2016 Team USA

Talk about anything general in the NBA here.

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All Star
Posts: 1273
» Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:38 pm
2016 roster
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All Star
Posts: 1273
» Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:39 pm
Team USA showcase schedule

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All Star
Posts: 1273
» Sun Jul 24, 2016 10:22 pm
Oakland to host rare U.S. Olympic basketball team showcase

This happens only about once every decade, so it’s a kind of a big deal.

The basketball team that will represent the United States in the Olympics will play an exhibition game in Oakland — something that hasn’t happened since 2002, occurred in 1994 before that and arrives this time with a series of intriguing subplots.

The U.S. team will play China at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Oracle Arena.

“That’s going to be an incredible game and a prime ticket,” said St. John’s head coach Chris Mullin, who played for the Warriors in two stints (1985-97 and 2000-01). “The guys playing are going to get a treat. It’s an incredible place to play.

“The guys know that from going through there, but being the home team, it’s a lot nicer.”

Kevin Durant will be playing at Oracle for the first time since choosing to leave the Thunder for the Warriors, and Harrison Barnes will be playing in Oakland for the first time since leaving Golden State for a max contract in Dallas.

Warriors fans also will get an up-close look at Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, who helped the franchise to an NBA-record 73 wins last season. Point guard Stephen Curry elected to skip the Olympics to recover from ankle, elbow and knee ailments.

“I’m biased because I’ve had tremendous experiences with USA Basketball, but to me, it was an irreplaceable experience,” Mullin said. “But I understand that there are extenuating circumstances for each guy.”

Mullin played for the 1984 team, the last group of U.S. amateurs to win a gold medal. Making that squad required outperforming about 80 other players during a grueling tryout process in Bloomington, Ind.

He returned to USA Basketball in 1992 as part of the first group of professionals to represent the United States in the Olympics. That “Dream Team” was handpicked without a tryout and, led by Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan, is widely considered the best collection of talent ever assembled on a single roster.

“Timing was everything with that. I happened to be playing well at the time,” Mullin said. “Everyone knows who was on that team, and to be able to be a part of it was incredible.”

Mitch Richmond, who played for the Warriors from 1988 to 1991, was on the 1988 and 1996 U.S. teams. The 1988 squad finished third in Seoul and the 1996 team dominated to win gold in Atlanta.

“I’m so grateful that I had an opportunity to dust that bronze medal off me and win that gold,” Richmond said. “… Wearing a USA jersey is so much different than wearing a city’s jersey for an NBA team.

“You’re representing the USA.”

Richmond said he would have loved the opportunity to wear the red, white and blue in Oakland.

“It’s one of the best crowds that I’ve ever been a part of, and I think that anyone who’s been through there will say the same,” Richmond said. “It’s just a special place to play. You get energy off the crowd, and they’ve been like that for years.

“They show up every night.”

Especially for once-in-a-decade opportunities.

All Star
Posts: 1273
» Tue Jul 26, 2016 10:22 pm
USA Men's National Team Defeats China, In Oakland

Date: Jul 26, 2016

In front of a raucous crowd for the third exhibition game this summer, the USA Men's National Team (3-0) took down China, 107-57 in Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.

It was a much anticipated return to Oracle Arena for the two-time consecutive Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors members, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, but the newest member stole the show from the opening tip. In Kevin Durant's first appearance in Oakland as a newly signed member of the Warriors, Durant did not wait around for the action scoring the first 10 points of the game for the USA.

Carmelo Anthony got on his own hot streak in the beginning of the second half scoring 16 of his 20 points in the third quarter to aid the USA National team in shooting 36-of-72 for an even 50 percent from the field. The harassing defense from the USA continued as well only allowing China to shoot 40 percent from the field on Tuesday night.

The Women's National Team hosts France on Wednesday night with tip slated for 7:30 p.m. EDT. The game will be broadcasted live on NBA TV as well as on Facebook.com/usabasketball.

The USA Men's National Team will be back in action on Friday night at 9:00 p.m. EDT when they take on Venezuela at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.

All Star
Posts: 1273
» Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:49 pm
Time to block your calendars as the game schedules have been released:

Aug. 6: China, 5 p.m.

Aug. 8: Venezuela, 5 p.m.

Aug. 10: Australia, 5 p.m.

Aug. 12: Serbia, 5 p.m.

Aug. 14: France, 12:15 p.m.

All Star
Posts: 1273
» Sat Aug 06, 2016 10:35 pm
Durant leads U.S. to 119-62 rout of China in Olympic opener

RIO DE JANEIRO — Kevin Durant looks ready to lead a new group of Americans to the gold-medal podium.

Durant picked up right where he left off in the 2012 Olympics with 25 points, and the U.S. men’s basketball team routed China 119-62 on Saturday night in its opening game.

The new Warriors forward scored 30 points four years ago in the gold-medal game, when the Americans held off Spain for the championship. Only he and Carmelo Anthony returned from that team, but the new guys were plenty ready for their Olympic moment.

