9.13.2010

Now That You Told Me

Chasing-birds-up-the-beach-13870342453

You people exhaust me sometimes, especially when I'm suffering from stomach flu and dementia on my anniversary.

Here are a few thoughts I wanted to get down hard, after yesterday's feelings-gasm, the sort of post that makes everyone angry and really only serves as catharsis for yours truly at the exact moment it happens. Then regret, and defensiveness, and asking, "how could I have done better?" So here are some official FD Team USA 2010 talking points:

1. We were going to win anyway, so it didn't matter who we played. Team USA ran away with all but one game they played. Does that show that Coach K is that perfect? That this particular group was positioned just so to run away like clockwork? Sorry, Craig from High Point, it's proof that (as milaz sort of put it) America is the world's greatest except for when we aren't. Look at the rhetoric. We went from "FIBA-style pros" to changing what that meant, to deciding to just screw it all and make no illusions about going with athleticism and length. Like I said, is anyone saying "I told you so?" This is hollow, and boring, and the Worlds only matter this year because Nike told us they did, and because in a far-off galaxy failing to win could have kept us from the Olympics.

So fine, Coach K knows it all. But he didn't have much of a tall order here. I mean really, he put in Love for one game and got a double-double. Same for those times Eric Gordon snuck in. He didn't build those "secret weapons," they were stashed away on the bench. I gues it's cool that everyone wasn't going for self, but playing together is the new individual glory. Didn't anyone catch LeBron, Kobe, and Durant all agreeing on this in the last years? It was SO too easy, I'm not exactly inclined to think this required every single bit of his coaching wherewithal to put it all together. After all, one game of mortality does not a challenge make. Which leads me to . ..

2. As far as Positional Zaniness is concerned: Fool's gold, I say! Granted, my line-up was overly traditional. I guess the pick of Curry at point probably either trying to confuse people or make up for my past hatred of him. Westbrook probably was the guy. Maybe even, as much as it pains me to say it, better than Rondo for it. But what I would like to see from basketball—and when there's a non-stop blowout in the offing, I will stand up and talk about the style I like to see—isn't lots of a multi-skilled guys reduced to athletic role players who orbit around Durant. Really torn on Odom. I really underestimated his value, but really, hasn't Odom's basketball genius been in decline since he came to the Lakers? That was my point about so many other Odoms. Lamar Odom, doing dirty work? For that I would rather see Kevin Love! Andre Igudala was, I repeat, the only guy who really managed to sublimate his game and come out on the other side a more interesting player.

3. Kevin Durant is amazing. That cannot be denied. Really, though, did you ever see a more contrived story arc than this one? I didn't need FIBA to show me that KD can work wonders. I've seen it in the pros. I know he was treating it like any other high-stakes competition, but for anyone who NOW believes him to be up there with LeBron and Kobe, well, hold your horses until you've watched him in the NBA. I mean, did you see dude in the Goodman League back in 2008? HOLY SMOKES!!!!!!!

4. By that same token, does this officially mean that Danny Granger stinks?

5. And yeah, the Rondo thing did leave the worst taste in my mouth.

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42 Comments:

At 9/13/2010 2:39 PM, Blogger W2 said...

Agreed that the competition was kind of a joke. Semih Erden won't get off Boston's bench next season and could even be cut in training camp and watching Lamar eat him up like a chaco taco was a bit sad.

And Erden was a bright spot. Hedo had the quietest 16 points since, well every game last season.

But honestly, it is September and I was just happy to be watchin' ball.

Fianl bit on Granger.

His blank (I still can't figure out why I got no run) stare at the end of the finals game in some way redeemed Rondo's nonpresence. I would rather see no Rondo than Rondo sitting on Coach K's bench.

 
At 9/13/2010 3:44 PM, Blogger Mars Sunshine said...

2006 World Championship= LeBronze, and Lebron walks away a non-winner, non-finisher.

2006-07 NBA Season= Lebron in the finals & the demolition of the Pistons.

2008 Olympics: Kobe sacrifices his role for the good of the team, they win Gold.

2008-09 Season: Kobe sacrifices his role for the good of the team, they win the 4th Ring.

I could continue but why bother.

Durant is on a new field after Coach K told him to simply "Shoot it, when you touch it."

