2019 FIBA World Cup

lovegtm

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Ugh. And Kerr just said Smart had looked like one of the team's best players the first few days.
I’m cool if he doesn’t play. Would LOVE to be able to watch some Marcus this summer, but discretion is the better part of valor, and it’s not like he needs the extra game reps for learning.
 

nighthob

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I’m cool if he doesn’t play. Would LOVE to be able to watch some Marcus this summer, but discretion is the better part of valor, and it’s not like he needs the extra game reps for learning.
Yeah, Marcus plays the game at one speed, balls to the wall and all over the floor. I'm fine with him not aggravating any injuries he's gotten and just resting/working out prior to training camp. I think he's already done his real work as Boston's ambassador and he can go home now.
 

Big John

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Smart is a unique player who makes winning plays, and you can see how the U.S. coaches would want him on the team, even if he's not 100% at the moment. Any word on how serious the injury is?
 

DrewDawg

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All that's been said is hamstring tightness to be reevaluated in a few days.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Looks like old friend Kelly Olynyk dodged what looked like could have been a major knee injury in their exhibition.

Shits getting ridiculous and the games haven’t even began yet. We should have sent Carmelo, Monta. Amare, and a couple guys from TheBig3 and called it a day.
 

InstaFace

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A nice, if brief, article on what the hell Popovich is doing. It asks, but does not answer, the question of what his motivation is (though I think it's obvious that he just relishes a challenge).

Echoes of Belichick, anyone?
The team does have some budding stars. Donovan Mitchell has looked like the best player on the floor at times in scrimmages this week. De'Aaron Fox, who was promoted from the Select roster, has speed and the ability to break down defenses that is likely going to earn him one of the final 12 roster spots. Popovich is working his charms on them.

"We had a run where we played very well and he came in the huddle and talked about what we did wrong," Mitchell said. "I like playing for coaches like that. He does it in his own funky way. He can be sarcastic or serious, but he gets to the point where there's something more you can be doing."
 

Sam Ray Not

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Echoes of Belichick, anyone?
Popovich
22 straight winning seasons
22 straight playoffs
10x Conference Finalist, 6x Finalist, 5x Champ

Belichick
18 straight winning seasons
16 of 18 playoffs
13x Conference Finalist, 9x Finalist, 6x Champ

Combined, they're 36 for 36 in winning seasons since 2001, despite salary-capped leagues that are designed to enforce parity, where an injury at any moment can completely derail a team's season. Prettayy good.
 
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wade boggs chicken dinner

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And one more: this Reddit page linked to the video below which is 10 minutes from a scrimmage earlier this week. The Reddit page annotates Cs-related highlights.

Popvich has a "0.5 second rule" - guys can't hold the ball more than half a second before doing something with it. Hopefully that mindset will stick with JT at least a little after the WC.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phZG_LnZtQ0
 

DrewDawg

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It's like the ESPN production of Summer League. I don't care about a Kyle Lowry interview...I want the game full screen.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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+16 in an intrasquad scrimmage. If this doesn’t scream breakout year I’m not sure what does.
I know this is in jest but he did look noticeably bigger in the highlight video IMO and he was not hesitating on catch and shoot threes which is encouraging.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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As I was watching this, I had three thoughts. (1) The US bigs have got to step up. (2) Why doesn't NBA TV make at least some attempt to talk about the actual game.

But really, when I saw JB going down, I'm thinking I'm not sure I'd be doing this if I were him. Hopefully he has some sort of insurance but god forbid, there's an awful lot of money at stake.

Respect his decision. I'm sure he's doing this to get better.
 

amarshal2

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+16 in an intrasquad scrimmage. If this doesn’t scream breakout year I’m not sure what does.
+20 in an intrasquad scrimmage?

Being serious, as was noted above, it was nice to see that when there was a guy on him rather than dance around to get to a step back or long two he was pulling the quick trigger 3 with confidence and balance.

View: https://twitter.com/stoolgreenie/status/1160012518770663424?s=21


View: https://twitter.com/stoolgreenie/status/1160014028468453377?s=21


View: https://twitter.com/stoolgreenie/status/1160019268840259584?s=21
 

HomeRunBaker

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As expected, Lowry finally withdrew today as did Bagley Jr.

Does anyone have Shane Larkin’s number?
 

bakahump

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Why not just go with a college team of all stars at this point?
("Because they would pull out of this afterthought tourney too, Baka.")

Seriously though...shouldnt this be settled a few months ahead of time? "Hey Bob do you want to play? Ok your SURE? Ok See you in August."

If that did indeed happen then I am even more unimpressed with NBA players who as a group, have always seemed to me the most mercurial and self absorbed of all the major sports. (Antonio Brown excluded....)
 

Big John

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I don't view it that way. I like the fact that established players are stepping aside to help younger players build their brands. Then too, established players are more likely to have spouses and children and this is their vacation time. There used to be a two-year gap between the FIBA world cup and the Olympics, but now it i only one year. It's also good that younger players get exposure to coaches like Popovich and Kerr.

So let's say that the younger, less experienced U.S. players are beaten by a team from some other country. So what?
 

bakahump

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And I have no problem with that @Big John (which is why i said Lets send College players). If we lose we lose. Eh.

What I have a "problem" with is that this makes the organizers (I assume USA Basketball) look pretty pathetic. For a country that should in theory have a pretty well run organization controlling its international BB, that organization looks pretty silly.

