Smack / Sep 3, 2010 / 6:13 am

Team USA’s unlikely hero; Sam Cassell returns for Team Serbia

Eric Gordon (photo. Jeff Forney)

It seems like the easier the opponent, the harder Team USA insists on making things for themselves. But at least they’re still winning, and usually by blowout margins. Yesterday’s World Championship matchup against Group B doormat Tunisia was supposed to be a harmless stomping — and when it was over, Coach K‘s team was up 35 on the scoreboard — but the lasting impression was that the most talented team in the WC field let a clearly inferior squad hang in with them for the entire first half (Team USA led by six at the break) and some of the third quarter before Eric Gordon (21 pts), Russell Westbrook (14 pts) led the bench mob in restoring order to the mismatch … Gordon wasn’t even supposed to make the squad, and yet he’s been the best player for Team USA on more than a couple occasions this summer. Watching EJ rain threes and bully his way into the lane, we started debating in the Dime office: Will the Clippers make the playoffs in 2011? They definitely have a talented core in Baron, Gordon, Blake and Kaman, plus a decent bench and they got rid of Mike Dunleavy Sr. But two things are standing in the way: (1) Somebody in the West will have to drop off between the Lakers, Nuggets, Suns, Blazers, Thunder, Jazz, Spurs and Mavs to create an opening, and (2) They’re the Clippers … Team USA doesn’t play again until Monday, when they face Angola in the knockout round. Charles Barkley will forever define this matchup by acting like Dee-Bo on the entire Angolan team in the ’92 Olympics, but the country has gotten better since then and isn’t totally in awe of NBA players anymore. Still, though, this shouldn’t be a tough game for the U.S. if they’re on top of their game. But that if is about the size of Nicki Minaj‘s ass … The Serbia/Argentina game went down to the wire, was littered with legit NBA talent, and best of all, NBA TV replaced The Worst Announcer Ever with another obvious soccer transplant who at least knew how to control his volume and not act like a fool … After Luis Scola spent 39 and a half minutes destroying every Serbian in his path, Argentina still found themselves down by two in the final seconds. Scola (32 pts) hit two free throws to tie it, then Serbian PG Dusko Savanovic (19 pts) answered back with a huge three for the lead, punctuated by the Sam Cassell Big Balls Dance. And despite some helpful fouls by Serbia (“That was a dumb foul,” the announcer said when they fouled a three-point shooter), Argentina couldn’t close the gap … Other WC stat lines from Thursday: Leandro Barbosa‘s 17 points helped Brazil get past Croatia; Fran Vasquez (remember him, Orlando fans?) put up 19 points in Spain’s rout of Canada; Kirk Penney, a.k.a. Oceanic Billy Hoyle, dropped 25 in New Zealand’s upset of France; Baby Shaq‘s 16 points and 9 rebounds weren’t enough to get Greece past Russia; Patty Mills‘ 11 points was the only double-figure scoring in Australia’s win over Angola; Tior Plieb put up 23 and 9 boards in Germany’s win over Jordan; Goran Dragic scored 18 as Slovenia beat Iran; J.J. Barea‘s 19 points and 7 assists came in a losing cause for Puerto Rico against Ivory Coast; Renaldas Seibutis went for 19 points in Lithuania’s win over Lebanon; and Semih Erden posted 18 points, 12 boards and 3 blocks as Turkey destroyed China … Seriously, China was terrible without Yi Jianlian, who sat out with an Achilles injury. As a team they had THIRTEEN points at halftime, finished with a mere 40, and was making Turkey’s big men look like Hakeem and Sampson clones. China’s turnover count (24) almost matched their shooting percentage (29% FG). The Better NBA TV Announcer was blatantly calling them soft and pointing out they had no heart … The Warriors are reportedly close to signing Rodney Carney, who might have been created in a lab specifically to play in Nellie‘s system. Carney is 6-7, all arms and legs, the son of a track star whose three best skills are running, jumping and dunking. It’s basically James White with a little less flight … We’re out like the tune-up round …

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  • Shiptar

    that was a late smack..

  • Shiptar

    and Savanovic is a SG/SF, defintely not a PG. Sorry dime..

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

    Nuggets could dump Mello and the Clips still wouldn’t be smelling the playoffs this year. Baron just looks like he could care less. Probably too busy making movies or something.

