The exciting thing, however, is that they beat the USA …

The exciting thing, however, is that they beat the USA by being among other things taller. Coach Gregg Popovich had to play small against Rudy Gobert, but the small ball didn’t affect at all the French game plan. “We knew, and we didn’t want to adjust to that,” explained Batum after the game. “We wanted to keep him on the court. Because… he is our best player. He is the back-to-back defensive player of the year. We know what he can bring in defense and offense as well. That’s why the coach kept him on the court. We knew that his defense would help us. And he also help us on offense. He got better, and that will be the next step for him. He has shown some improvement, he moves better, he knows how to get inside, and if he gets to be like we want him to be, it will be the next step.”
Storyline: World Cup
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September 18, 2019 | 8:25 pm EDT Update
On Wednesday, some members of the Pistons organization joined Henry Ford for the sports medicine center’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. Detroit Lions team owner Martha Ford, 94, the widow of William Clay Ford, was in attendance. (The Lions also use Henry Ford for their team’s doctors.). “Our move to Detroit would not have happened without our partnership with Henry Ford,” said Arn Tellem, vice chairman of the Pistons. “Our organizations have worked side by side to create one of the best developments in medicine and sports, not in the region, in the world. This is a true game-changer for our team, franchise and the community.”
September 18, 2019 | 7:05 pm EDT Update
Pacers coach Nate McMillan echoed Bitadze’s disappointment in missing Summer League, adding the rookie would’ve played if he was able to. “We tried to do everything we could to try to speed up that visa,” McMillan said. “As soon as we drafted him, we talked about it that night. To try to get it, put a rush on it and get it so he could get back and play. I would’ve loved to see him play in Vegas. It didn’t work out, but it was good to see him in some runs in the month of August and September.”
Standing all of 6-11, the 20-year-old hovered above the media scrum surrounding guard T.J. McConnell. Phone in hand, using his best reporter stance, Bitadze jokingly asked the fellow newcomer what he knew about his native Republic of Georgia. McConnell answered deadpan, “Not a thing,” before firing back at Bitadze to tell him what he knew about his hometown of Pittsburgh. “Uh, nothing,” Bitadze said with a sly smile, drawing laughs from the reporters in attendance.
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