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Hitman On Hawaii Game

A quick report on the game last night between the USA Olympic team and the USA Select team:

The Select team gave Team USA a run for its money in the first half last night, and then team USA came out and blew the select team away in the second half. The stars, unquestionably, for the Select team were Jason Richardson and Jason Williams. Richardson was by far the most impressive, running well in transition, draining his open shots, and showing some amazing leaping ability. He had one amazing play when he was all alone on a break, and Jason Kidd basically bear-hugged him to prevent the open dunk. He spun out of the foul and tossed the ball over his shoulder and straight into the basket. It showed incredible poise and court awareness for the sophomore. He was however, much quieter in the second half, as Team USA made a conscious effort to shut him down. He did attempt to dunk the ball OVER Alonzo Mourning at one point, and just narrowly missed, clanging the ball off the rim instead. Alonzo was visibly shocked that someone that small had attempted that, and nearly succeeded. ( Remember Phil Henderson, Alonzo? - DBR )

Jason Williams was by far the best ball handler on the Select team. You could tell by the play of Payton and Kidd; when Jason was in, they played slightly back on defense, respecting his driving and passing. When Bradford and/or Tinsely were playing, they really upped the pressure, forcing them into bad passes and turnovers. Jason showed a nice stroke from outside, squaring to the basket more than he did last year. His passes were crisp, and he wowed the crowd with some behind the back theatrics. He still made a few bad decisions, but playing against that caliber of opponent, it’s to be expected. His best play of the night was a drive where he just blew right past Gary Payton and finished with a nice slashing layup. He did try some one handed floaters later in the game that were blocked ferociously by McDyess and Baker - again, part of the talent differential between college and the NBA.

Shane played a very solid defensive game, even drawing a charge at one point. He displayed the most hustle of anyone, diving after loose balls and helping on defense. As always, he did the small things well, tipping passes, adjusting shots, filling lanes. His post game was lost though; he really looked like a boy among men down low. He’ll definitely have to move over to SF to compete on the NBA level. He did float out for some threes, usually courtesy of a pass from Jason, but his shot was a little shaky last night.

Overall, last night looked like good news for us Duke fans!