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Old 08-21-2006, 04:26 PM   #1
AppleNader
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Default My thoughs on Team USA's performance so far

Here are some of my thoughts on Team USA's world championship performance so far after two games (vs. Puerto Rico and China). I'll talk about some good things and some bad things. Give me your opinions

Good

Dwight Howard
So far, a pleasant surprise. Though he still struggles against zone coverage and the trapezoidal lane, he is performing very well with his role: defense and rebounding. As long as he gets the ball in the paint around 5 ft. from the basket we have an almost certain two points.

Kirk Hinrich/Shane Battier
I think these two are the players who absolutely hold this team together, not Wade/Bron/Melo. They do absolutely everything on the court and then some. Anybody who saw the USA-China game knows how Shane will take charges from everybody including Yao Ming. Anybody who saw the USA-Brazil exhibition knows that when the game is on the line, Kirk will deliver big.

Bad

Defense
With all this talk about playing good defense by Coach K, I have yet to see it truly work. In our two games so far, we have given up an average of 95 points. We have also let them shoot 49% from the field and an absolute unacceptable 49% from 3-point range. This is against two teams who are even questionable to advance beyond the preliminary round and do not have even adequate ball handling skills. Even the 2004 Athens team limited opponents to 83ppg. If we are to succeed against teams like Spain and Argentina, this HAS to change.

Dwyane Wade+Chris Paul
I think putting them together in the lineup is an absolute no. Seriously. Chris is a great play-maker, but I cringe every single time he takes a jump shot. Dwyane is even worse in this aspect. He almost lost the puerto Rico game by attempting ridiculous circus shots that had no chance of going in. The lineup really needs to be built around combinations of players who can complement each other and bring skill sets that the other one doesn't have. For example, Hinrich-Wade and Paul-Johnson backcourt combos would work better in my opinion.
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Old 08-21-2006, 04:54 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleNader
Dwyane Wade+Chris Paul
I think putting them together in the lineup is an absolute no. Seriously. Chris is a great play-maker, but I cringe every single time he takes a jump shot. Dwyane is even worse in this aspect. He almost lost the puerto Rico game by attempting ridiculous circus shots that had no chance of going in. The lineup really needs to be built around combinations of players who can complement each other and bring skill sets that the other one doesn't have. For example, Hinrich-Wade and Paul-Johnson backcourt combos would work better in my opinion.


DEFINITELY. I also think that Elton Brand or Dwight Howard should always be required on the floor at all times. It is fine if you want to have jump shooting finese big men in there, but you need a guy in there that can get nasty and hit the boards. I also feel like we're under utilizing Lebron's game. I really think we should be working him at the 4 more so than we have.

Here's the perfect line-up in my opinion:

PG Kirk Hinrich
SG Joe Johnson
SF Carmello Anthony
PF Lebron James
C Dwight Howard

Good shooting, rebounding, passing team. Nice mix of shoot-first guys and complimentary players. Slashers and shooters, etc. You also have two guys in there that you know can get a basket any time down the floor.
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Old 08-21-2006, 05:24 PM   #3
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Here's another observation:

Bad

Chris Bosh
Pretty lousy performance, though I really think it is more due to the fact that he is being utilized the wrong way. He is constantly trying to operate in the paint and rebound, when those are his two biggest weaknesses. I watched every exhibition game and WC games so far and in my opinion he is simply being asked to do something he's not good at doing. Let him stay around 15-18 ft. from the basket and let him utilize his mid-range jumper, which is his strength. Also, allow him to drive and get free throws. Seeing him trying to rebound or box out against bulky and international centers is awful.
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Old 08-21-2006, 05:41 PM   #4
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Good descriptions. In the http://www.insidehoops.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8875FIBA thread I created, we discussed the poor defense of USA. We also discussed how the lack of shooters is still a problem for team USA. I thought the goal this time was to come to the games with some shooters. I guess that plan did not work.
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Old 08-21-2006, 07:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hipballinjigga
We also discussed how the lack of shooters is still a problem for team USA. I thought the goal this time was to come to the games with some shooters. I guess that plan did not work.

Billups
Bryant
Pierce
Redd


The 4 guys with consistently good mid-range and/or 3-point shots....and ALL of them couldn't play this time for some reason or another
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Old 08-22-2006, 12:08 PM   #6
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We just beat Slovenia by 19...impressive? I don't think so. In our three games, we've let our opponents score an average of 95 Points!! Absolutely unacceptable perimeter defense. This is exactly what killed the 2004 USA Team. Now, we are letting scrubs like PR and China shoot 47% from downtown...what do you think teams like Spain are going to do?

