Basketball, Nba, Rudy Gobert, Joe Harris, Harrison Barnes, Jaylen Brown, Donovan Mitchell Jr.

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U.S.A. Basketball’s No-Win Situation Became Too Real

France halted the U.S. men's basketball team’s 58-game winning streak in international tournaments

12.9.2019

France halted the U.S. men's basketball team’s 58-game winning streak in international tournaments

The U.S.A. men’s basketball team had little to gain from winning the FIBA World Cup, but now its players are experiencing the harsh cost of losing.

Sign up for Marc Stein’s weekly N.B.A. newsletter here . DONGGUAN, China — When it comes to basketball’s World Cup, this is how it works back home for American players: Only in defeat are you remembered. In a tournament of such modest standing in our hoops culture, compared to the Olympics, typically only by losing does the United States men’s national basketball team command the attention of the mainstream sports public. The 12 players who agreed to represent the United States at the 2019 FIBA World Cup knew the deal, deep down, when they signed up to join a roster that had been shunned by some 40 top pros — including all the biggest American stars. Yet those volunteers discovered the true depths of their no-win situation on Wednesday night, when the United States was outclassed early and late in an 89-79 quarterfinal loss to France at the Dongguan Basketball Center. Had they managed to hold their 7-point lead over France in the fourth quarter and find a way through the next two rounds against Argentina and the Spain/Australia winner, this group likely would have been celebrated for what it overcame — and then quickly forgotten when more established players returned to the program next summer for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Instead? Rather than fly overnight to Beijing for Friday’s semifinals as planned, U.S.A. Basketball’s entire humbled traveling party was forced to return to its hotel in Dongguan to rest up and brace for Thursday’s night’s game against Serbia in the fifth-place bracket — as well as the unkind commentary that is sure to come after Rudy Gobert and the French guards, Evan Fournier and Nando De Colo, halted the Americans’ 58-game winning streak in tournament play. Image Donovan Mitchell led the United States with 29 points against France, but he faltered in the fourth quarter of the loss. Credit Ye Aung Thu/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images “It’s all sort of sinking in right now,” the Nets’ Joe Harris said. “They outplayed us from the get-go, really. We were reacting the whole night. “You put in a lot of a time, a lot of work, you build up a special bond with these guys and the coaches. And then for it not to come to fruition at the end of it all, it’s a tough pill to swallow.” Said Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown: “Everybody knows what we wanted to do. And we didn’t do it. I guess you can imagine how we feel, right?” One locker-room observer suggested afterward that, in his time in the league, he had never seen such a despondent scene after a loss. Harris, unprompted, made multiple mentions of the “39 days” that this group spent together trying to establish sufficient continuity to get through eight games and make their summer more of a non-story . Falling short of the medal round completely, of course, means Gregg Popovich’s debut as national team head coach didn’t go any better than his painful stints as an assistant in 2002 and 2004, when the United States finished sixth at the world championship in Indianapolis and third in the Olympics. In six major competitions in between those lows, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski coached the United States to five golds — three in the Olympics and two in the World Cup. Krzyzewski, mind you, always had far stronger rosters than this one and only managed a three-point win over France at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil with a team headlined by Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Paul George. Popovich, who has been head coach of the San Antonio Spurs since 1996 , will have to answer questions about why he brought three centers to China if Myles Turner, Brook Lopez and Mason Plumlee could only merit 16 minutes combined against Gobert. Or why he decided to cancel almost every practice on off days for a group that has been so slow to mesh. But there’s a reason Popovich has come across as wound tightly from the moment this potluck squad convened in Las Vegas on Aug 4. He knew this could happen. Even before an exhibition loss to Australia last month and a near-loss to Turkey in first-round pool play, Popovich knew that the unreliability of his power players, his lack of depth and a backcourt pairing of Kemba Walker and Donovan Mitchell, who embraced the challenge of leading this group but clashed stylistically, could be problems. Image Rudy Gobert, center, led France to an 89-79 victory over the United States in the quarterfinals of the FIBA World Cup on Wednesday. Credit Ye Aung Thu/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images Mitchell, who was not even initially among Popovich’s original 35-player pool from last summer, rumbled for an authoritative 29 points through three quarters to help nudge the United States into the lead after it had fallen behind by double digits early in the second half. But France reeled off 22 of the game’s final 29 points, capitalizing on six missed free throws by the Americans in the fourth quarter and an off-key Walker (10 points on 2-of-9 shooting) dominating the ball in crunchtime instead of Mitchell. Popovich spent much of his postgame news conference trying to play defense, calling it a “disrespectful notion” when a reporter asked Mitchell a question about the impact of all the no-shows. “France beat us — doesn’t matter who is on the team,” Popovich said. “There’s no such thing as ‘other guys.’ ” Nor did the French see any reason to apologize for taking advantage of the United States’ rare vulnerability. When Walker committed a backcourt violation late, Orlando’s Fournier (22 points) and Charlotte’s Nicolas Batum, flourishing for France, celebrated with fist-pumping and arm-raising as if the Americans had their A-team on the floor. Read more: The New York Times