DeMarcus Cousins added 17 points and Paul George 15 for the U.S.

LeBron James and Chris Paul passed on searching for more gold with Durant and Anthony, and several other top players who would have been on this roster also declined. But coach Mike Krzyzewski said this squad has already bonded as much as any of the three U.S. teams he has led in the Olympics.

“Just because they aren’t here today, we’ve got another batch of guys that’s walking around on the streets saying they want to win a gold medal and we all have something in common,” Durant said. “It’s cool to have a fraternity of guys who have won a gold medal. It’s rare.”

Durant was 10-of-14 from the field and made five three-pointers.

“When you get hot, you want to see your bench get excited for you,” Durant said. “That’s better than making the shot, to be honest with you. When I saw my teammates get excited for me, that kept me going.”

The Americans play again Monday against Venezuela.

Anthony finished with nine points and made history by becoming the first U.S. male to play basketball in four Olympics.

Former NBA lottery pick Yi Jianlian had 25 points for China to open his fourth Olympics. No other players were in double figures for the Asian champions.

Durant, Anthony, Cousins, Kyrie Irving and Warriors guard Klay Thompson (two points in 19 minutes) started the game for the Americans, and all 12 players scored. They had 31 assists on their 38 baskets.

Warriors forward Draymond Green came off the bench and had three points, four rebounds and three assists, and his plus-minus of plus-27 was second on the team to Durant’s plus-32.

Australia 87, France 66: Former Warriors center Andrew Bogut scored 18 points as Australia upset France in the opening men’s basketball game.

Bogut, now with the Dallas Mavericks, shot 9-for-10 from the field, former St. Mary’s player Patty Mills of the San Antontio Spurs had 21 points, and ex-Gael Matthew Dellavedova of the Cleveland Cavaliers had 10 assists for Australia. San Antonio’s Tony Parker, one of 10 NBA players on the court — five on each team — scored a team-high 18 for France, 16 in the second quarter.
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Hall of Famer
Posts: 22135
» Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:45 pm
What a great win by Australia over France in their first game. An upset for sure and maybe they can move on past the group stage

All Star
Posts: 1273
» Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:47 pm
Klay Thompson leads way as U.S. advances to gold-medal game

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Gone was the all-offense, all-action play that turned the last two gold-medal games into classics.

To get by Spain again, the U.S. Olympic men's basketball team would have to win ugly, so unusual it's practically un-American.

"It was just a real different game today,'' coach Mike Krzyzewski said.

Same result, though.

The U.S. advanced to its third straight gold-medal game win an 82-76 victory Friday, another tight matchup between the teams that met in the last two championship games.

Klay Thompson scored 22 points for the Americans, who will play Serbia on Sunday for their third consecutive Olympic title. Serbia routed Australia 87-61 in the second semifinal. Australia and Spain will vie for the bronze medal prior to the gold-medal game.

"This is where we wanted to be,'' Kevin Durant said. "We talked about it all summer and to be here for the final game, to win the gold, for all the marbles, we like our chances.''

The Americans pulled away to win 118-107 in 2008 and held on for a 107-100 victory in London, but the defenses made their mark in this one. The U.S. was just good enough again against Spain, with bodies falling more than shots and several technical fouls keeping the teams from finding an offensive flow.

It certainly wasn't pretty, but Olympic gold never loses its luster.

"It's an amazing feeling now,'' center DeAndre Jordan said. "We really want to accomplish this.''

It was the lowest-scoring game for the Americans in the Olympics since the 2004 semifinals, when they managed 81 in a loss to Argentina.

But Jordan made his presence felt in the middle with 16 rebounds and four blocked shots to go with his nine points.

Durant added 14 points on the day he moved past LeBron James into second place on the U.S. Olympic career scoring list.

Kyrie Irving had 13 for the U.S.

Pau Gasol scored 23 points for Spain, which made it tough on the Americans for the third straight Olympics, but again had to settle for coming close against the world's No. 1 team.

"I think the key of the game was their defense,'' Spain coach Sergio Scariolo said. "Their athleticism, their size, they made our offense get difficult during most of the possessions.''

Gasol said after he believed Spain missed its best chance to beat the U.S.

"They are not playing as well as other times they've played, but they are still a very talented team individually,'' Gasol said. ``I just (feel) like if we had been a little sharper with our shots, if we would have moved the ball a little better, if we would have boxed out more, and make it a two- or three-possession game, then you're talking about a whole different story.''

Spain shot just 39 percent and couldn't get any consistent option other than Gasol, who played with a wrap covering his sore right calf. It was the kind of defense the Americans thought they could play but hadn't much in the tournament.

Serbia and France both surpassed 90 points against them and Australia scored 88, as the team with 10 Olympic newcomers took longer than hoped in grasping international offenses.

This time they contained a team that was as explosive as themselves over the last four games, as Spain had averaged 97.3 points and won by more than 25 per game after dropping its first two in Brazil.

