Coach Mike Krzyzewski interview
Tuning up for the 2008 Olympic basketball competition, Team USA beat Lithuania 120-84 in an exhibition game. Here's what USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski said to the media after the win:
Question: General Comments on the win?
Mike Krzyzewski: We made it a priority early to get Dwight (Howard) involved and he did a great job of dominating inside, not just with his offense but defensively too.
Question: Your defense tonight was creating opportunities for you on offense.
Mike Krzyzewski: I thought our defense set the tone for the game and Dwight Howardís defense anchoring our defense was key. Itís not liberal substitution, weíre trying to develop a rotation and when we bring those guys off the bench they keep up great energy, Actually, I donít think the guys starting would like to hear this, but our perimeter that we being in is probably a little quicker, donít tell Kidd that, and the teamwork Ė I just think this group of guys is such a good team, it shows up on defense more so than the 34 assists on offfense.
Question: What current thoughts do you have on the team and the next step in preparing?
Mike Krzyzewski: Weíre just thinking about playing Russia right now and keep getting better. I think if you look ahead you could get knocked off by anybody. I think we played really well tonight because we had so much respect for Lithuania, who I think can be a medal round winner.
Question: Dwyane Wade is looking good despite coming off injuries and surgery.
Mike Krzyzewski: I would say this about Dwyane's committment: Dwayneís commitment through injury the last two seasons and then to work so hard to get back to this, shows the type of commitment needed to have an opportunity to win. I think his commitment is the best example of what our team is given. Heís given a huge commitment to this.
Question: Lithuania used a zone defense tonight but unlike the past didnít seem to bother you.
Mike Krzyzewski: I think youíre right. We did a good job against it. We were patient, and although we missed some shots early, we started penetrating and really moved the ball around well. It was good for us to see a zone for that length of time in preparation for the Olympics.
Question: Do you have any insights as to why basketball has taken off so much in China? Itís bigger than just Yao Ming.
Mike Krzyzewski: I think itís because basketball is the best game in the world. The Chinese people have really embraced the NBA and watching these guys. The NBA has been great about people coming here, games being here. Dwayne has come here, Kobe, LeBron made trips. And you can see the passion that the Chinese people have for basketball. Itís exciting. Our guys think of it as a privilege to be playing here and to have the Olympics here.