The phrase “studying expertise” isn’t one thing coaches would wish to casually toss out on this aspect of the globe, the place basketball followers have been recognized to deride the time period after it had been trotted out so much throughout the disappointing marketing campaign by Gilas Pilipinas within the Fiba World Cup.
But it surely was what coach Steve Kerr stored harping on Sunday night time when Group USA was handed a humbling defeat that would go both of two methods for the Individuals, who’re anticipated to be the de facto house group for the remainder of the event now that the Philippines has performed its final recreation.
The 110-104 defeat in opposition to 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, helpful going into the quarterfinal match in opposition to 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 US roster, particularly with its frontline, have been validated within the last 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 Group USA couldn’t cease Lithuania’s scorching capturing 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 quick, and now the squad finds itself caught in a way of urgency.
“We have now no different selection. If we lose, we go house,” stated Group USA guard Jalen Brunson.
Kerr described Lithuania as having a “excellent first quarter” and can be glad to have a “nice tape to look at” as focus is now on getting the Individuals able to hurdle the knockout stage.
Slovenia, Latvia right here
Tuesday’s recreation is an 8:45 p.m. begin, with Group USA hoping to advance in opposition to both Germany, the unbeaten group from Okinawa, Japan, and the shock Manila customer Latvia, which got here off an unimaginable efficiency in Jakarta, Indonesia.
“I preferred what occurred,” Kerr stated of the loss. “As a result of this occurs so shortly, deliver collectively the group and observe for just some weeks and also you play for a gold medal. Occurs shortly.
“And it’s completely different. Fiba’s completely different from the NBA. And that’s a giant focus for us and we discuss it day by day,” he added. “However these guys need to really feel it, these guys need to really feel how good these groups are. Lithuania’s an excellent basketball group. They transfer, they shoot, they minimize onerous, they’re well-coached so it (the loss) was good for us.”
However studying from it’s going to imply that Group USA should get rid of 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 have now to begin 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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