the dream we all dream of
Apparently Evan Mobley has Bahamian eligibility. If he were to join the Bahamas and Klay were to switch to the Bahamas they could roll out a starting lineup in the Olympics of Eric Gordon, Buddy Hield, Klay Thompson, Evan Mobley, and DeAndre Ayton which is frankly absurd for a nation of their size (less than half the population of SF). Presumably Evan Mobley's brother would also join, and it sounds like Naz Reid has Bahamian eligibility as well.
Would be fun for the game, but I assume Evan Mobley would prefer to play on the US team so it seems unlikely.
I had a genuine gut feeling from the first 4 games, that USA would soon lose and I said to my wife, that Lithuania may be the first team to actually do it. They may not be the last as I definitely see a weakness in Team USA. Some will point at Kerr and blame it on his inability to use a big man to the fullest. Lithuania was bigger, better on the boards, and shooting lights out from the 3. We all know how Kerr coaches and his proclivities for small ball. The problem seems to lie with the players starting slowly, not shooting well. These players were not hand picked by Kerr and there are probably other agendas that go into putting a Team USA together. Having said this, Team USA has been able to come back in every game to squash their opponents except this one. The only thing that has changed is the quality of the opponents. First, Montenegro showed the weakness in Team USA but luckily lost to them. I don't think Italy will beat them but I suspect that one of the upcoming opponents might do it. I'm not saying USA cannot win it all. Just asking the question, 'Will they?'
Lithuania population < Kansas
Just watched the US/Lithuania replay. Great effort by Lithuania along with incredible shooting from deep, including their first NINE threes that put US in a big hole. I was really impressed with Ant Man - not so much his big offensive game but the pressure he put on Lithuania ball-handlers in the second half. I always thought of him as a low-efficiency chucker, but as a high-scoring two-way player he has the chance to be special. JJJ, on the other hand, never seemed to be comfortable out there. He wasn't getting any touches in the paint, and he put up an ill-advised 3 pointer in the 4th quarter when the US was only down 4. And, of course, he fouled out again. He's a great on-ball defender, but only got one rebound the whole game while the US was outrebounded 43-27.
US team would definitely be better with Loon out there instead of JJJ.
I just watched the full replay of the USA-Lithuania game (not knowing the results going into it). I must say that I am very impressed by Lithuania. They completely dominated us, especially in the first half. We never had a lead the entire game. When our guys finally got some traction in the third quarter, the closest we got was being down by only four. But each time we got close, Lithuania just pulled away. Lithuania moved the ball well, always finding the open man (sound familiar?) who usually made the shot. They totally out rebounded us, which I think was expected. They were so physical that players like Reaves and Halliburton were a non-factor. This and the Montenegro game clearly points out the need for big centers in the USA Olympic team who can rebound and go up against opposing big players. Silver lining is that even with the loss USA has already qualified for the Olympics.
The Warriors 3 Was Prophesied By The Egyptians Long Ago!!!
Yikes, McCaw. Yikes.
I love that the takeaway of the US FIBA flop could end up being "they need Kevon Looney for the Olympics".
Oh and that SGA push off middy: the one that was featured in that one highlight all of last week and that won it for Canada today. Thats a push off. With the elbow. Nothing skilled about it other than teetering right on the edge of offensive foul-dom. Hopefully the NBA League office is watching closely.
Just got through watching the Lithuania-USA game. No doubt in my mind. Absolutely Zero that the US wins THIS GAME witb Draymond and Looney playing together at the same time in the front court. Just surround them with Hali, Edwards, and Bridges, and they woulda punched Lithuania in the mouth (figuratively).
My other international thought. Watching the Montenegro game I was thinking about the Olympics, and who else the US will have playing. Is there any argument that Steph, at age 35 is right now the overall best US player? Two offseason rankings had him, Jokic, and Giannis as the clear top 3 with a drop off after them. Maybe he ages by next year, but that will be fun if Kerr can talk him into playing.
The other interesting addition would be Chet. He had some success at the junior level I believe, and would bring more shot blocking and rebounding. Hopefully he is feeling healthy enough next summer to sign up for some summer hoops in Paris. Of course, we also have Joel deciding whom to play for, but he'd have to be healthy at the end of the year which seems unlikely.
Watching the Warriors’ new Kuminga dunk mixtape (which is awesome), I see plenty of one-handed jams and think it puts to bed any notion that his hands are too small. It seems like the reason he often dunks with two hands is simply because he can with his hops. Back in the day, I could (barely) dunk with one hand, but couldn’t come close to two-handed. https://youtu.be/-NdlnWGHZPQ?si=ebauMim_G26lIt4R
Haven't had a chance to watch the Lithuania game yet yet, but I did notice that USAB may have gotten into an easier side of the bracket with the loss. They will play Italy and probably Germany, who are tough, but Lithuania has to play Serbia and then the winner of Canada / Slovenia, which seems like a pair of harder games. Putting aside my USA homerism for a moment, this should be a fun elimination round, pretty much every team has a shot. I was going to say other than Latvia, but they've beaten some really good teams already.
For Italy it has been a great result to reach quarter finals, after 25 years.
Now we have to play with USA and all odds are against us, but we can dream for almost 2 days!
The only problem will be to watch the game during working time, I have to find out how to persuade my boss…
Oh oh ...US down with 2 minutes to go in the 4th.
In another datum for the Noah Lyles vs. The NBA World Championship debate, a Canadian team with 10 NBA players just lost to Brazil with exactly none. What does it prove? Not everything. But you do have to play the games before claiming victory. Not pictured for Canada: Andrew Wiggins and Jamal Murray. Yes pictured: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Lu Dort, Kelly Olynyk, Dillon Brooks, Dwight Powell and more.