  • Andre78

    Its Tibor Pleiß for Germany… Remember Dime? Drafted by the Thunder ?!? Nothing ?

  • K Dizzle

    Cuz you’ve talked to Baron and know exactly where his mind is at…

  • Cetti

    And the guy is called Tibor Pleiß, not Tior Plieb.

  • masterp

    Tior Plieb??? That´s a good one.
    Please listen to Andre78.
    You can also spell his name “Tibor Pleiss”, since you have no letter “ß”. But Tior Plieb??? Come on.

  • STANI

    Savanovic is PF/SF not even a guard

  • Heckler

    @ Dime

    who is EJ?

    from Smack above: “Watching EJ rain threes and bully his way into the lane, we started debating in the Dime office:”

    again I ask Dime crew, who is EJ?

  • Heckler

    as for the Clips making the playoffs, they aint. but its their own fault. they needed a small forward this offseason and they couldnt sign any.

    they should have went after Paul Pierce, Josh Howard, Richard Jefferson. but no. their bum ass owner doesnt even know who he is signing and paying.

    but given their roster talent, they should at least not finish -25 games under .500.

    better question is, who will have a better record, LA Clippers or Memphis Grizzlies?

  • J

    EJ stands for Eric Junior since his dad is Eric Gordon Sr.

  • Mike “Patheti” Mihalow

    Since when did we all become grammar Nazis?

  • common sense

    how the hell do you only have 13pts at halftime… SMH

  • ab40

    yeah boiii the big balls dance made my day haha.
    Serbia is fun to watch they’re young they’re tough and they have a guy who does the big balls dance. But this is a huge win for Serbia it shows that they’re back on track to be a top 5 team in the world again.

    Spain have to face Greece saturday they’ve both had some brain fart moments vs teams from time to time so I hope they bring their A game.

    Dime you should have told the story about the ivory coast puorto rico game where ic had to win by at least 11 and were up by 12 with a few seconds to got and pr inbounding. pr were playing like teabags and knew they were going to be eliminated. The coach drew up a play the inbounds play happended the guy from pr hit the three. Then the lead shrunk to 9 the buzzer sounded and both teams were eliminated from the tournament and that gave china their reason to sit Yi becaus they were already through to the next round.

    Btw pr getting ousted in the preliminary round has to hurt for pr fans and the pr people who love basketball. It’s the number one sport in their country and they have NBA talent and players and they get beat by ivory coast in their last chance to advance after just winning one game vs sorry china.

  • mr bitches

    ej stands for eric jordan haha

  • Damon

    FIBA have made a very silly decision by having the final games at different times, which led to China’s routing.

    What should also be known is that Greece didn’t want to win against Russia, because they wanted to avoid Spain in the knockout round.

    Now let’s move to France – New Zealand

    - if France wins, they finish 2nd and will likely play Greece (see above), their nemesis
    - if France loses, but by no more than 11 points, they finish 3rd and will likely play Russia
    - if France loses by 12 points or more, they finish 4th and have to play Turkey, the home team

    So France gives very little effort, stand at -6 with 30 seconds remaining, then -9 (why fouling when the opponent can score 3 points ?) with 10 seconds remaining, and yet they forget AGAIN to foul before a 3-point attempt… 6 seconds left, -12, last shot goes in and out, France plays Turkey, Greece plays Spain, justice is done, the teams that didn’t want to win will likely go home soon.

    France > laughingstock

  • That’s What’s Up
  • BRUCE

    Charles Barkley (1992) said, “I don’t know who Angola is but they are in trouble.”

    I believe that then and I believe that now!

    Good ole Charles!

  • Derik

    @8, lol, get ur source right

  • LakeShow84

    Man that China game was UGGGLLLYYYY..

    That foo Erden had a sick transition dunk where he didnt even dunk on dude and dude fell down which made it seem all the cooler lol..

    Those Turks had stupid swag lmao and were playin good ol Netherlands football defense on China.. For reals if i was China i wouldve given somebody the 5 point palm exploding heart technique..

    But thats just me..

  • http://www.haywoodplanning.com D.H.

    Is Scola the most under rated player in the NBA?

  • http://www.mgo-webdesign.de Oo

    Man who is writing this ish lately. Who cares about Rodney Carney?! Hope the americanos are losing in the first round. This Team is crap…

  • asmaticasiatic02

    Nikki minaj’s ass before or after silicone implants?