The phrase “studying expertise” shouldn’t be one thing coaches would wish to casually toss out on this aspect of the globe, the place basketball followers have been identified to deride the time period after it had been trotted out quite a bit through the disappointing marketing campaign by Gilas Pilipinas within the Fiba World Cup.
Nevertheless it was what coach Steve Kerr saved harping on Sunday night time when Crew USA was handed a humbling defeat that would go both of two methods for the People, who’re anticipated to be the de facto house group for the remainder of the match now that the Philippines has performed its final recreation.
The 110-104 defeat towards the powerful European aspect earlier than a packed crowd at Mall of Asia Area may both be detrimental or, within the perspective of the many-time NBA champion mentor, useful going into the quarterfinal match towards Italy.
“I’m hoping that it is a lesson and we get higher from this,” Kerr stated after disappointing followers of the NBA flavored squad with its first loss since being fashioned in July.
Considerations concerning the make-up of the USA roster, particularly with its frontline, had been validated within the remaining recreation of the second spherical as Lithuania maximized its inside presence behind NBA participant Jonas Valanciunas, leaving his ex-Memphis Grizzlies teammate Jaren Jackson Jr. in foul hassle.
However the different main issue within the defeat was how Crew USA couldn’t cease Lithuania’s sizzling taking pictures from past the arc. Good ball motion led to open alternatives and the Lithuanians dropped their first 9 triples.
Makes an attempt of a US comeback led by Anthony Edwards fell brief, and now the squad finds itself caught in a way of urgency.
“We’ve got no different selection. If we lose, we go house,” stated Crew USA guard Jalen Brunson.
Kerr described Lithuania as having a “good first quarter” and can be glad to have a “nice tape to observe” as focus is now on getting the People able to hurdle the knockout stage.
Slovenia, Latvia right here
Tuesday’s recreation is an 8:45 p.m. begin, with Crew USA hoping to advance towards both Germany, the unbeaten group from Okinawa, Japan, and the shock Manila customer Latvia, which got here off an unbelievable efficiency in Jakarta, Indonesia.
“I favored what occurred,” Kerr stated of the loss. “As a result of this occurs so rapidly, convey collectively the group and apply for only a few weeks and also you play for a gold medal. Occurs rapidly.
“And it’s totally different. Fiba’s totally different from the NBA. And that’s a giant focus for us and we discuss it day-after-day,” he added. “However these guys need to really feel it, these guys need to really feel how good these groups are. Lithuania’s a superb basketball group. They transfer, they shoot, they reduce laborious, they’re well-coached so it (the loss) was good for us.”
However studying from it’s going to imply that Crew USA should eliminate the issues that contributed closely to the defeat that now leaves the American aspect hoping to regain its standing as basketball’s world champion in a harmful place.
“We’ve got to start out the best way we did within the second half [against Lithuania],” stated Kerr. “We will’t ease into the sport in any respect.”
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