FanDuel - WFBC

September 01, 2006

Greece celebrates stunning upset.: Why did the U.S. lose to Greece? Try three words... but don't panic...yet.

posted by justgary to basketball at 01:27 PM - 28 comments

So your team scored more points on this particular day. Thats not saying your "Superior" to the other team, as this article leads to say. What gets me is the remark from the "Sports minister" that the Greeks made the Americans kneel to them!! WHATEVER

posted by oh2rooper at 02:09 PM on September 01

Anyone actually get up that early to watch this? I caught the last 5 minutes, and the only guy who did o.k was LeBron. Aside from him, only Hinrich scored a field goal.

posted by Kendall at 02:15 PM on September 01

One thing is for sure. The U.S. has bulletin board material. You can guarantee if they meet again, it won't be pretty.

posted by dbt302 at 02:16 PM on September 01

It seems like the USA couldn't defend the outside shot. The final cut, Bruce Bowen, has long been on of the best defenders in the NBA. Coack K chose to keep S Battie in his favor. Truly a case of poor decisions over Duke loyality. We need defenders, outside shooting, and our best team to represent the USA.

posted by Mustang 71 at 02:24 PM on September 01

Looks like our overpaid NBA hot shots are not as good as they think they are. Maybe this will bring them back to earth. Signed: a 75 year old sports nut.

posted by grampsw at 02:40 PM on September 01

Where to start. It seems like the USA couldn't defend the outside shot. Nope. They couldn't defend the pick and roll (Hence "Try three words..."). Coack K chose to keep S Battie in his favor. Truly a case of poor decisions over Duke loyality. Um, Shane barely played 12 minutes, I don't see how you can saddle him with the loss merely for being selected over Bowen when he hardly played. Why didn't they take Bowen over Anthony or James? They're both sieves on the defensive end. A better question may be why Dwight Howard only played 3 minutes in the second half after dominating the first. Damn, I'm not even a Duke supporter. The truth is, the U.S. squad ( with the exception of Battier, Brand, Bosh and Howard) largely suck at team/help defense. Henry Abbott over at TrueHoop has been all over this. The whole reason why Team USA has been running full-court pressure wasn't to "increase tempo" so much as it was to cover up the fact that most of the players do not have a clue as to how to keep their man in front of them. Unfortunately, FIBA rules don't reward uptempo offenses/pressure defenses, in fact it is commonplace for opposing teams to foul players on the break because FIBA doesn't have the NBA's breakaway rule. So what looked like an easy 2pts becomes a foul + possession at half court.

posted by lilnemo at 02:41 PM on September 01

To echo, nemo, this has absolutely zero to do with Battier over Bowen. Battier was far better in the exhibitions, and was on par with Bowen this past NBA season (and Shane didn't have Tim Duncan next to him). There are myraid reasons to select Battier over Bowen for the team - shooting, ball-handling, rebounding, quickness up and down the court (as opposed to Bowen's hand/lateral quickness advantage), youth, up-close knowledge of Gasol's game... Putting a guy like Bowen on the team was a nice thought, but nothing more. The team lost because he can't guard in the halfcourt and it missed more shots than usual. And Greece isn't a slouch, either. It's not a disaster. Championships are not a given.

posted by nicotine winning patch at 03:22 PM on September 01

bring back the the team from '92 & '96 and they still would beat the shit out of the current team.....

posted by mflinn at 03:56 PM on September 01

Shaq, Ben Wallace, Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady and a whole host of other Veteran players that should represent the USA but don't, are the reasons for this trend. It's not the best in the USA against the best from other countries.

posted by Familyman at 04:02 PM on September 01

An earlier thread made comparisons to the "Dream team" . This result seems to have made that argument moot.

posted by THX-1138 at 04:48 PM on September 01

The late technical really sealed the game for Greece. Single elimination is a pretty rough format. Nice job of putting this team together Colangelo. Good luck Raptors.

