Yesterday, Team USA defeated Serbia and finished their run through FIBA's World Cup unbeaten. The Americans scored 104 points per game, shot over 50 percent from the field and over 40 percent from three-point range throughout the tournament. No other nation averaged more than 100 PPG, over 50 percent from the field or 40 percent from behind the arc during the World Cup.
The US was utterly dominant despite another slow-ish start on Sunday.
After Serbia jumped out to an early lead, Team USA answered with a 15-0 run and obtained control of things before the opening quarter ended. It was Kyrie Irving that lifted his team with seven consecutive points after the US knotted things up at 15 during the first frame. After trailing the Serbs, 7-15, Team USA finished the 1st quarter ahead, 35-21, and had little trouble asserting their dominance the rest of the way.
Irving would finish with a game-high 26 points, James Harden added 23 and eight Americans finished in double figures en route to an overwhelming,129-92, victory. Milos Teodosic, the Serbs' star player, after reigning havoc in the semi-finals against France, found it tougher to produce scoring opportunities for himself, but finished the game with seven assists and only one turnover while scoring 10 points.
For those curious, according to the proverbial word, Milos wants $3plus million dollars annually if he is coming to play in the NBA. He signed a three-year, seven-million dollar contract with CSKA Moscow earlier this summer. I'm sure the sum of his contact and demands equate into a firm price, but rather a starting figure for any NBA team looking for a price tag on Milos, who is 27 years old.
I'm just going to post this.
Any organization with a competent scouting presence in Europe would have known who Milos is and was, prior to the World Cup. This string of solid performances shouldn't propel him into NBA gig-- this is my opinion.
If an organization wanted Milos, they could have had him by now. I predict he'll stay with CSKA Moscow. I think Milos is a fun player to watch, I'm just not getting my hopes up thinking about him coming over here.
Milos Teodosic was the only non-NBA player selected to the first of two, Sports Illustrated's World Cup All-Tournament Teams. Anthony Davis, Pau Gasol, Nicolas Batum and Kyrie Irving construct the rest of the first-team. Kenneth Faried, Jonas Valanciunas, Boris Diaw, Goran Dragic and Bojan Bogdanovic (Croatia) were given second-team honors.
Here's the link to read the column by SI about the All-Tournament teams.
Adrian Wojnarowski published a column late last night that stirred up things around the Twitterverse. The headline: NBA needs to pull stars from USA Basketball, which is showcasing only Duke's coach.
Wojnarowski asserts Mike Krzyzewski is dependent on the perks he receives as Team USA's head coach. Woj describes the connection between Adam Silver and Krzyzewski (or, two "Dookies," as he calls them), with the cooperation of Jerry Colangelo, generates a perpetual routine with an ending (Krzyzewski's departure) that is unenforceable.
This is an excerpt.
As long as Krzyzewski needs recruits at Duke, he needs USA Basketball. Why sit in the steamy summer-circuit AAU gyms trying to make eye contact with 16-year-olds, when you can use the media to write about all the close, personal relationships you've developed with LeBron and Kobe, 'Melo and Kevin Durant? Hey kids, Krzyzewski even texts them during the season - maybe sometimes right after he texts you!
In a different column, Wojnarowski revealed some of Ricky Rubio's thoughts on his upcoming contract situation, as well as Kevin Love. Here's a link. Here are some tidbits.
Rubio on Love:
"If he wanted to leave, there's no reason to talk to him about it," Rubio told Yahoo. "I really liked playing with him, but I'll play with the players who want to be there. Kevin wants to win. That's normal. He's been there six years without the playoffs. I understand. If I was in the same situation – being one of the best players in the league – and not being able to be in the playoffs, I'd have a lot of frustration, too.
On his contract situation:
"I'm loyal," Rubio told Yahoo. "I want to give them back what they gave me there: a lot of love."