Team USA's "individual brilliance" loses to Australia, 98-94
Marcus Smart is already hitting threes 😍😍😍😍 pic.twitter.com/FiHt4uLkxK— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) August 24, 2019
Kemba Walker wasn't in the starting lineup, but Gregg Popovich didn't keep him out of action for long. It was apparent from the start that the Boomers were not going to give anything away. The Australians play tough- and they play as a team. One of the announcers had this to say about both teams:
The Americans want to get it done with individual brilliance. They've got the ability to break their man down and score points on opponents. ... we see the the sort of ball movement (from the Boomers) - ball movement - man movement. They rely on each other.
Marcus Smart starts the game with an assist and a 3— John Karalis 🇬🇷 (@RedsArmy_John) August 24, 2019
Smart only played nine minutes, but he came away with seven points, one rebound and three assists. He shot 2-of-3 on field goals and 1-of-2 on 3-pointers. He did just fine in limited floor time, and this drive and high-off-the-glass score shows his injury is in the past.
I love Marcus Smart pic.twitter.com/pMdtTZgCYO— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) August 24, 2019
Kemba was once again the driving force for Team USA, notching 22 points in 27 minutes - both team-highs. Jaylen Brown was efficient with eight points on perfect shooting (3-of-3 on field goals, 1-of-1 on treys). Jayson Tatum was off in his shooting, going 2-of-8 from the field and 0-of-3 from beyond the arc, for a total of five points. In the loss, Walker, Brown and Smart came away with positive plus-minus scores (+2, +2, +1, respectively), while Tatum ended with a minus-13.
It became apparent that the Aussies were into this game all the way at the 8:35 mark of the second period. A combination of a lazy inbounds pass to Marcus resulted in Matthew Dellavedova (as described by announcer) "wrestling the ball away from Team USA." There were times when Australia's Patty Mills, who ended with 30 points, seemed unstoppable. Mills truly personifies the toughness of his team. Team USA obviously needs more time to get used to each other, but "individual brilliance" won't win the prize. The Yanks just don't have the number of NBA All-Stars to get it done that way.
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