The Americans finally built a comfortable lead when they opened the fourth quarter with six straight points to go ahead 72-57. But Spain was able to keep the gap from getting any bigger and chipped away at it in the final minutes, the margin ending up smaller than in the previous matchups.

Spain came to the Olympics an aging team without one of its top players, Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, who couldn't make it back from a broken right foot sustained during the season.

But the Spanish, as they had in the previous two Olympics, found their stride just in time to run into the Americans. Thompson scored 17 in the first half, including a 3-pointer with 26 seconds left that made it 45-39 at the break.

Both teams were called for multiple technical fouls in the tense first half. One of them, on Durant, gave him a third foul, as technicals also count as personal fouls in international play.

Nikola Mirotic then picked up a personal and technical on the same play later in the period, sending him to the bench with four after he led Spain with 23 points in its quarterfinal rout of France.

The Americans were far off their usual offensive play, shooting only 42 percent for the game and complaining about a wet ball in the first half. But they grabbed 21 offensive rebounds in their 24 straight Olympic victory. Now they need one more to stay on top.

"You want to get there,'' two-time gold medalist Carmelo Anthony said. "You want to have that feeling.''

All Star
Posts: 1273
» Mon Aug 29, 2016 5:02 pm
Team USA Basketball to World: Dream On
With an emphatic win, the Kevin Durant and the U.S. team removed any lingering doubts about its quality

Team USA didn’t want any surprises in Olympic men’s basketball, because the only surprise in Olympic men’s basketball would have been Team USA not winning gold.

USA Basketball officials made sure they knew how the Summer Games would end before they even began. They visited this city 10 times in the last year. They were aware months in advance what time the sun would set during their stay here. They studied blueprints of every room in their hotel, which happened to be a boat.

They wanted to avoid excitement, but there was only so much they could plan in advance. They also knew that weird things happen at the Olympics. A taekwondoka from Tonga takes off his shirt. A wrestling coach from Mongolia takes off his pants. A pit stop at a gas station results in an international incident.

As it turned out, though, there was one thing that would have been too weird for even the Rio Games: a basketball team of NBA All-Stars losing to a basketball team of almost no NBA players.

The final medal event of these Olympics went the way nearly everyone expected as Team USA reminded the world there is one global basketball superpower in a 96-66 rout of Serbia for the Americans’ third straight gold medal. Spain beat Australia, 89-88, earlier Sunday for bronze.

The tenants of Team USA’s boat on Guanabara Bay didn’t include some of the NBA’s biggest stars, after LeBron James and Stephen Curry passed on playing in the Olympics.

Their absences left the Americans more vulnerable than they would have liked. No longer was there chatter about whether this Team USA was the best one ever. The better question was whether it was the best team in these Olympics.

They still won the gold medal, though, because they had Kevin Durant. His summer, which started by signing with the Golden State Warriors, ended with Durant showing why that should terrify the rest of the NBA. He was unstoppable as he scored 30 points, shooting 58.1% on 3-pointers for the tournament, and he sapped the energy out of Rio’s oddly empty arena by staking the Americans to a 23-point halftime lead that only ballooned as the game became more boring.

“If you let them play like they want,” said Serbian guard Stefan Markovic, “they will kill you.”

It was an emphatic win for a team that hadn’t always played inspiring basketball here. That wound up being the most unexpected setback for Team USA: They didn’t win some early games by enough. The Americans escaped three tight group-play games, including a three-point win over Serbia, and were enveloped by questions about why they weren’t more dominant.

There were no such questions in the knockout round—especially with the gold medal at stake. The U.S. dominated Argentina in the quarterfinal, controlled Spain in the semifinal and simply overpowered Serbia in the final. “Unfortunately,” said Serbian coach Aleksandar Djordjevic, “some of our guns were not as loaded as the first game.”

It was also the end of a remarkable era for Team USA that came right after a forgettable one.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski was hired in the wake of the Americans finishing sixth at the 2002 world championships and being embarrassed with bronze at the 2004 Games. Team USA then lost to Greece in the 2006 world championships, Krzyzewski’s first international tournament. His family has called that the worst night of his life, and for years, Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo refused to re-watch the game. He was distraught all over again when he finally did.

They did everything they could from then on to make sure they weren’t humiliated again. The most important part of their plan was giving the U.S.’s highest-paid professional basketball players a reason to play for free in the summer: a culture built around representing their country.

No one felt that swell of patriotism more than Carmelo Anthony, four-time Olympian who was on the 2004 and 2006 teams, and then the 2008, 2012 and 2016 gold-medal teams. “I’ve seen the worst and I’ve seen the best,” a teary Anthony said afterward.

Team USA hasn’t lost again since that stunning upset in 2006. The Americans were on a 75-game, decade-spanning winning streak before Krzyzewski’s swan song as the national coach Sunday—and they celebrated their 76th consecutive win by draping themselves with American flags that appeared gigantic even wrapped around 7-footers.

It was exactly what they wanted: the least surprising image of the entire Olympics.

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