USA vs Greece (Live thread)

45-41 Greece at the half.

US was up 12 late in the second Q, but then inexplicably started playing retard ball... fouls on 3pt shooters, travelling, stopped playing defense...

Greece went on a huge run and took control.

I expect US to come out much better in the second half, but still puzzled why the US is unable to make adjustments mid-quarter.

Carmelo playing well as usual... US not shooting well though. Too much one on five and two on five ball going on.


Staff member
I think part of the problem, as they've mentioned, is that none of our guys know any of these Greek players.

I'm not worried, though. I have faith. I watched Andre Agassi win and I'm up at this ungodly hour to watch the US win!
USA will have to play a lot better to win. And they to have to improve a lot if they go out to win, because Greece is not in the same level of Spain and, specially, Argentina.

The Americans show a lot of dificulties against zone defense. There's not enougth shooting to strech the defense to the perimeter. Too much one on one against a tight, closed defense.

Did i just see Shaq playing for the Greeks? The number 5, Shortsianitidis, looks like his clone.


Staff member
Oh, look. They're standing around the perimeter and shooting jump shots...and missing.




I think I'm going to hurl.


Staff member
Oh, even better. Now they're choking from the stripe (well, where the stripe would be if there was a stripe on the floor).


Okay, I'm done. I'm not going to force myself to stay awake to watch this. I can pull out tapes from past Kings playoffs and see this stuff.

Yep, US just embarrassing themselves out there.

No attempt to play an offense other than isolation, and no ability to defend the pick and roll?

I really think it's this type of situation where Kobe would help. The young guys are talented, but there's just no clear leader or someone used to pressure.

Definitely impressed with the in-game adjustments by Greece. Not sure if Coach K is unwilling or feels the players are unable to handle a more complex offense and take a time out to tell them how to defend a pick and roll. :)

Ah well, at least Agassi won tonight!


Hall of Famer
Um... you would think that the US palyers would be just a little bit better at defending the pick and roll, it's not it's the first time these guys have seen it!
hurrah! i am glad that bball won and nball (the deformation of basketball being played in the nba) lost. and this score goes to all who kept saying team usa has got to play better and was ridiculed by the majority, here and elsewhere.
Well, quite a disappointment. Greece lived up to their hype coming in - impressive. I never thought it'd be a lock for USA to win this, but of course they had a damn good chance to win the thing.

But, in the long-term, and as put out there when it was formed, this is a rebuilding of the USAB program with a lot of young players (specifically for this tournament because of the declinees). Which leads to the Olympics, where there'll be a better team. Not only because of guys like Redd/Kobe/Billups/Pierce/Marion being added, but the continuing development of the younger players, and chemistry of the whole team. The latter obviously not quite being there because of the short time in coming together.

Personally, I'd rather them come up short in this tournament than in the Olympics in 2008.

Like Fraschilla said, good experience for USA.

little Shaq was great , trade him!
Guy looked like Oliver Miller or Robert Traylor, actually. Shaq's more defined and taller. If he was more defined/bulkier even at his 6'9"/6'8" height, I'd agree he'd be a baby Shaq, looks-wise.
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I think U.S. basketball needs a change in mentality, attitude. It all starts right at home with the NBA. Stop forcing the star attitude, in which the stars get more spotlight than their own teams. It's a team game, not Lebron vs Kobe but Cavs vs Lakers. Some of your players displayed pi** poor attitude IMO. Same problem Serbia is having really, except all the primadonna's (Peja, Radmanovic, Jaric) are not on the team anymore. After we were booted from the last competition, there were several fights in the locker room between non-nba and nba players. Radmanovic went as far as saying that "everybody on this team is jealous because I play in the NBA and i make this and that much money" (not quoting him directly), while our co-captain basically called Jaric, Radmanovic, etc. "nba pricks". Absolutely ridiculous.

Either way ... a combination of poor coaching & mentality lost you guys the game.

Oh yeah ... it would help if you guys sent your best players. :)
I really like Rodriguez and still wish the Kings had drafted him. Quick, great ballhandling, runs the break, looks for teammates and unlike Jwill(who they compare him to) he attacks the basket.

