excellent NBA player, but he just strikes me as a stronger player in international play – remember how Carmelo looked in 2006 as opposed to how he looks in the NBA? Some guys just fit better with international rules).

The room for improvement comes from the typical areas – Teams USA missed 10 out of 23 free throws and Team USA shot 7 for 20 from three-point land, but notably, Kobe Bryant actually made two of the five threes he attempted, which is certainly a step in the right direction for Kobe, who answered the bell from the outside when Greece went to a zone defense.

Speaking of zone defense, it was impressive how Coach K had the US switch up their defense throughout the game, pressing then going to zone, etc. A beautifully coached game.

I’d say Bosh was the game’s standout player, but I was delighted to see how committed Lebron was to play defense. Three blocks for King James!!! Wow!!

Let us hope that the US’s excess preparation for Greece does not leave them vulnerable to Spain on Saturday.

14 comments on “USA Basketball Game 3: USA 92 – Greece 69

  1. danvt

    Why would the Raptors want Jermaine O’neal? Bosh is an animal.

    Notice how there’s no center on this team? (and don’t say Dwight Howard) I guess that’s how you win in international play. (and the NBA, now)

    LeBron is ten pounds lighter and one inch shorter than Karl Malone! Talk about the prototype for the modern player. As big as Bill Russell and as skilled as Bob Cousy.

    It makes me like the Danillo pick better. Not that he’ll be LeBron but he can be a multiple threat. If he bulks up he might play PF one day and bring a big skill set to the position.

  2. jon abbey

    off topic, but Stephen A. Smith says in the new ESPN magazine that the Knicks will win a title in 2013 (assuming they get LeBron James). submitted for your amusement…

  3. Joe

    Well with the expanded key it opens up rebounding opportunities and allows him to roam outside of the block. So yeah its suited better to his game.

  4. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Call me crazy, but something tells me that Carmelo’s improved international game may have to do with a stronger drug testing policy.

    All I’m saying is that maybe Oakley was right.

  5. Captain Merlin

    off topic, but Stephen A. Smith says in the new ESPN magazine that the Knicks will win a title in 2013 (assuming they get LeBron James). submitted for your amusement…

    Why must you lay this knowledge on all of us innocents, jon abbey? Such a comment from Stevie A. ensures that a title will not be won in ’13, and it is your pointing out this quote that lays the burden of knowledge on us.

    Cursed we are…at least we still have David Lee and Mardy.

  6. TDM (old skool Grundy rules!)

    Donnie Walsh met with season tix holders today to answer questions. Alan Hahn summarized the meeting on his blog. Sounds like the Knicks will stand pat for the remainder of the off-season, with the exception that if a boondoggle deal for Lee comes in, he’s gone.

    http://blogs.trb.com/sports/basketball/knicks/blog/

    “Donnie Walsh speaks to season ticket holders
    Longtime Fixer “david” and his son attended the season ticket holders’ “town forum” meeting with Donnie Walsh. Here are some of the highlights david had to share:

    1. Walsh said that Marbury has been a very good player in this league, and he’s not sure what has happened here but he’s worked hard this summer and has a clean slate. They want to see what he can do when he gets to training camp.

    So it sounds like they are keeping Marbury around for awhile.

    (Bloghost note: Stephon is currently working out with some NBA players in Vegas at Tim Grgurich’s camp).

    2. He said that the rumor about trading Zach Randolph with a first round pick for nothing is a rumor and he won’t comment on it. But he also said that if they Knicks don’t value their own players, then the rest of the league won’t either. And he is not giving away and of the Knicks for less value.

    (Note: david and I both agree this is a non-denial denial…but time to move on)

    3. Walsh said that he watched the Knicks last 7 games last year once he became GM, and that it was hard to tell how good they were because Curry was out, Marbury was out and “Zach was half playing.”

    (DW is being generous to Zach here)

    4. When asked about the starting line up to start the season, he said he has no idea but a lot will depend upon who plays well in training camp, who works hard, who is a team player.

    (That would have eliminated most of last season’s roster)

    5. Naturally, he loves Gallinari. He said he is not saying he is another Larry Bird, but he also said he’s not going to say he can’t be that kind of player. He said Gallinari, has “an unusual package,” as he handles the ball like a guard, is big and tough and shoots the lights out.

    (Howard Stern plans to have Gallo on the show to discuss this ‘unusual package’ Walsh keeps talking about)

    6. When asked if the Knicks might trade Lee at the trade deadline because they don’t want to sign him to an extension, he said “I like Lee, so why do people keep asking about trading him?” He got big applause for that. But then he said, something to the effect of, “but we could trade him if we get great value for him.”

    (Rent David, don’t buy.)

    7. Walsh said that Balkman was traded because they had “nine forwards,” and he was not going to play. And when that happens, a players value declines, and also it creates “chemistry problems.”

    (Chemistry? Aw man, crazy.)

    The overall sense was that the Knicks are rebuilding, that he is not going to make any more moves this summer, that they believe the talent on the team is better than its played, and that they will evaluate the players in training camp.

    (Translated: Brandon Jennings could be the PG of the future….so many teams in the East got better – and have you seen Dwyane Wade in the Olympics? Dude….)”

  7. jaredrutledge

    i had to sit through australian women’s field hockey just to watch about fifteen minutes of this game. and the stupid announcers won’t stop calling it “bay-jing.” i hate australian media sometimes.

    on a basketball note, USA looked good. greece just looked slow. now kobe just needs to stop jacking up threes from 2 metres behind the arc.

  8. Duff Soviet Union

    Yeah, Lebron’s been pretty great defensively. On some boards I copped a lot of flak for calling him a better defender than Kobe last year. I think this will be the year when everyone else realises this.

  9. Brian Cronin

    I dunno if he was a better defender last year or not, but he certainly has the ability to be one of the better defenders in the league, and with Kobe beginning the down-slope of his career, I think there’s a very good chance he will be better than Kobe on defense next year (provided he, you know, exerts effort on the defensive end).

  10. Z-man

    7. Walsh said that Balkman was traded because they had “nine forwards,” and he was not going to play. And when that happens, a players value declines, and also it creates “chemistry problems.”

    More fodder for the Balk fans on this site. Personally, I might have jettisoned someone else, but I don’t have much of a problem with this logic. Certainly not enough to sour on Walsh. To reiterate, notable defenders that had poor offensive skills initially, like Wallace, Bowen, Ratliff, Bo Outlaw, etc. have tended to bounce around the league until landing in the right situation. I would rather create the right situation first and then look to add one of these guys.

  11. daaarn

    and the stupid announcers won’t stop calling it “bay-jing.” i hate australian media sometimes.

    Wait, isn’t that how Beijing’s supposed to be pronounced? Or were the announcers putting a pause in there or something?

  12. daaarn

    the most common pronunciation is Bay-zhing.

    Huh, must be my ears then. Every time I hear my Chinese friends say it, I hear more of a “jing” sound instead of a “z-” sound.

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