In the final exhibition showcase before heading to Australia, Team USA outlasted Spain in a game where the United States was able to keep Spain at arms’ length, but struggled to put them away. Spain capitalized all night on Team USA’s inability to hold on to the ball, forcing the Americans into 23 turnovers, while hitting 12 threes, seemingly all of them timely.
After Spain cut the lead to eight, Joe Harris would kick off a door shutting run with a timely three of his own. Harris was also part of a concerted effort from Team USA to move the ball. After just 11 assists against the Select Team, the United States had 24 assists on 34 shots tonight against Spain.
Within the game, Gregg Popovich staggered the center rotation tonight to three minute stretches. Perhaps this was a response to Team USA’s scrimmage loss on Wednesday, forcing guys to play with a sense of urgency when they did get onto the floor. As such, Myles Turner got four different runs throughout tonight’s game, finishing with eight points, three rebounds, and two blocks.
In the first quarter, Turner was slow to start, but picked up in a big way late. Turner got his first bucket following a miss with a big dunk off of an offensive rebound. It was the first of six straight points for Turner, pushing Team USA into a double figure lead, including a nice cut and finish from Harris.
In the second quarter, Turner showed up on the defensive end, getting his first block of the exhibition season. He continued to stand strong defensively in the second half, picking up his second block in the third on Marc Gasol. Gasol hasn’t been a favorable matchup for Turner in the past, but did a solid job tonight holding strong against him in the post.
After a really so-so performance against the Select Team, Turner really showed his worth tonight against Spain. He will, however, need to better adjust himself to the zone defense he and Team USA will almost certainly see more of heading into the World Cup after Spain’s success in employing it tonight.
That’s of course assuming Turner makes the final cut for the Team USA roster. That cut has yet to take place, and with the team leaving for Australia tomorrow for a trio of exhibition games, the announcement could be made within the next day assuming Popovich at the coaching staff want to only take the final 12-man roster on the trip overseas.
With or without Turner, however, the next exhibition game will take place on August 22nd as the first of two games against Australia in Melbourne. The game will take place at 7:30 p.m. local time, making it a nice, cozy 5:30 a.m. tip in Indiana and other Eastern time zone locations.