I cry for Seattle.

 
At 9/13/2010 4:50 PM, Blogger milaz said...

I would not read more into tournaments like these than it's worth. It's a two week basketball festival; each team plays nine games (and that's if they make it to the quarter-finals), four of those are knockout games.

There were some very good games: USA-Brazil, Argentina-Brazil, Turkey-Serbia, Spain-Lithuania... if you caught one of those you're lucky ... the rest is history, until the next tournament.

 
At 9/13/2010 5:37 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

I write just to say that I don't share Shoals's hatred for this team (hate is a strong word--I hate Nazis). I also don't think there's any conspiracy to make the Worlds more important than the Olympics; they just are, to most people in the world. The Olympics are more important in the U.S. because they were, like the nuclear arms race, a battlefield on which the Cold War was fought. Now, we Americans are trying to prove our supremacy over China, I guess? At any rate, this year's tournament was pretty lame, since no country had their full arsenal of NBA stars. Maybe in a world where Pau Gasol arguably deserves NBA Finals MVP, international competition doesn't mean as much. Or, is it that the mighty dollar rules, and no one wants to jeopardize their health/earning capacity for silly nationalism?

But, back to the players on Team USA. I see Shoals's point about the positional zaniness being fool's gold, and it was at least partially out of necessity, since who wants to give Tyson Chandler minutes. But, I actually liked Odom at center. It worked fairly well, and Odom *is* a dirty work guy. I thought that was the revelation we all had when he teamed up with Young Wade and Caron Butler in Miami. Instead of being the evolutionary KG (as some predicted), he introduced us to a new way that role players can be stars. He upped his rebounding numbers big time that year and became a prototypical glue guy, although with more flashes of brilliance and overall weirdness.

Obviously, Durant being a Top 3 player is not new to astute NBA fans, but it was interesting to see him clearly recognized as The Man by his peers. Seeing him dominate is always exciting, no matter the level of competition. I also liked seeing Gay and Iguodala use their length and athleticism on both ends of the floor. I think this experience is really going to help Gay next season. I'm a huge Derrick Rose fan, but I'll concede that his style can be somewhat inelegant, and the same goes for Billups. To be honest, they're both incredibly big and strong for point guards, and they used that to their advantage. Was it fun to watch? Not usually. A fully healthy Chris Paul or maybe Rondo or Wall would've helped make the game more beautiful, but I mean, this is nit-picking. This was a bunch of exciting young American players who enjoyed playing together and went undefeated. How can you hate on that? Let's not blame what was unquestionably a lame tournament on Team USA.

WV: knorts (yeah, basically)

 
At 9/13/2010 5:41 PM, Blogger The Other Van Gundy said...

Yeah, this tournament shed no light on Coach K's ability. It pumped up his international record to 48-1 (or whatever), but that means as much as as scoring 20 on 40 shots. With such a talent advantage, K has nothing to gain rep-wise. If he wins -- yep, why wouldn't they? But if they lose -- well, see the reaction to the 2006 Greece game.

With two evenly matched teams, good coaching can make that 1% difference that leads to a win. Here it's the difference between a 20 point blowout and a 25.

The only person who really gained from this was Durant. Yes, we were reminded that he's great. But he made the most gains from a narrative standpoint. This has been building all summer, starting with the Decision. His reputation got a bump because he isn't LeBron. Then he announced his extension via Twitter, blah blah... now he's the MVP candidate you want dating your sister. 29 PPG on 45-40-90, AND he salutes the flag?! What a catch!

I'm not much interested in the whole "he's such a good kid" angle, but seeing him and Westbrook play coolly on the big stage really bodes well for the Thunder. Westbrook in particular is fearless.

 
At 9/13/2010 6:36 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

Is anyone going to take issue with this: Aside from Durant and Iggy, this was mostly athleticism as blunt instrument, rather than inventiveness or beauty or whatever shit soccer fans care about that has no place in basketball.

There was actually something very college about the way certain players were "used". I'm thinking Gay when he was at his best. Am I just talking "discipline"? Yeah, but also how they were "limited", whether by design or this team's lack of any other kind of cohesion.

BR, Miami's Odom did little things, but with the offense going through him, and actually, brought himself closer to KG than he ever was in LA. In LA he was fucked-up Magic.