posted by catfish at 04:55 PM on September 01

Bowen should have been on the team. A defensive specialist would have helped against a great shooting Greek team. Would the outcome have been different? Maybe not. No one has "blamed" Battier for anything. Coach K was blamed for picking him over Bowen. That is a valid criticism.

posted by BlueCarp at 07:06 PM on September 01

America... HUMBLED, OLD COUNTRY WAY~!

posted by Drood at 07:29 PM on September 01

Nice job of putting this team together Colangelo. Good luck Raptors. You do know that Team USA was put together by Jerry Colangelo and not Toronto Raptors GM Brian Colangelo right? A defensive specialist would have helped against a great shooting Greek team. A single defensive specialist on the pick and roll wouldn't have helped. The failure was sytemic, not singular. No one has "blamed" Battier for anything. Coach K was blamed for picking him over Bowen. That is a valid criticism. Battier over Bowen is a valid criticism vis-a-vis the US' linked loss? Really?

posted by lilnemo at 08:02 PM on September 01

Who has a "Sports Minister"? I mean outside of the Yankees...

posted by bobfoot at 08:04 PM on September 01

Championships are not a given. Especially not for any USA team in the past several years.

posted by dyams at 08:05 PM on September 01

Shaq, Ben Wallace, Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady and a whole host of other Veteran players that should represent the USA but don't, are the reasons for this trend. It's not the best in the USA against the best from other countries. Kobe would have played but he just had surgery done.

posted by Lakerfan24 at 08:22 PM on September 01

maybe next year and every two years afterward there should be an "NBA World Cup" played under NBA rules with NBA refs in NBA arenas with the prelims in different NBA cities every time and the finals in L.A. then we'd see who's really the best at basketball the way we play it, with fairly officiated games and no anti-american bias besides, one game really is very random to determine the best teams in the world. i would say eliminate the fourth meeting every year between teams in the same conference but different divisions. that would chop some games off the schedule, as well as playoffs becoming best of five all four rounds. that's 15 games eliminated from the NBA schedule that only the bean-counters would miss(and why it would never happen). then you could have a true world tournament every august-september(olympics, FIBA, NBA world cup)

posted by chalmetteowl at 10:10 PM on September 01

What's amusing is if the US had won, a lot of you would be banging on about how superior the US team was... Now they've been humbled by Greece, and it's "Well it's just one game..."

posted by Drood at 11:03 PM on September 01

chalmetteowl, you really are a bit of an idiot. How is it a "world" cup if it uses the rules from one domestic league, is played in one country and all the officials come from one country? Is this the same meaning of the word "world" as used when American domestic champions are called "world" champions? If America doesn't play by international rules, that's America's problem, not the world's. Who's really the best at basketball? I'm afraid that given the last three tournaments, it isn't the USA any more...

posted by salmacis at 03:04 AM on September 02

Personnel changes would not matter, the US roster, individually, is superior in almost every way to most international rosters, except in one glaring aspect: team play. The NBA system of designating superstars (James, Anthony, etc.) and giving them special treatment (foul calls, rule changes) so that these individuals become wildly popular with children and sell a lot of jerseys has a lot to do with this of course. The NBA is built around the superstar concept. But the US can probably never win another international tournament with teams like Greece, Argentina, Spain, Italy, Lithuania if they don't play as a team. That means they have to implement an offensive system AND a defensive system. They have to run plays, set screens away from the ball, give help on defense, they have to watch film. In short, they have to do all the things that the non-superstars do for their NBA teams. Who says US players can't play defense? Look at the way Detroit played two years ago, except for Okur and Milicic (who didn't play) they're all American aren't they? The difference is their coach implemented a defensive system and they took pride in shutting the other team down. They were also a team without superstars.

posted by sic at 04:25 AM on September 02

Lakerfan, I wasn't knocking any of the players mentioned, only pointing out that the best players were not on the team. Sic, I agree the NBA system is the biggest obstacle to overcome with thier desire to go worldwide they are marketing NBA basketball and could care less about USA basketball. Actually these losses help the NBA market to the world because all of these other nations see themselves as competative against NBA "Superstars".

