Team USA Routs Finland 114-55
There is not a whole lot to say about the result. The US outscored Finland 29-2 in the second quarter and that was all she wrote. Anthony Davis was impressive, scoring 17 points to go along with 4 rebounds and an assist. While he did not block a shot or record a steal his presence in the lane greatly affected the Finnish guards throughout the game. According to CBS Sports Davis was the star of the game.
1. Anthony Davis (17 points, four rebounds) was the biggest impact player in this game. He had no blocked shots, but his presence inside kept sending Finland's guards scurrying back out of the paint. Meanwhile offensively, he couldn't be stopped. He had the mid-range jumper going and was bursting through two defenders with ease to get to the rim. Davis doesn't looked like the most polished player on Team USA. But he did look like the most impactful.
Omer Asik Ineffective Against New Zealand
1 point, 2 blocks, and 2 turnovers is not the kind of stat line Pelican fans wanted to see from their new center against a small New Zealand squad. Asik was in early foul trouble and played just 10 inconsequential minutes as the Turkish squad found a way to eek out a 76-73 victory in their first FIBA World Cup game. Sunday would be an entirely different story altogether.
US Struggles with Turkey, Pulls Away in Second Half
The first half was ugly, the exact kind of grind it out game Monty Williams must love. Turkey played a lot of zone, brought the pace to a crawl, and ground out each and every possession. Many Turkish possessions in the second quarter went down to the shot clock as they deliberately kept the Americans from picking up the tempo.
Time for Team USA to stop fouling and gambling. Turkey's 18 trips to FT line have only helped 'em control the pace. Turks LEAD 40-35 at HT— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 31, 2014
U.S. trailing Turkey 40-35 at half. Turkey coach Ergin Ataman delivering a clinic. Also, they didn't let USA's coach bring ACC officials.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) August 31, 2014
+1 to Woj for the Coach K troll job.
Anthony Davis went into the half with just a single rebound and no points. Omer Asik had completely controlled the paint and the glass. The second half would be different.
Anthony Davis scored a quick nine points in the first three minutes. Unfortunately, "Team Leader" James Harden was also on the court, playing typical Harden-esque defense.
Y'all, Harden played defense yesterday. You can't expect him to play defense on back to back days.— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) August 31, 2014
How Harden keeps playing with this defense, I have no idea. https://t.co/buFLdjyGU8— BBALLBREAKDOWN (@bballbreakdown) August 31, 2014
Finally in the 4th quarter the team started to put things together and stretch out the lead. Anthony Davis finished a variety of alley-oops and tip ins, some of which were of the "only Davis can do that" variety. Davis finished with 19 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals in just 26 minutes of work. AD was again the player of the game according to CBS Sports.
1. Anthony Davis scored all 19 of his points in the second half, and continues to be the most impressive player on the roster. When his team made an effort to find Davis, Turkey really couldn't do anything to stop him. The pick-and-roll with him and Stephen Curry is the deadliest play you'll see in this tournament, and his length makes him the best alley-oop target in basketball. He had two blocks and two steals, too, and the defense just looks different every time he goes to the bench.
Asik was unable to keep up his stellar play from the first half and finished with 6 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 6 ugly turnovers. His free throws were about as bad as expected. Turkey put the ball in his hand much more frequently than the Pelicans project to; but the turnovers (and relative stone hands) are a known negative.
Rest for US
Monday is a rest day for Group C and Team USA. So far Davis is leading Team USA with 36 points on just 19 field goal attempts. He has also led the team in trips to the free throw line (excellent to see) and has yet to commit a single turnover, which is just absurd with his usage. The remainder of their group schedule is below.
- September 2nd, 10:30 am Central, ESPN - New Zealand
- September 3rd, 2:30 am Central, ESPN - Dominican Republic
- September 4th, 10:30 am Central, ESPN - Ukraine