 
At 9/13/2010 8:27 PM, Blogger Teach said...

"...this tournament shed no light on Coach K's ability...." Agreed.

 
At 9/13/2010 9:38 PM, Blogger Dave M said...

"In LA he was fucked-up Magic."

Perhaps, but he's helped bring a couple titles.

Re: your take on the USA team in general, don't ever under estimate the power of the bad news bears.

 
At 9/13/2010 9:41 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

I mean with the Clippers.

 
At 9/13/2010 10:37 PM, Blogger Dave M said...

Hahaha! That Clippers squad was actually high entertainment. Only problem was that they were the Clippers.

 
At 9/13/2010 10:39 PM, Blogger spanish bombs said...

I'm impressed that you guys managed to watch enough of the Worlds to have an opinion. That was some ugly basketball!

Durant is considered a top 3 player?

Lebron is obviously better. I say that a healthy Wade is better. Kobe will be considered better by many.

There are arguments (that I wouldn't buy, mind you) for Paul and Howard.

I'm only comfortable with Durant as top 5, and I think he is in his own separate tier below Kobe, Lebron, and Wade, with another tier below him consisting of the merely very good. Although he is probably the best player for watching, with Kobe in close running.

 
At 9/13/2010 11:46 PM, Blogger Chad said...

"2008-09 Season: Kobe sacrifices his role for the good of the team, they win the 4th Ring."

I would love to know how you would support this statement with any sort of factual evidence.

 
At 9/14/2010 1:20 AM, Blogger Josh said...

@chad He went from attempting 1690 field goals all the way down to 1712 field goals.

As for this USA team, I think the problem was that the team didn't have an offensive identity other than "give the ball to Durant". I would have loved to see them actually try to build a FIBA offense with Kevin Love at center, good passing big men, and a bunch of shooters. Instead they just tried to overwhelm everybody with athleticism, which is less interesting when you do it with Rudy Gay and Chauncey Billups than when you do it with Michael Jordan and Larry Bird.

For example, a lineup with two out of three of Jameer Nelson, Stephen Curry, and JJ Redick in the backcourt and a frontcourt of Durant, Odom, and Love could have played (and won) the FIBA game on its own terms, which I think would have been much more interesting.

 
At 9/14/2010 2:03 AM, Blogger milaz said...

"Is anyone going to take issue with this: Aside from Durant and Iggy, this was mostly athleticism as blunt instrument, rather than inventiveness or beauty or whatever shit soccer fans care about that has no place in basketball."

That's why it's so ugly to watch most of US games because if they excel athletically, they are not forced to actually play basketball.... Teams that can force them to play with their head more, make it much more interesting... The plan for the US was let's ride Durant... and they did.... What would have made all of this a lot more interesting? If the US lost to Brazil in that group game and they ended up second and therefore, on the other side of the bracket having to face teams other than Angola.... Of course, that's beside the point, we've been saying it for years that the US is raw athleticism more often than not, but that's usually met with cries of "no we are the best" and "what do you know about basketball" etc. Basketball is not soccer, but it's not rugby either.

 
At 9/14/2010 4:07 AM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Are you kidding me with the ridiculous nitpicking going on here? We're armchair quarterbacking a gold medal-winning team because the mildly informed consensus is player x would've made the proceedings more aesthetically pleasing or otherwise interesting to watch? Are we at Sotheby's bidding up some cheesy name-brand dead white male artist or are we watching a basketball game? What's with all the Kevin Love love? Seriously? An earth-bound offensive rebounder is worthy of this Olympic-level slobbering? And all the Rondo d**k riding is a little homoerotic. He's a crappy outside shooter with a handle and quicks who couldn't have held Isaiah's jock, ring or not. And how about the barely restrained "we know better than several Hall of Fame coaches and some of the best athletes on the planet" snobbery pervading this piece? It sounds ridiculous. Did we win or not? Real talk, you cats sound like whiny brats being called home before the streetlights come on.

 
At 9/14/2010 11:18 AM, Blogger Straight said...

