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“Melo’s for sure the leader,” Team USA sixth man Paul George offered. “He’s the voice of this team.” “We don’t have enough time,” Colangelo said of the outgoing coach, “to talk about how much he has meant to our program.” Hard as it was to keep track of all the understandable praise flying around, Sunday’s gold-medal dismantling of Serbia was ultimately Durant’s day. He managed to trump the retiring Coach K (who leaves his post with a record of 88-1) and the record-setting Anthony (who became the first men’s basketball player in Olympic history to win three golds) with a performance on par with the 30 points he uncorked in the 2012 gold-medal game in London.
5 days ago via ESPN
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“I think to start out, personally, I thought we were going to dominate and these games were going to be easy,” said Paul George. “We started playing better competition, I think you see, across the board, these teams are pretty good. The luxury they have is they’ve been together for so long. You really can’t stress that enough. You see it. They just read each other so well. I think that’s the biggest thing that really separates us from them.”
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NBA offenses are often based on ball and player movement. But there are stylistic differences between European and NBA offenses, George explained. “In our game, there’s movement, but these guys, there’s constant movement,” he said. “You don’t ever sit still. In our game, there’s moments when you’re sitting still. You can have a rest period where there’s action on the other side. You’re constantly moving side to side and it’s like they don’t get tired. That’s very new to us.”
SI: [Against Australia] you guys finished the game with Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Paul George, Kevin Durant, and Carmelo Anthony. It seems like basketball’s evolved to even since the World Championships in 2014. What do you think of how quickly this has all changed? Thibodeau: I don’t think it’s changed dramatically. Size is still very important. What has changed is having guys who can play multiple positions. I think every team has to have the ability to do both. You have to be able to play big, and you know, everyone talks about Golden State playing small, but most of the time they’re playing big. And then they adjust and they’ll go with their small lineup, where they have a lot of 6’7 or 6’8 guys who are interchangeable. Really, that’s the way we’re built. We have two traditional centers with great size, and then we have the versatility of Draymond. That’s what makes Draymond so unique. His ability to play three or four positions, and then when you do play small, you’re not sacrificing you’re defensive rebounding. It’s a different look for teams. I think teams are moving in that direction.