Let the criticism begin! Despite all the negativity, the U.S. did actually beat Brazil. Rob Mahoney argues that Coach K is not using his depth well enough. It's an old criticism, at least when it comes to Duke. But here's the difference: obviously the U.S. has a younger, smaller, less accomplished team.
From time to time, Eric Gordon will play well, or Russell Westbrook may. Or maybe Rudy Gay.
Or they might not.
What do you do when, for whatever reason, they don't?
In this game, in a total of 68 minutes, the non-starters put up just eight shots. In 68 minutes, 10 rebounds.
In fact, the biggest statistical impact of this game for a non-starter was Andre Igoudala's five steals in 29 minutes (note to Mike DeCourcy: that's why he's on this team).
We didn't see the game, so we don't know why Kevin Love, Gordon, Westbrook and Gay had poor outings, but we assume Brazil had something to do with it.
Next up is Iran, and while they aren't as much of a test as some of the others, it's still going to be worth it to see how the U.S. responds to a difficult outing. If Duke patterns are predictive here, our guess is that lessons will be applied, and quickly.
Watch and see what they do in the first quarter, and if they do the same things repeatedly, and successfully, consider the lesson learned and applied.
- Team USA Claims 70-68 Win Over Brazil
- The US Team Stays Undefeated, if Underwhelming
- Led by Durant, Team USA toughens up
- Team USA better be scared straight
- Basketball: USA escape in Istanbul thriller
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