I agree with Benjamin's comment. There is a ton of snobbery that's crept into the discourse here, and it seems the **** riding is primarily of the "unconventional" dudes, aka the "non-superstars" that the blogosphere seems to love to embrace. For example, the oozing love for Rondo and Love, at the expense of guys like Rose and Durant, who you know, actually were picked to start by Coach K, who it seems Shoals thinks he knows more than.

I mean, seriously, who gives a **** how they won? They won! It's called "taking advantage of your players' strengths," and if "taking advantage of their athleticism" is how they won, then that's how they won. I'm sorry that it's boring to you, but the players' main goal while out there is not to "keep you from being bored," it's to win, which is exactly what they did.

I am anxiously awaiting the days when the Big 3 retire and Rondo is exposed, so this irrational love fest can finally end.

 
At 9/14/2010 12:47 PM, Blogger Browny said...

Amen to Straight & Benjamin,

The amount of sanctimonious BS being spewed here is amazing. This pseudo expertise is at the very least emotionally dishonest, you are either happy we won or not, not a yes, but… Finesse just for the sake of finesse is a product not of function, but pride. The point of any contest is to win, not to look pretty. Y’all make me so angry…..

 
At 9/14/2010 12:57 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

Winning is everything, I get it. Except for, in retrospect, it seems to have been largely assured. Then there's no room to wish for a team I'd liked watching?

And I like how this of all places is turning into a "Shoals, you don't know shit" moment. This team is pretty simple to grasp. The issue is whether, in wishing for a different team or approach, I'm being a know-it-all. Did I ever once say that this team somehow wasn't win-worthy? No. Just that I would have liked to see a more interesting one win.

If that is such an opaque concept to you, get the fuck off this site. I wish I liked soccer more, or at least got GolTV in Seattle. Seriously, when did the Worlds become the Final Stand against the Anti-Christ? Do you remember what the Olympics looked like?

Not even sure I buy the Bad News Bears angles, since there was nothing defiant here.

Oh, I'm sorry, that was too precious.

 
At 9/14/2010 1:20 PM, Blogger W2 said...

"The point of any contest is to win, not to look pretty."

This is just a fundamental oversimplification of sport and especially basketball. There are games within games within games.

The most mind boggling play in a game may or may not contribute to victory...does this make it irrelevant? Do you only watch the final two minutes of a game? Are the LA Clippers worth watching despite being constantly terrible? Do you like soccer?

To clarify nobody on this site claims to think that Rondo or Love are perfect or penultimate players. There flaws, real and percieved, contribute to their prettiness-if I may borrow your terminology.

 
At 9/14/2010 3:04 PM, Blogger Browny said...

“This is just a fundamental oversimplification of sport and especially basketball. There are games within games within games.”

Fundamental oversimplification or not, the fact remains that nobody follows any sport to enjoy the nuance. A 0-0 tie in soccer is fine, but I am not going into the game looking to enjoy the stylistic benefits of a 4-4-2 over a 5-3-1 or a 4-3-3. If your are watching a game as an invested fan you normally have a rooting interest which should normally be satisfied by getting the desired outcome, a win for your side. Normally dissatisfaction with the aesthetic value of a win "normally" stems from the sense that one side has such superior talent that it is somehow beneath it to have to struggle. Sports is sort of like politics without the damning consequences, results are absolute,
conducting referendums on margin of victor is mostly an exercise in semantics.

 
At 9/14/2010 3:12 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

Durant's better than Wade, and it's only a matter of time before he's better than Kobe. Lebron's the only one I would say is better, and I might still pick Durant if we were drafting right now.

 
At 9/14/2010 4:31 PM, Blogger The Other Van Gundy said...

Straight, Benjamin, Browny:

Is there such a thing as a good look, or a bad shot? Or only shots that go in and shots that don't?

Seriously, guys taking 300 words to say "the ends justify the means."

And Benjamin, why are you on a basketball blog if you don't believe in the validity of criticism? Try breaking into Coach K's house and jimmying the lock on his diary.

About Love: he posts Olympian rebounding numbers without the benefit of a vertical, so that's interesting. Then there's the fact that he's been buried on the bench and this was a good opportunity for him to play.

 
At 9/14/2010 4:34 PM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

I can't tell whether Browny, Straight, and Benjamin are new here or just deciding to renew a battle against Liberated Fandom. In case it's the former, a little help. And more recently.