That's called parity in Basketball! It's great for the sport. So we're back to 'freedom fries?' Vive la France . Oui Oui..🇫🇷🇫🇷🇫🇷🗼🗼 The American left reacts Vive la France!!! HA!! Defeated by the French... pathetic. That's what happens when you're overly confident 🤷‍♂️ Unimaginotble 🌿 Mon dieu? 😱

Democrats, Stop Obsessing Over Base Turnout. Remember 2018?Analysis: For Democrats, turning out the base is important. But mobilizing progressives alone isn’t enough to actually win in 2020. There go any chances Warren “I refuse to talk to Fox voters” ever had. We know. Which is why we just won’t vote lol and you’re stuck with Trump for 4 more years because you wanted the Corperate greed. We know what you’re saying, you said it 4 years ago with a rigged election. I have literally never heard the argument that we have to mobilize progressives. What everyone is talking about is mobilizing disengaged, under-engaged and suppressed voters.

Oh too bad. Better luck next time, guys.🙁

Basketball: Philippines coach quits after World Cup shutoutYeng Guiao's team were blown out by a combined 105 points by Italy and Serbia to open their campaign in Group D at the tournament in China, and also lost to Angola in overtime, 84-81.

Injunction against Trump policy lifted in asylum caseA federal appeals court has temporarily lifted a nationwide injunction against President Donald Trump’s effort to deny asylum to immigrants who enter the U.S. after passing through another country

Opinion | Car Companies Want Stricter Emissions Standards. What’s the Problem?From WSJopinion: The Trump administration’s fight with auto makers over clean-car standards is unnecessary, writes EnvDefenseFund president FredKrupp opinion EnvDefenseFund FredKrupp Not to mention the fact that Trump is trampling states' rights on this one. If the auto manufacturers have no problem with it and the people of California want it, then why should the executive branch intervene to shut it down? opinion EnvDefenseFund FredKrupp Never a mention about what these “clean car standards” are costing the buyer, or even whether or not people want the damn things. I know! How about we let the buyer decide what they want, and not force everyone to drive those little obama-cars? How about standardized fuel? opinion EnvDefenseFund FredKrupp Most of what this administration does and says is unnecessary, this kind of behavior is just another instance of corruption. Trump could care less about Americans or what is right, the only thing he cares about is what fills his pockets

Merkel: Economic situation means German tax revenues could fallChancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday that the current economic situation i... The Germans have mismanaged the economy since 2008. Austerity has caused the rise of neofascists in Germany and beyond. It’s time for a new theory of economic development. Merkel shares the size of Trumps penis with audience! حتى ميركل تقول مشكلة قطر صغيييييييرة جدا

Injunction against Trump policy lifted in asylum caseA federal appeals court has temporarily lifted a nationwide injunction against President Trump’s effort to deny asylum to immigrants who enter the U.S. after passing through another country The Supreme Court is about to stop the practice of a single judge halting government nation wide USSupremeCourt Good. Misuse of our asylum procedures for financial reasons should result in a felony prosecution, deportation, and permanent ineligiblity to visit here again.



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