Smack / Aug 31, 2010 / 1:40 am

Team USA narrowly beats Brazil; The nation’s new No. 1 prep baller

Chauncey Billups (photo. Mannion)

When you’re not the ’92 Dream Team and penciled in to flog everybody by 30 or 50 points a night, you probably need some close games under your belt to test your clutch-ness and avoid complacency. For Team USA’s 2010 version, that game happened yesterday, as they barely hung on to beat Brazil in a tough contest that exposed a lot of U.S. weaknesses but also may have done them some good for later in the World Championship … Led by Leandro Barbosa, Tiago Splitter and J.J. Barea‘s long-lost cousin Marcelo Huertas, Brazil took the lead in the first quarter and didn’t give it up until late into the third, picking the U.S. apart with screen-and-rolls, timely threes, and Barbosa’s brand of South American Allen Iverson basketball, heavy on the jack … When Brazil couldn’t shoot straight as the second half wore on, Team USA was bailed out by Kevin Durant and Chauncey Billups. KD was a beast throughout, scoring 27 points (9-18 FG) to go with 10 boards. He kept the U.S. within striking distance, and Chauncey (15 pts) woke up just in time to take the reigns offensively. Chauncey couldn’t hit anything from outside (1-7 3PA), so he muscled his way into the paint for crucial buckets … With under a minute to go, Brazil cut the lead to two when Barboa scored after dropping Andre Iguodala with a behind-the-back cross that had Iguodala looking like an “America’s Funniest Home Videos” victim. Following an ill-advised shot on Team USA’s end (Chauncey missing another trey), Huertas got to the line with 3.5 seconds remaining. He missed the first free throw on accident, missed the second on purpose, and got his own rebound. Huertas found Barbosa under the rim for a contested shot, but it rattled out at the buzzer … Big red flags in this one if you’re pulling for the Americans: Pick-and-roll defense is still a problem, as Huertas (8 pts, 5 asts) and Splitter (13 pts, 10 rebs) were looking like Stockton and Malone; there aren’t any “takeover” guys on offense besides KD and Chauncey (this is where Derrick Rose and Rudy Gay step up); and Coach K is still making questionable subs and non-subs. In a game where the offense struggled all day and the shooters were firing bricks, why did Danny Granger and Stephen Curry never get off the bench? Why did Eric Gordon only play five minutes? Why keep loaded guns in the holster? … Other WC stat lines from Day 3: Luis Scola put up 32 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals as Argentina cruised past Angola; Patty Mills had 16 points and 7 assists in Australia’s rout over Germany; Hamed Haddadi posted 23 points, 13 boards and 4 blocks in Iran’s win over Tunisia; Goran Dragic‘s 14 points helped Slovenia beat Croatia; and Serbia had three players top 20 points as they laid the wood on Jordan, 112-69 … Now that the high school AAU/summer season is wrapped following last weekend’s Elite 24, as the kids head back to school it’s time to drop the newest High School Hoop national Top 50 rankings. Hopefully you got a chance to catch Austin Rivers, the new No. 1, in action this summer on TV. If not, he’ll be coming to a screen near you at some point during the season. Don’t think he’s just some overrated coach’s kid, either; Doc Rivers‘ kid is a BEAST on the court, poised like his Pops was when he played but also an electric athlete. Check out the rest of the Top 50 HERE … The Heat are somehow still signing players; second-round pick Da’Sean Butler‘s new deal gives them like 20 roster spots, and we’re still hearing everybody from Jerry Stackhouse to Larry Hughes to Antoine Walker talking as if Miami is interested in them … The Suns addressed their big-man situation — well, kind of — by re-signing former St. Joe’s center Dwayne Jones. He’d been traded to Toronto in the Barbosa deal, got waived, and is back in Phoenix. He can at least be a tackling dummy in practice so Hakim Warrick can get used to taking punishment from Western Conference bigs, or he’ll be the guy Robin Lopez practices fouling … We’re out like Varejao …

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  • BRUCE

    Iran you are in trouble. I am taking bets!

  • BUFFALO BRAVE

    First

  • BRUCE

    You are not first, you are 2nd, 2nd behind the PROUD and PURE Racist!