@BRE: It seems to me that KD is a better scorer than Wade, but I'm not convinced that he's yet a better player overall. Plus, as this summer has progressed and it's become KD's World, I feel like folks are forgetting that he's not
only player who's intense, cutthroat, and likely to kill the other team on a whim.

More generally, this summer has actually soured me on KD. Signing an extension to play for Bennett/McClendon was part of it. He also seems to have become shrouded in the robes of Colangelo and K, which immediately puts a bad taste in my mouth. My immediate reaction to him putting 9/11 on his shoes in a Muslim country was not favorable. But then I began to just feel bad for him--like he's being led down a path by men who want to make him a paladin for their corruption. I haven't quite figured it all out yet.

 
At 9/14/2010 5:31 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

"Fundamental oversimplification or not, the fact remains that nobody follows any sport to enjoy the nuance."

Wow.

To clear one thing up, I don't necessarily think Durant is top 3 yet, just that he's already there in the minds of many after this tournament.

 
At 9/14/2010 5:53 PM, Blogger Browny said...

BS,

Can't fight with you on your own blog but "Wow." you don't owe me any but if you could only expand on that just a little?

I know where you are headed but ... first you were saying? - FYI Mack truck ahead.

 
At 9/14/2010 6:10 PM, Blogger tray said...

The point of playing a sport is to win, sure. But if the sole point of WATCHING SPORTS was to see teams, players, entities winning, then we'd all just watch the winningest athlete. Who's probably some obscure Olympian shot-putter. But we don't all watch the shot-putter because shot-putting's boring. We watch sports we find entertaining. Or aesthetically pleasing! So once you acknowledge that a major point of watching sports is entertainment and/or aesthetic pleasure, it THEN follows that teams are, to some degree, less or more enjoyable to watch depending on the aesthetics of their play, independent of whether those aesthetics lead to wins or losses. So famously a lot of people didn't like Pat Riley's 90s teams, even though they won. Because they played ugly ball. And famously a lot of people loved the D'Antoni Suns and the Warriors team that took out Dallas, even though, ultimately, they didn't win. I hated the D'Antoni Suns - but not because their style wasn't really built for winning, because I hated the style. I have a somewhat austere aesthetic. To take an extreme example, I'm sure we've all seen high school/college games where there's one player who's just much bigger than everyone else. His teams invariably win but, unless he's a dynamic post player and not just really big, are never fun to watch.

 
At 9/14/2010 6:39 PM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

But if the sole point of WATCHING SPORTS was to see teams, players, entities winning, then we'd all just watch the winningest athlete.

Or we'd all just read box scores.

 
At 9/14/2010 10:44 PM, Blogger tray said...

^^, No I take it Benjamin or whoever's contention is that he gets excitement out of actually seeing teams win, but doesn't particularly care how they do it. The rooting interest and all. Although you have a fair point, I care about whether the Phillies win and find the stats side of baseball interesting, but I don't really enjoy the game aesthetically, especially once our octogenarian announcer died and got replaced by the blandest douchebag in pro sports announcing. So I just watch the streaming box scores for the most part.

 
At 9/15/2010 1:17 AM, Blogger Benjamin said...

I'm not a newbie. I follow and read Shoals here and wherever he writes. The commenters tend to be of a piece with my thinking and general mind set whether I ultimately agree with them or not. I dig the way you think about and express the ideas surrounding a game we all care a great deal for, otherwise what's the point of arguing what are essentially aesthetic differences re: how we consume, interact with and, yes, criticize the product.

Your opinion, Mr. Shoals is entirely the point. I just happen to disagree with it in this instance. It doesn't make me like your writing or the insights to be gleaned from it any less. I can appreciate early Iverson throwing a full-court bounce pass that leads to a layup just like I can appreciate Nene boxing out and grabbing the rebound that leads to an outlet pass that leads to a layup at the other end. Picayune is, in part, also the point where forums like this are concerned, at least to my mind. I thought things were getting a little too precious in light of the fact that the USA won, but I certainly understand and appreciate your desire to have seen the win happen differently. I'll be buying your new book and look forward to continually enjoyable writing here and elsewhere and the discussion attending on it.