He just lead a break and passed to Rudy Fernandez in stride for the dunk. Fernandez looks fast and athletic as well.
Stojakovic said:
Oh yeah ... it would help if you guys sent your best players.
The 'best players' thing doesnt matter, its already been done. The only exceptions are Kobe & Shaq, who even if they did play definately wouldnt get the star treatment they thrive on.

'98 - "if we sent nba players..."
'02 - "if we sent the best nba players..."
'04 - "if we sent younger, more motivated nba players..."

'06 - :confused:
I really think it's this type of situation where Kobe would help. The young guys are talented, but there's just no clear leader or someone used to pressure.
Haha. About to say... So much for Bron being the leader Kobe wasn't (according to some hack writer from Chicago this week).

I'm not really upset to see these guys lose. I'm not even shocked anymore. Back in 02, I was a tad surprised, but this is becoming a routine for the Yanks.
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Yeah, you're both "correct," but Variant didn't come across in the sort of semi-obnoxious "Haha, I told you Kobe's the best" manner that you did.
It is what it is. It sounds less obnoxious coming from him merely because he's a neutral observer and I'm most def an ardent K.B.B. supporter and make no bones about it.

I'm not gloating at you guys, I'm gloating in my mind at all those who wrote about the team being better off w/o him and how it was best to have guys like Bron, Melo, and Wade in leadership roles, even tho K.B.B. has more experience and intensity than any of them. I'm not really happy they lost because Kobe wasn't there to rescue them, but because I hate many of the players on the team and it's an opportunity for me to use it as fodder against them in the future.


Don't Make Me Use The Bat
Staff member
I think U.S. basketball needs a change in mentality, attitude. It all starts right at home with the NBA. Stop forcing the star attitude, in which the stars get more spotlight than their own teams. It's a team game, not Lebron vs Kobe but Cavs vs Lakers.
Actually that's STILL not the problem -- that's just the political angle from younger nations wihtout the star talents.

One problem of course is just youth -- an intentional move to build long term, but still sending out a very young team into unfamiliar surroundings to play experienced teams under a derivative ruleset. Almost like the college All-Star teams we used to send back in the 80s.

Another of course remains the shooting -- still amazes me that we once again did not respect how dramatically FIBA rules can alter the balance of the game. Had Brad around to wave a towel, but otherwise? Nope. All the same style of penetrating player once again in a rules variation directly designed to disadvantage such players.

And finally, and most on point, a major problem is, and has been for some time, having TOO MANY stars. Having a star or two is incredibly useful in basketball -- ANY basketball -- but even with a better looking effort, the US team was still built by piling up as many star players as possible. Does not work. Is unlikely to start working. Star players can only function as star players if they have the ball in their hands. When they do not have the ball in their hands, they are rarely that effective. Thus, given that there is only one ball, the U.S. does NOT have its best, or close to best team out on the floor. When forced to play off the ball you might be better having Robert Horry (well, when younger) than LeBron James.

Nonetheless, the foundation was clearly rebuilt this time out, and elements of this core seem quite likely to win gold at some point in the not too distant future. The focus on getting it done is finally there. But the incredibly slow learnign curve of the people who put these teams together remains something to behold. Figured out the dedicated team part of the equation, but little else.
The problem is that the international game is alot differant than NBA play. Just listening to Colangelo he says this is a young team and we need to get smarter in terms of playing the international game and he thinks they may need some more physical players. Also you have to realize that this Greece team is the defending europeon champion and they have been together for eight years.
This was the best thing to happen to the USA, in my opinion. It showed the team what they do have, and showed them what they don't have. The last World Championship and Athens was a huge slap in the face to say that the game has changed; this result shows that "you guys are good, but you have a good ways to go yet." How the team deals with this result and what they will do to rectify it will go a long way to re-establishing the USA as the dominant basketball power.

The curve won't be learned in one tournament. I can understand dissapointment, but the USA should feel no shame in this result, I think.
and if Lebron really told the guys "they (the greeks) don't know what to do" then some more humble pie is needed on the US team's plate.