HoopsHype Team USA rumors

September 10, 2014 Updates

Mike McGraw: There will be no USA vs. Spain at FIBA World Cup. Spain loses to France 65-52. Semis are USA-Lithuania on Thu and France-Serbia on Fri. Twitter @McGrawDHBulls

The popular narrative, which was relayed to him after Wednesday's practice, is that teams such as Lithuania and Spain have the formidable frontcourts to slow the USA's group of Faried, Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans), DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings), Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons), Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings) and Mason Plumlee (Brooklyn Nets). Faried disagrees. "That's what's going around?" Faried asked with a quizzical look. "That's massively disrespectful. I'm not buying that at all. We'll just have to see tomorrow, I guess." USA Today Sports

"I think we've played well," Krzyzewski said. "I don't know what everybody has been watching, but our guys have played our butts off, have great camaraderie. "We've developed into a really close group, a good group. If we don't win, it won't be because we haven't put the effort and developed the camaraderie and all that kind of stuff. We're proving worthy of winning. Now whether we do or not ..." USA Today Sports

The question is whether it's as important as the Olympic basketball tournament, which has always been more popular in the United States. "To the basketball people of the world, this is the event," U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski said earlier in the tournament. USA Today Sports

What that might do to increase interest in the U.S. remains to be seen, especially since the NBA has already said it won't release players for games during its season. "Well, in the case of basketball, there's no question that the Olympics has been historically a bigger event," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said before the tournament. "Basketball has been an Olympic sport since the 1930s, so the World Cup, just renamed from the world championship of basketball, is still developing into a world-class event." USA Today Sports

When the USA Basketball men’s team takes the floor Thursday in Barcelona, the significance of the date – 9/11 – will not be lost on American players or coaches. On the 13th anniversary of one of the most tragic days in the nation’s history, Team USA will play against Lithuania (2 p.m. Central, ESPN), in a FIBA World Cup semifinal that will represent more than merely a basketball game. “We have a big game tomorrow, on 9/11,” New Orleans forward Anthony Davis said of the Patriot Day game vs. Lithuania. “That’s going to make that game even more special, make us play with even more energy and effort.” “Like AD said, we’re playing for a lot tomorrow,” Pelicans four-year coach Monty Williams said. “We want to win the game, but we also want to represent our country on such an emotional day, and let our fans and citizens of America know that we’re not just representing them by making buckets; we also understand that this is going to be a tough day for a lot of people. We want to bring them some joy and some happiness on that particular day.” NBA.com

It’s only Wednesday, but it’s already been a pretty miserable week in sports. But you know one thing that helps keep me going in times of distress? Team USA. So you know what you’re getting today? TEAM USA ON JET SKIS. Grantland

But when the Phoenix Suns point guard was asked to pick a FIBA World Cup favorite just minutes after his Slovenian team was drubbed 119-76 by Team USA on Tuesday night, one might have assumed that he'd pick the Americans if only because of the magnitude of the one-sided moment. And one would have been wrong. "Uh, I mean so far, (it's) Spain," Dragic said. USA Today Sports

September 9, 2014 Updates

But a D-Rose is not a D-Rose if he isn’t playing his own particular style, and the talk with Coach K was the equivalent of Rose being read the riot act. Play the way you are capable of playing, and all the negativity will cease. “He gave me the green light,” Rose said. “When a coach like that tells you to be more aggressive, it gets you thinking another way. It eases you.” SheridanHoops

Team USA 119, Slovenia 76. WHAT HAPPENED. BARCELONA – In this setting where winning isn't merely enough and every phase of Team USA's games are analyzed in the context of whether or not they can beat Spain in a championship game, this wasn't a good look. In the first half, anyway. It was an alley-oop fest at the end, when the guard-heavy Slovenians simply folded under the pressure of the American's superior talent. Still, the start was ugly enough to make you wonder about what it means going forward. USA Today Sports

In 2006, after two poor international showings by Team USA, Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski called a lock-down defensive specialist: Bruce Bowen. They wanted the then three-time NBA All-Defensive first-team selection to be the glue guy the national team had missed in previous tournaments. But he was cut just three days before the start of the World Championship that Japan hosted that year. It seems Bowen hasn’t forgotten. “I’m an american, I had an opportunity to represent my country and I was thrilled about that. It was one of the highlights of that year… Until I was cut”. “It’s not that I couldn’t make the team, I got cut. I still have problems with that”, Bowen said half-jokingly, half seriously in Madrid, Spain. Spanish Hoops

The more significant force driving him: Irving is still waiting for his first taste of the NBA playoffs -- his first taste, frankly, of an NBA game that really means something -- so ?he sees this tournament he's in now as quite a big deal. "This is by far the biggest stage I've played on in my career," Irving said. And ... "Nothing is guaranteed," Irving acknowledged. "If we lose, there's a lot at stake?." ESPN.com

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