 
At 9/15/2010 1:43 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

I think what gotten lost is the fact that, as competitions go, the Worlds left me somewhat underwhelmed. That the US won so handily, playing like they did, is kind of annoying. Because forget about beauty, or truth, or revolution—they dominated without putting on any kind of clinic, aside from Durant (and Iggy). The whole thing felt easy, but in an aimless, silly kind of way. So I nit-pick more than if it had been a tough road to the championship.

And, dare I say, if the team had been challenged more, Coach K would have had to try something else. Or the players would have had to develop stronger chemistry. I don't know.

 
At 9/15/2010 10:42 AM, Blogger SpoonyBard3000 said...

It's kind of like when Diablo Cody won that oscar for Juno. It wasn't a bad movie at all, but the writing was the weakest part, and for some reason that was getting all the credit. It was gimmicky and cheap, and I cringed a little bit because I knew that her win was going to incite a lot of justification and, ultimately, imitation.

It's the same with this team. Even if you subscribe to the notion that winning is everything, some wins just aren't as meaningful as others. Would we be talking about the brilliance of coach K if they had just beaten a bunch of high-school teams? No? Well, this isn’t really that meaningful either. We won by brute force against a bunch of undermanned teams. I don’t mean to impugn the other national teams, who were obviously quite good in their own ways, but it doesn’t change the fact that we have to make excuses for them by pointing out again and again that certain key players weren’t there. But still, hooray for us, we’re so awesome.

This team had countless opportunities to play in more interesting, unexpected, fun-to-watch ways, and they turned down almost all of them. I enjoyed watching the other nations play each other much more, and that’s too bad.

 
At 9/15/2010 11:22 AM, Blogger ghostlygerbils said...

Impossibly, I don't think we're talking about KD enough with this team. There's so much focus on what the others didn't do that his accomplishments are being written off as "expected." Since when are educated expetcations allowed to substitute for the reality of what he did? Can we not celebrate the great joy of seeing what we wanted and hoped for come true, even if, perhaps, it is more of a gradual blossoming than most media narratives would admit?

You say the competition was underwhelming. It was "easy" because we had the best player, by far, and he did not allow our deeply flawed team to come close to exposing those flaws. To me that's not underwhelming - that's individual domination so impressive that it must be compelling, no matter what the expectations were.

In some ways, it felt like Kevin Durant joined my team of shitty pick up basketball players and helped us crush the proud champions of the local rec league. Neither the expectations for KD nor the shittiness of the other players on his team would undermine my enjoyment of that.

I can't recall seeing that scenario play out at such a high level before, and I enjoyed the experience, even if it's not the ideal basketball storyline I would want every time.

 
At 9/15/2010 1:17 PM, Blogger Tom Deal said...

not much was ideal about worlds, but the gimp ass'd competition didn't help matters.

for instance: turkey skated by, clearly overperforming, and got stuffed.

so the US didn't get to play...

argentina in knockout
spain in knockout
serbia in knockout

those were the 3 teams i thought had a chance to make things interesting for us.

more importantly, KD IS a top 3 player. that's factoring in kobe's continuing decline (if the lake show wins it this year, its going to be because 24 sublimates himself even more), the sharing of the ball in miami (even though touches don't decide who the best is), dwight howard's continuing incompetence, and the unforseen unimaginable. have you WATCHED KD??? or looked at say... the fact that he led the lig in scoring last year, and did it in a way that seems to indicate he's going to be better whether you like it or not.

rondo is total hype, i think that aside from being a kind of janky athelete who is almost never boxed out, he kind of sucks. although that behind the back fake out is hella nifty. i just don't like the dude, let's leave it at that.

love is cool though. i mean, i was definitely one of those "fuck this stupid white boy, he can't jump or do anything" people. love isn't that guy, he's more like a talented brad miller. kyle singler on the other hand is a stupid tool who deserves to be maligned.

but finally derrick rose has 100% lost me as a fan. i just find him to lack any intelligence or spirit whatsoever. he's like some sort of basketball cipher who does well when he doesn't ever have to step up. he can step up, but that's not really gonna work out. especially compared to westbrook, WHO I WILL JOCK FOREVER.

sonics ain't dead.

 
At 9/15/2010 1:57 PM, Blogger Buckeye Ballers said...

