USA BASKETBALL

I watched every single game. Watched every second.  Even replayed a few possessions from both ends of the floor. ( I love DVR)  I came away impressed with Team USA men’s basketball.

I did not buy into all the “slippage” talk. Or the, “they have the right/or wrong unit out on the floor,” that’s weak.

Players struggle, it happens. Plus, I don’t think we give the opponent enough credit.

If you have been around this game long enough, you will experience struggles at times as a coach or a player. No one is perfect. We learn to keep battling, keep fighting and of course, you learn to work it out.

How about the “This team hasn’t been together long enough to practice” excuse. That drives me crazy when the announcers say that. For all the ballers out there; when you go to a spot to play pick-up ball, most times you are stuck with teammates you have never played with before. That never seems to matter. If you play the right way, you win. Share the ball. Cut. Defend. Rebound. Play hard.

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The pundits look for any little negative when things go wrong. Especially when it comes to American basketball.

As a coach, at times, I am guilty of it. We want to fix it; but we don’t “fixate” on it.

Team USA crushed Serbia on Sunday in the Gold medal game, 96-66.  It was just a few days before where the entire world watched the Serbs take USA to the wire, losing by three.

“OH NO! THE WORLD IS CATCHING UP…”

Serbia had a chance to tie the game with an open three from the left wing but the shot missed. A WIDE OPEN JUMP SHOT!

It’s all good. USA won. That’s most important.

Just win baby…

There’s too much spirit with guys like Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and DeAndre Jordan; American players who play the right way.

We see it every night here in America.

Kudos to Jerry Colangelo for taking control of USA basketball and bringing in the right mix of players.

Durant scored 30 points in the gold medal game on 10-19 shooting including 5-11 from distance. Remember when they said American players couldn’t shoot from the outside? Yesterday Serbia shot 19% from distance.

Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving did a tremendous job in the Olympics. After winning the NBA championship in June, Irving led Team USA by sharing the ball, not turning it over and making clutch shots.

Much respect to Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks. Melo became the first male basketball player to win 3 Olympic gold medals. He could have said I’m not playing, I’m staying home to rest but no, Anthony made the trip and committed to winning once again.

Loyalty.

Credit USA’s defense.  Another area of the game USA has been criticized for over the years. USA shut down Serbia’s M. Teodosic, holding him to  4-11 shooting, 0-5 from distance. Teodosic is a really good player. I love his game.

Three straight gold medals for Team USA; 6 of the last 7. Give other countries credit, they are getting better. The coaching has improved, they compete and of course play the right way. I have come to enjoy how well Australia, Argentina, Serbia and Spain all play the game.

But for now, basketball in the USA is pretty good.

Matter of fact, it’s the best.

Like Diana Taurasi said about basketball players in America, “we bleed basketball.”

-Coach Finamore

Hoops135@hotmail.com

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