Offensively, we have been fine. The only problem is getting the offense rolling early in the game, but at least we are relatively consistent. Defensively, I expect much more. I hope things improve in time for the single elimination round.
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Old 08-22-2006, 12:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleNader
We just beat Slovenia by 19...impressive? I don't think so. In our three games, we've let our opponents score an average of 95 Points!! Absolutely unacceptable perimeter defense. This is exactly what killed the 2004 USA Team. Now, we are letting scrubs like PR and China shoot 47% from downtown...what do you think teams like Spain are going to do?

Offensively, we have been fine. The only problem is getting the offense rolling early in the game, but at least we are relatively consistent. Defensively, I expect much more. I hope things improve in time for the single elimination round.
Newsflash: We beat Spain in '04. Pretty easily, if I recall correctly.

They really haven't gotten better and we have.

Sorry worrying and spewing your pessimistic bullsh!t already. One game at a time. We're still a young team. Worry about Italy first, you dolt.
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Old 08-22-2006, 12:22 PM   #8
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Teams are gonna score 90+ and shoot 45+% because the US is controlling tempo and making the games a track meet.
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Old 08-22-2006, 12:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleNader
Here's another observation:

Bad

Chris Bosh
Pretty lousy performance, though I really think it is more due to the fact that he is being utilized the wrong way. He is constantly trying to operate in the paint and rebound, when those are his two biggest weaknesses. I watched every exhibition game and WC games so far and in my opinion he is simply being asked to do something he's not good at doing. Let him stay around 15-18 ft. from the basket and let him utilize his mid-range jumper, which is his strength. Also, allow him to drive and get free throws. Seeing him trying to rebound or box out against bulky and international centers is awful.
i think that's a fair assesment. Bosh isn't lacking in talent, he's just been put in a position to do things he isn't suited to do. His lack of bulk is due to the frame he was born with, it takes a very long time for a person like that to gain mass. Yet in the meantime we're trying to get him to play physical post defense and rebound over much bigger guys. This is why no Raptors fans are worried about his showing because in the NBA he can do what he's good at and excel, but in these games so far that isn't the case.

Props to Chris for having a game-high number of assists this morning though
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Old 08-22-2006, 12:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Da KO King
Teams are gonna score 90+ and shoot 45+% because the US is controlling tempo and making the games a track meet.
I was just about to say, the pace is what is allowing the other teams to score so much. It's like the Suns, they allow a lot of points but they have one of the higher point differentials, hence why their win/loss record is so good
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Old 08-22-2006, 12:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwajo
I was just about to say, the pace is what is allowing the other teams to score so much. It's like the Suns, they allow a lot of points but they have one of the higher point differentials, hence why their win/loss record is so good


Good enough point.

Another thing that makes me nervous is our habit of blowing big leads towards the end up games. Recall the Puerto Rico game, where we blew a 20+ lead to only win by 11. Now, against Slovenia we blew a 29 point lead to only win by 19.

This may not mean much right now, but if you allow a better team to go on a 10-point run towards the end of the game in single elimination play, you can get in serious trouble. Look what happened in the 2002 World Championships. Yugoslavia, down 10points with 6min. left in the game, rallied to win by 3, thus eliminating us from medal contention.

I don't know if the players are just saving themselves for the next round, but I do know that we can't allow this to happen as much in the future
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Old 08-22-2006, 12:34 PM   #12
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The idea that Bosh is being misused is false. He's struggling because he doesn't know how to play basketball outside of playing one on one. He has no understanding of off ball play and court spacing.

That lack of understanding is not as bad or obvious in the NBA where sadly he fits in quite well. In International ball where the focus on one on one play has not taken over, yet, it's quite noticable.
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Old 08-22-2006, 12:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwajo
i think that's a fair assesment. Bosh isn't lacking in talent, he's just been put in a position to do things he isn't suited to do. His lack of bulk is due to the frame he was born with, it takes a very long time for a person like that to gain mass. Yet in the meantime we're trying to get him to play physical post defense and rebound over much bigger guys. This is why no Raptors fans are worried about his showing because in the NBA he can do what he's good at and excel, but in these games so far that isn't the case.

Props to Chris for having a game-high number of assists this morning though

uh...?
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Old 08-22-2006, 12:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Da KO King
The idea that Bosh is being misused is false. He's struggling because he doesn't know how to play basketball outside of playing one on one. He has no understanding of off ball play and court spacing.

That lack of understanding is not as bad or obvious in the NBA where sadly he fits in quite well. In International ball where the focus on one on one play has not taken over, yet, it's quite noticable.

Perhaps?
I don't watch any Toronto games so I can't talk about his b-ball IQ based on my own experience....but watching every single USA exhibition and WC game so far I can tell you one of the reasons why Bosh is struggling is because he is being misused. Or...maybe its because he himself doesn't understand how to use himself?
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Old 08-22-2006, 12:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwajo
Props to Chris for having a game-high number of assists this morning though

kekekeke
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