To each his own, but imo watching Lawrence Westbrook laugh at a big bad European zone by driving past 3 guys and finishing IS FUN to watch. We are the U.S, we will beat you with our style, we have skilled & athletic players..oh yeah..we like to dunk too.

I watch a lot of European Basketball (Domestic leagues & Euroleague), I appreciate the way they play. With that said, it was an absolute riot watching USA demoralize Turkey & that field with their style, exciting and funny at the same time. And the fact that it evidently 'bored' some of these fake purists makes me even happier about our gold medal. And if you payed attention, there were some stretches vs Slovenia, Lithuania, Russia & Turkey where USA had to really probe & use good ball movement against those zones to find Durant, it wasn't all helter skelter.

About the field, you think some Euro squad would apologize for winning over a weaker field? Hell no, USA doesn't have to either. Maybe some of those teams like Greece will stop those dumb ass Euro pool play tactics of playing suspect games to have an easier road in the knockout stage. For all the talk of arrogance, USA plays more honorably than a lot of world teams..they just go out and play..and it's not their fault they won all their games.

Furthermore, it's kind of funny how some seemed to be insinuating that relentless team defense & transition execution is somehow not 'basketball'. That's like a football homer excusing his or her team by saying,"well if you take away that fumble"..uhh it's kind of part of the game.

Maybe without Durant they construct more a european style of team, but there was no need because nobody in FIBA has an answer for Durant. NOBODY, not even teams at 'full strength'..he just wrecked FIBA at 21..he was on some Nick Gallis, Dražen Petrović type ish.

 
At 9/15/2010 1:58 PM, Blogger Buckeye Ballers said...

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At 9/15/2010 1:59 PM, Blogger Buckeye Ballers said...

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At 9/15/2010 2:51 PM, Blogger milaz said...

@Tom Deal: Yeah watching US play one of those teams would make it all more interesting... but this is how these tournaments are... you are the champion without playing everyone...

So the US beat Angola, Russia and Lithuania to get to the final - about half the teams in the field would get by the first two teams just as easily as the US.... In any case... This is how these tournaments are... for people in Greece, for example, they're still kicking themselves for 2006, for taking care of the US that had Melo, Lebron, etc and lost to Spain (again!) in the final... you get one chance in these tournaments, its win or go home... the US managed to get by Brazil by 2 points and that helped them to have the easier path to the final... they played well and deserved it... but it's still a "situational" tournament... you never feel satisfaction... it's 9 games over two weeks,... there's no way you can feel the same as a tournament that lasts a whole season... so what Shoals is saying is something I feel after every tournament like this.... No team plays everyone else to get to the gold... it's chance and being focused at that given moment that gets you far in these tournaments... we've seen it many times and we'll see it many times again... I take it for what it is and enjoy the games...

 
At 9/15/2010 3:30 PM, Blogger SpoonyBard3000 said...

@Buckeyeballers:

“About the field…” No one is asking them to apologize. They won, good for them, but the point is that for most people one-sided victories just aren’t as much fun to watch. “Arrogance” and “honorably” haven’t come up here. No one is accusing them of being that way.

“Furthermore…” No one is attacking “relentless team defense & transition execution” (you do know what blog this is, right?) but even if we were, no one is saying that it’s “not basketball.” It just wasn’t that fun to watch, especially considering what an interesting group of players ended up on the team.

Some people like to be surprised, or to be given something to think about. If you’re happy watching one team “demoralize” another, then good for you. You should check out football!

 
At 9/15/2010 3:33 PM, Blogger SpoonyBard3000 said...

P.S.: Who is Lawrence Westbrook?

 
At 9/16/2010 10:31 AM, Blogger W2 said...

"Who is Lawrence Westbrook?"

Someone please create a picture mash-up of Lawrence Frank in suit and tie with Russell Westbrook's head pleading with Vince Carter (then with Nets) to pass or play defense or give a shit.

 
At 9/16/2010 6:14 PM, Blogger SpoonyBard3000 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 9/16/2010 6:16 PM, Blogger SpoonyBard3000 said...

Ask and ye shall receive.

http://i989.photobucket.com/albums/af14/Spoonybard3000/lawrencewestbrook.jpg

Kid can ball. The only thing higher than his hairline... is his vertical.

 

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