No haka from the Dominican Republic, but the islanders put on a better show than they did in New York. They still lost to the U.S., 106-71, but they're playing better. But the U.S. clinched Group C.
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For the second time in three games, the U.S. side was self-critical about consistent effort. DeMarcus Cousins told ESPN that "[w]e kind of came out lackadaisical. We kind of gave this team life."
Along with free throw shooting, that's a serious concern. The U.S. shot just 63.2% from the line and didn't shoot particularly well from three point range either, hitting just 28.6%.
Even rebounding was surprisingly close, with the D.R. falling just 43-40 overall and winning the offensive battle 12-11.
As has been the case in most U.S. games in this tournament, a real key was turnovers: the U.S. forced 26. And as you might expect, when you get guys like Anthony Davis, Kenneth Faried, James Harden and Kyrie Irving running, they're hard to stop.
Another striking stat from this one: the U.S. racked up 28 assists. Everyone got at least two assists except for Mason Plumlee, who got one and the other big guys, Faried, Davis and Drummond, all whiffed.
Granted we're mostly college fans, but we can't remember the last time we saw 28 assists in a game. That's really impressive.
Faried continued his high-level play, finishing with 16 points on 8-11 shooting.
The U.S. is one of four undefeated teams in the field. Spain is also 4-0 as is Greece and Slovenia.
On Thursday, the Dominicans face Turkey, and if the D.R. wins, the Turks are out.
The U.S. plays Ukraine at 11:30 Thursday morning (EST). Former Hawks coach Mike Fratello is coaching Ukraine and given the situation there, says that he "really feels for them." As do most decent people.
There is something different about this tournament that we hadn't even noticed. We wonder if you have?
Where's Russia? The Russians, once the most feared team behind the U.S., has fallen off the basketball map. Former vassal states Croatia, Ukraine and especially Lithuania, which round for round and pound to pound might be the finest basketball nation in the world, are no longer feeding the former Soviet machine.
Still, it seems odd to have a big hoops soiree without the Russians.
- With few challenges, U.S. wins and bears it
- Rapid Reaction: U.S. routs Dominicans
- The Streaker: Steven Adams tells fellow NBA star to show some respect
- Anthony Davis uses every inch of wingspan to finish dunk
- Spain Continues To Stand Tall As They Beat France 88-64
- Mike Fratello 'really feels' for his Ukrainian players