posted by Familyman at 07:09 AM on September 02

then we'd see who's really the best at basketball the way we play it, with fairly officiated games and no anti-american bias Do they not have pick-and-rolls in US leagues? I'm watching the US get their shit together and put a hurting on the Argentinians, but it was a close-fought thing. The US looked like crap in the first half. The ESPN "live" announcers were ready to burn their draft cards after all those open looks Argentina had. I had them on shoelaces and belts watch at halftime. It's a good thing they're back in Bristol, CT; it would have been a short flight to defect to North Korea and give them state secrets like Box and One or The Triangle Offense. One good point Jim/ Fran made: the US team does not know any player who does not play in the NBA. They were referring to the Greeks who torched them by number in the post-game. Get some scouting, some film, know which way to take players on the pick-and-roll. If you don't know who can shoot and who can drive, you cannot defend the pick-and-roll.

posted by yerfatma at 07:24 AM on September 02

U.S. squad spells team w/an"I"!Use college players who still understand the concept of team play as well as rules!

posted by mdavidsf at 10:03 AM on September 02

chalmetteowl, your nationalistic insularity doesn't appear as clever insight when posted on the internet, but rather as utterly laughable ravings to the rest of us readers. Don't you understand that the NBA is a basketball-entertainment variant of the "real" game (that, as sic mentioned, highlights stars, calls fouls relative to reputation, modifies rules to create saleable highlight reel video clips, etc.)? There is no anti-American bias....you're (since you said "we") just not very good at playing the form of the game that has been ratified by 212 nations around the world -- including the USA. --- To further that point Fran made, yerfatma, he also said that the star Greek guard who was the MVP of the Euroleague just signed a 3-yr, $17 million deal with CSKA Moscow. Tax free. So why would he come and play for peanuts in the NBA? And what does he f---ing care that no American player knows who he is?

posted by smithers at 10:28 AM on September 02

Personnel changes would not matter, the US roster, individually, is superior in almost every way to most international rosters, except in one glaring aspect: team play. This is the essence of the problem. They only play together during the championships. They don't have long to play together after the end of the NBA season. Then, they play a Greek team that always play together. Talent alone isn't enough anymore. I don't know how to solve these problems while picking NBA players that can only commit for a couple months of the year.

posted by bperk at 10:35 AM on September 02

Then, they play a Greek team that always play together. Is this not a bit of a myth-slash-excuse? I mean, it's not like we're talking about the Soviet Red Army sports teams of yesteryear that literally did nothing but train and play together. The Greeks, Spaniards, Argentinians, etc. all have their own professional and club teams that they play on during the year, and they are put together in the summer before the championships just like in the States. The Argentinians have loads of guys who just played the same gruelling NBA schedule as the Americans, yet they managed. Do they have more history together? Perhaps a little, but many of the Americans have played together on AAU, World Juniors, Under-21, Student Games teams, etc. over the years, so its not like they are total strangers to one another. Speaking of the World Juniors, if you go back and look at the records U.S. teams have posted in the Championships since their inauguration in 1979, you see the following placings: 1st, 1st, 2nd, 1st, 7th, 2nd, 5th. I won't call this a trend just yet, but American basketball players -- even before they are tainted by the variant of basketball called the NBA -- don't appear to be able to just walk all over everyone anymore, do they?

posted by smithers at 02:59 PM on September 02

The Greeks have been playing together for three years. They know how to play together, they have team chemistry, they know what works. Team USA changes their roster constantly. They play as a team for all of a month. I think that makes a huge difference in a team game. Perhaps it used to be such a huge talent differential that things like team chemistry didn't matter, but times have changed. I guess we will find out if this team sticks together until Beijing. The Argentinians have loads of guys who just played the same gruelling NBA schedule as the Americans, yet they managed. They lost, too, so maybe it does matter.

posted by bperk at 04:35 PM on September 02

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