  • Shiptar

    Man, Brasil can only blame themselves for the loss. They couldn’t hit anything in the last quarter. They missed like 10 straight threes..
    Splitter is gonna surprise some people this season in the nba.. He has some nice post moves.

  • YW

    the second half of the USA-Brazil match was ugly. Coach K needs to get more offense going, you can’t just rely on clear out and iso all the time.

  • e40

    Check out this article on bleacher report about most overrated athletes. Derrick Rose is number 3.

    Derrick Rose is an example of a good player being over-hyped by Stern and the NBA because he is in a big time market.

    Did people forget that the Bulls made the playoffs for three years in a row (2005-2007) with Kirk Hinrich pulling the strings before they narrowly missed the playoffs in ’08? The Bulls then lucked out in the lottery and Rose came in to “save the day.”

    Rose is not the only player on that team, Gordon, Noah, Hinrich, and Salmons all added depth to the Bulls while the NBA made it look like Rose was carrying the team on his back.

    The Bulls haven’t really improved since Rose arrived in town, as they continue to flirt with a .500 record. Yeah, Rose averages 20 points but it takes him 18 shots to get there (no lie, those are the cold numbers).

    His assist numbers have dropped from his rookie year, has no semblance of a three point game, and doesn’t play a lick of defense. Yet the ESPN analysts were all up in a tizzy because they thought he should have started in the All-Star game? Please.

    The only thing he can really do is score, and he even does that inefficiently. Allen Iverson put up 19 shots a game with Denver in 2008 and still managed 26 points a game.

    Stern and the NBA are loving the whole Derrick Rose mania that is going on because it’s bringing them a ton of money, however it appears they’ve been keeping us in the dark, because Derrick Rose is overrated.

  • e40

    that article is nothing but the truth

  • onezero

    what do you know, Jordan got trashed! in basketball!

    surely “Jordan” wont be happy, lol

  • http://luckylester.com luckylester

    is it legal to write a bad joke down then lol yourself?

    i’m all for trashing coach K, but I’m sure it’s tough to find the right amount of time for a team full of guys like that – though I do wonder why Granger doesn’t get minutes over AI2, all defense?

    Curry’s lack of PT had to be because they couldn’t stop the pick and role with him on the bench, think of how many points they would have dropped if Steph on skates during that.

    Rose is good. He’ll be really good in a couple years, but he’s good. That’s all that needs to be said about that.

  • yoda

    i wonder how these good games from haddadi will translate in nba next season. will he play at all, with some confidence, or will he rot on bench/nbdl? haven’t had a chance to watch iran play but i see statistics, and he doesn’t look bad. will he get backup center position in memphis this year?

  • droc

    Rose is 21 years old and has led his team to two playoff berths. His first ever playoff game he scores an NBA rookie record 36 points on the road against the celtics and he’s overrated? a career playoff average of 23 points 5 boards and 7 assists in only two years in the league. this kid had a head coach that never coached before a day in his life and he is supposed to be a finished product after two years? check Chris pauls, DERON, Steve Nash, matter of fact any elite piont guards numbers after year two and Rose compares favorably to them all. Quit hatin and let the kid continue to grow with his game

  • droc

    and also on that bleacher report article they also had Lebron and Dwight Howard in the top ten of most overrated players so that list loses all credibility. One of the comments stated that Lebron James averaging 8.5 assists per game last year does not make him a great passer, are you kidding me? thats probably the greatest attribute the kid has and you critique that?

  • Kingsley

    As posted in the other post, I am really puzzled at why the lack of love shown to Danny Granger? While it is understandable that size is an issue for S.Curry to get minutes, Danny possesses an old school fundamental game, much more polished offensive skills than Iggy & Gay, less one-dimensional than EG, and would certainly have shoot us back into the game (along with KD & Chauncey) yesterday when it was evidently, more offense is needed.

    I understand about the emphasis on athleticism on defense, but last night was clearly the night where Danny’s versatility will have come in handy for us, yet he is limited to the human victory cigar treatment…

  • Trey bing bay

    Does anyone in the NBA actually play good screen and roll defense?

