Team USA survived a furious flurry of first half offense from Brazil before finding a way to slow down Leandro Barbosa and company to hang on for a 70-68win at the FIBA World Championships.
The U.S. team has its flaws and as constructed has to rely on defense to handle opponents. While they struggled to keep up with Brazil's pick and roll play in the first half, the Brazillians also deserve credit for simply making a lot of shots that no defense was stopping.
Team USA got down and dirty in the second half with a much more aggressive approach to defending the pick and roll. The offense never found its flow but Coach Krzyzewski didn't care as he played his starters the whole second half to maintain that defensive intensity.
With the emphasis on defense in such a tight game, Danny Granger logged a DNP-CD along with Stephen Curry. Eric Gordon only played five minutes after missing his first two shot attempts. Team USA is off today as they prepare for their next game tomorrow at Noon ET against Iran. Huge ups to dbcb and others for the live comments during the game for those of us not able to watch live.
After the jump, a few links of interest with stories on the U.S. win along with a strong case for Reggie Miller's induction in to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Reggie in the Hall? Of course
Bob Kravitz faces the detractors and makes his Hall of Fame case for Reggie Miller.
Win against Brazil reveals key flaws in U.S. team's game
John Schuhmann breaks down the U.S. win over Brazil highlighting the areas the red, white and blue need to improve.
Sheridan: Another learning experience for Team USA
Chris Sheridan reports that it wasn't easy, but Team USA got past Brazil at the FIBA World Championship.
Team USA Holds Off Pesky Brazil -- NBA FanHouse
Chris Tomasson reports on the U.S. win.
Hey, LeBron, Kobe, Wade, your country needs you
Gregg Doyel is fired up about the NBA stars that are not playing for Team USA in the WCs.