Sunday, September 12, 2010

Team USA Knocks Off Turkey

The culmination of the 2010 FIBA World Championships was a victory for Team USA over Turkey. Kevin Durant was the anchor to the 81-64 victory. Sparking the offense, Durant's shots from downtown seemingly never clanked out. Overall, the USA played a really physical game and had solid continuity.

While the game itself was only OK (the first half was much better than the second), the coolest part of this game was the fans. Yes, Turkey was the home country and this was their shot at the gold medal. Still, these fans have a difference to them that throughout the entire tournament was evident and refreshing. They look as if their well being depends on their country's win or loss in the games outside of pool play. That is largely unseen in the NBA. It gives more meaning to each play.

Many people are talking about how amazing Kevin Durant was in this game. Frankly, I'm not sure there's a word that really captures the level of his performance. Nor is there a word that I could use to tell you how good he'll be in a few years. But, WOW, this guy can play the game of basketball. I'll expand on where Durant is headed in his career in another post.

Lamar Odom provided some intangibles in this game. His defense was strong and he provided much needed versatility. He's not exactly Durant-like, but he was an important role player for this squad.

My respect goes out to Turkey for hosting the tournament and being great losers. They handled themselves admirably, knowing the result would be a loss. That can be tough to do, so that shows they are a strong willed group. The value of that is priceless. They won in my book also.

It's back to the states for Team USA now. Training camp is about two weeks away. I'm already amped for the end of October. The quest for another title is ever approaching!

Photo from: Yahoo! Sports

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