  • http://www.cracked.com/funny-353-kobe-bryant/ Atom

    That was the first time I saw Splitter play. Him and Duncan are going to be trouble for other front lines in the west

  • JAY

    @14: “Does anyone in the NBA actually play good screen and roll defense?”
    Varajao is really good at defending the screen-roll.
    I know a lot of guys here say he’s garbage and worthless but he’s one of the best at hedging the roll.

  • JAY

    I apologize for the spam but have you guys heard about the man claiming to be Lebron’s dad??

    http://edition.cnn.com/2010/SPORT/08/30/lebron.paternity.suit/?hpt=T2

    This guy is obviously dilusional.
    Delonte West is Lebron’s dad.

  • Legend33

    It takes time for guys without a jump shot and fundamentals to learn to play the international game, that’s why Rondo got cut. Rose should be benched in favor of Curry. At least with Curry nailing 3s you’ll be able to trade baskets in your favor 3-2. Remember how Larry Brown had to bench Lebron, Wade and Melo in ’04 cuz they were not ready for the international game. Hope the Celts get Rivers in the ’12 draft then Doc will stay on as coach for sure.

  • http://5onit.com Chicagorilla

    @e40, so Rose sucks because he is the best player Chicago has had since Jordan and Pippen? Or because he led the Bulls (20, 7, 7) in the first playoff series of his career thru a classic 7game series vs the defending champs? Basically you have no idea what you are talking about. Everyday u got a new reason why Rose sucks and none of them make any fluckin sense. In other news these WC games arent as interesting as i expected them to be. And the influx of foriegn posters claiming that “their guy/team” is the ish and underrated has become annoying. And Rat face is giving them more ammunition by coaching like an jagoff.

  • DH

    Yo Dime,

    Who was that chick in the stands they kept showing? When Splitter got his fourth foul, they showed her a lot and then later in the game they showed her a few times. Run a piece on her or at least give us some links.

  • http://5onit.com Chicagorilla

    @Legend33, i agree that Curry should play more and perhaps start depending on the match-up. But Rose isnt the problem my friend. Its Billups. He has always been a jacker and for whatever reason he thinks he should have the ball in the clutch so he can take wild 3pters or drives to the lane that he doesnt have the athleticism to finish. FIBA refs dont respect him like NBA refs and he doesnt get it. Curry has been the best PG on the team overall but Rat face doesnt know how to use him. I hope Seth Curry has been watching this too.

  • JAY

    @e40
    Are you seriously knocking D-Rose’s game? Saying he can’t play D?? Wow.

    “Rose is not the only player on that team, Gordon, Noah, Hinrich, and Salmons all added depth to the Bulls while the NBA made it look like Rose was carrying the team on his back.”
    I watched most of the Bulls’ playoff games at a bar w/ the sound muted. Rose DID carry that team on his back. Unless Stern hired a magically crew to edit live video, I don’t understand what you are saying. Mind you, I didn’t even want the Bulls to win.

    Rose is barely out of diapers and you knocking his game like he’s capped out. Get real bro. You may not like him (for whatever reason), but he finds ways to keep his team in games. He’s a winner.

  • LakeShow84

    “Its Billups. He has always been a jacker and for whatever reason he thinks he should have the ball in the clutch so he can take wild 3pters or drives to the lane that he doesnt have the athleticism to finish. FIBA refs dont respect him like NBA refs and he doesnt get it.”

    YEEEEPPPPPPPPP

    And i dont get the Mr. Big Shot moniker anyways.. yeah hes hit big shots but so have other players.. Shit i’d call Tim Duncan Mr Big Shot before i called Billups that..

    Free Stephen Curry!!!

    And Derrick Rose is THE TRUTH.. still gotta learn how to play PG as far as floor general goes but dude is ALREADY knockin on the top 5 door.. what this will be his 3rd year?? sounds good to me..

  • control

    Which point guards are really better than Derek Rose? Nash, CP3, Deron, Parker…maybe Billups, but I’d probably put Rose higher than Billups. Rose is def the best PG in the East, unless LeBron moves to PG in Miami (which he should).