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2014 FIBA (Federation Internationale de Basketball) World Cup


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Interested in the international competition of basketball players I finally caught 1/2 of one game of the 2014 FIBA World Cup; The second half of the semi final game between Lithuania and the US.  From a US perspective this year's competition has been riddled with questions concerning the youth of the team, the lack of the most talented big men, and most of all how would this team do without its very best players.  LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Chris Paul, all first team All NBA aren't on the team.  Likewise big men stars such as Dwight Howard, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin and LeMarcus Aldridge; all of them 2nd or 3rd team All NBA last year were missing. Paul George a third team All NBA last year suffered a devastating injury during practices and had to be dropped.  This was a US team devoid of many of its current best players.  Additionally the team was historically young since international competition had been opened up to American Professionals.

So what occurred during this 2nd half of an international Semi Final game against a Lithuanian team with several NBA players?   The US:

Outquicked them,

Outrebounded them,

Outdefensed them,

Outran them,

Outfastbreaked them,

and out shot them from the outside.

At the end of the first half the US was up by 7 or 8.  By the end of the 3rd quarter the US was up by 27.  Game over.  Mop up time in the fourth quarter.

Center/forward Anthony Davis was a star.  He was quicker to the ball, grabbed rebounds and blocked shots, thoroughly dominating the middle in the third quarter.  Fast breaks dominated as the guards and swing players scored continuously.  The US outside shooters were dramatically open and kept hitting three point shots.  It was a crusher.  Both the starting center, Davis and his back up DeMarcus Cousins each fouled out with 5 fouls apiece, but the US had two additional big men, who mopped up in the 4th quarter.

On a side note in one startling play guard Kyrie Irving, a former one and done Dukie who will get to play with LeBron James next year had one play where he crossed over dribbled twice and added one more fake that entirely befuddled a Lithuanian defender, gave Irving space and he converted a short jumper close in and inside the lane.  Poor defender.  After that move the poor defensive player might never again know East from West or Right from Left.  What a fake.

In the other bracket the home team and co-favorite, Spain was upset by France, whom they had crushed earlier in the tournament.  During that game as a twist on the international cheer of Goooooooooooooooooooooooal....the French would cheer baskets with a hearty Vooooooooooooiiiiiiiiiiiiillllllllllllllllllllaaa.  A nice change of pace.

France and Serbia will play in a semi final to face the US in the finals on Sunday.  To be continued..........

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 To be continued.......... 

Sunday...more of the same.  The US basketball team romped.  Unlike earlier games in this tourney the onslaught began early midway through the first quarter and continued through the end of the 3rd quarter. Then mop-up time.

This version of US pro basketball was certainly a 2nd team. It lacked Lebron, Durant (basketball's two best players) and a slew of other American stars. Several of its best guards were missing.  Many talented big men were missing.

Regardless on every level the depth of US basketball on a national basis was dramatically better than that of any other nation.  In fact it might be a down year for aggregate or National basketball expertise per nation, relative to the US team.  The US team remains substantially quicker across the board resulting in advantages that play out in every aspect of the game.

As a result of this romp, a 129-92 victory over Serbia, the US gets a pass into the 2016 Olympics and will not have to compete for a spot in the interim years.

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I for one really appreciate these updates on the 2014 FIBA World Cup. So many people complain that the USA is ethnocentric, and that we ignore the rest of the world; yet, here is the FIBA World Cup, and only one person is discussing it. It's both wonderful that you did, and a shame that others didn't because it focuses on USA basketball from the rest of the world's perspective - and from their perspective, it's people like Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis, etc. who are their biggest rivals.

Thank you very much, Dave, for these updates. I, for one, appreciate them very much, and I learned a good deal by reading them.

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