USA Team Basketball Declassified

I watched the whole game between Germany and the USA, one word describes it. Boooooooooring.

The Americans shooting brick after brick and at one time, Melo shot a seven footer, wide open and missed it badly. He ran back court, he can't believe he missed the gimme, he was smiling. I was not.

You'd think, what the???, USA won over Deutschland by 20 points, isn't that enough? Well, if you saw the whole game, the score does not validate the American struggle especially in the first half. While watching, I wondered, with Dirk running on a Volkswagen fumes, why can't the US blow this team out. Greece, Argentina and Spain all have something to look forward to and believe in to. That is, this USA team is B-E-A-T-A-B-L-E.

Random Views:

1. Pressure Cooker.

Unlike Japanese meals, the US Team will go in pressure cooker before this Japan Games is over. So, when the going gets tougher (against Greece, Spain, Argentina), can they handle it? They are the USA-NBA selection, formed to win this tournament. With an overhauled selection process and coaching staff, an awful lot is at stake. Can they be cool with being down few minutes to go? Can they knock down shots when they need to during tight end games where timeouts doesn’t come like in the NBA? Should they loose this one, this will back fire to the NBA marketing. Imagine, NBA sending Wade, Lebron and Melo, then putting it all on them by naming them Co-Caps, then them coming back with another bronze medal.

2. Lebron Can't Get It Done in FIBA Ball

He's one player that is being exposed in these games. Out 7 games, he hasn't really taken one game in which he can say he own the victory. Hey, I know it's a team game but you know what I mean, he hasn’t dominated a single game. Lebron is dribbling too much, swinging his dribble left to right, right to left with no clear effect or intentions. And, when he attacks, oh-oh, the opposition is waiting for a charge-fest. Against Germany, he turned it over 5 to 7 times via combination of bad passes and offensive fouls. His outside shot is suspect too. Why Coack K doesn't play the dead shot Joe Johnson more? I say, play him rather than force the Lebron swinging and dealing outside.

3. Wade Acting Too Much

Wade just brought his acting skills in Japan but the refs aren't buying it. The whistles he's getting in the NBA are not being called here. Thus, see him complaining to the refs ever so often, see him just a little bit late back on defense as he keeps on giving the refs, the look and objections. Last night, he was in contact with a German player by a hairline, he does his patented, swinging, flailing, arm-swinging, falling routine, the referees ignored his Reggie Miller impression. Then he goes back to bench doing his limping-walk, checking in his nose, his eye, his cheek and elsewhere. Even him, he doesn't know where he was hit. One advice to Wade: This is not a marketing driven league where he is the product. This is not NBA.

4. The 3-Minute Revolution

Coach K is substituting players faster than J-Lo can change husbands. He's changing players a lot and in bunches. Thus, players can't get the rhythm. One minute they're in, one minute they are out. Are they in? Are they out? Result is, players won’t admit it, but they are looking over their shoulders rather focusing on court. Last I check, players need to warm up before they can get to that playing level or comfort. Coaching staff contends that they want fresh legs all the time but all these guys averaged 35 to 45 minutes per game in the NBA. Melo didn't look tired last season. Neither Wade, neither Paul, neither Johnson, neither Howard.

5. US Bricks

See item 2. Only Joe Johnson can shoot reliable threes. The rest depends on better shot opportunities to knock them down. The US hoisted tons of three point shots against the Germans and drilled in 10. The drill bit must be dull. 25% shooting is not quite enough against polished teams. Say 'sayonara' to Gold if they will shoot 25% threes. Expect more zoning against the US. And why not, against Germany, Wade was 0-for-5 and 1-for-11 the whole tournament, Melo shot 9 3-fgs just to get to 3 shots made, Shane Battier 0-for-3, Kirk Hinrich 1-for-5, James was 1-for-3.


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