They either didnt give these guys enough heads up (which would be to your point about vacation etc etc) which is a shitty job by USABB
Of course the other possibility is that the USABB DID do its due diligence and asked some of these players ahead of time if they wanted to attend and got Yes for an answer. Assuming they said yes.....then that makes the players look pretty bad to suddenly and en masse pull out.

Vacation didnt sneak up on these players. Nor did the gap between Olympics and World cup. Nor did their contract situations. They all knew this info when (assumedly) they agreed to go back in jan, mar, June whenever.

Just looks amateurish (or selfish). And I am sure while this may help Tatum build his brand (which is fine), I am not sure it helps international basketball/basketball the sport as a whole.

Its possibly an extension of todays NBA. "HEY Big John, you want to go to the world cup with me? Alright! We should get HRB and Wade Boggs Chicken Dinner to Go to! It will be awesome!"
2 weeks before the tournament ~ "What!? Big John isnt going? And neither is HRB? Shit then I am out too!"

IOW. If you cant form a "Super team" then you dont want to attend.
 

Kliq

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I think it is just that the guys don't care enough about the FIBA World Cup and NBA players sometimes have a hive mind about this stuff when if a few people elect not to play, a lot of them will follow the pack. We are also living in a time where guys are much more focused on rest and injury prevention, so it is natural for a lot of guys to take a pass on playing in a tournament that isn't particularly important to them. I think that next year for the 2020 Olympics, we will see a lot more of the "A" team.
 

lexrageorge

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FIBA is worthless. The qualification system is a total joke, and I can see why veteran NBA players aren't exactly chomping at the bit to play in an international tournament that will be watched by about 100 viewers.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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And I have no problem with that @Big John (which is why i said Lets send College players). If we lose we lose. Eh.

What I have a "problem" with is that this makes the organizers (I assume USA Basketball) look pretty pathetic. For a country that should in theory have a pretty well run organization controlling its international BB, that organization looks pretty silly.

They either didnt give these guys enough heads up (which would be to your point about vacation etc etc) which is a shitty job by USABB
Of course the other possibility is that the USABB DID do its due diligence and asked some of these players ahead of time if they wanted to attend and got Yes for an answer. Assuming they said yes.....then that makes the players look pretty bad to suddenly and en masse pull out.

Vacation didnt sneak up on these players. Nor did the gap between Olympics and World cup. Nor did their contract situations. They all knew this info when (assumedly) they agreed to go back in jan, mar, June whenever.

Just looks amateurish (or selfish). And I am sure while this may help Tatum build his brand (which is fine), I am not sure it helps international basketball/basketball the sport as a whole.

Its possibly an extension of todays NBA. "HEY Big John, you want to go to the world cup with me? Alright! We should get HRB and Wade Boggs Chicken Dinner to Go to! It will be awesome!"
2 weeks before the tournament ~ "What!? Big John isnt going? And neither is HRB? Shit then I am out too!"

IOW. If you cant form a "Super team" then you dont want to attend.
I'm sure that USABB sent feelers out to everyone for as far back as they can. The problem I'm sure is that players were either indicating they probably wouldn't play or wouldn't commit.

There's not a huge amount of incentive for these players to keep playing over and over again in international tournaments.

I, however, would definitely go so you can count me in. :)
 

InstaFace

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HRB's Serbia money gets better and better.

Who'd have thought we'd have trouble getting an all-star level guard to play for the USA? Just taking any active guard from all-NBA or all-stars in the last 4 years, in a (very) rough power ranking when healthy:

Harden: "Focusing on preparing for upcoming season" (7/19)
Curry: Recent ankle & knee injuries (6/6)
Lillard: "Focusing on preparing for upcoming season" (7/23; teammate CJ McCollum had withdrawn a few days prior)
Irving: (was tournament MVP in 2014, no indication of invite here)
Westbrook: (played and won in 2010 and 2012, was never part of plans for 2019)
Walker: Playing, starting
DeRozan: "Focusing on preparing for upcoming season" (7/23)
Oladipo: long-term injury, never considered
John Wall: long-term injury, never considered
Klay Thompson: long-term injury, no indication he was considered
Chris Paul: (played and won in 2008 and 2012, withdrew from 2016 Olympic process for age and recovery related reasons)
Kyle Lowry: Was slated to start; withdrew due to hand surgery from July (8/12)
Mike Conley: Rumored to get an invite, but nothing confirmed
Bradley Beal: Planned to attend, but cites the upcoming birth of his second kid as a reason to withdraw, something he surely had no idea about when initially committing (7/22)
D'Angelo Russell: (Was on 2016 Select team, rumored to be among possible new invites, nothing confirmed)
Jimmy Butler: (never part of plans for 2019)
Gordon Hayward: (played U19 in 2009, almost made 2014 and 2016 squads, no rumors of 2019 participation)

And that's before you get into:

CJ McCollum: "Focusing on preparing for upcoming season" (7/23)
JJ Redick: (invited 7/23, declined 7/26)
Eric Gordon: "Focusing on preparing for upcoming season" (7/20)
Donovan Mitchell: Playing, starting
Devin Booker: "Focusing on preparing for upcoming season" (8/3, link)
Landry Shamet: "Focusing on preparing for upcoming season" (8/2; also said he really wanted to be a part of USAB, so you wonder why he'd withdraw from the Select team)
Marcus Smart: calf tightness during camp, really wants to play (8/7)

McCollum had the best explanation for why players are dropping in a herd-mentality style. Doesn't mean I like it, but with a 12-man roster it does make a certain amount of sense.

Lastly, we're damn lucky that Cameroon had to try to qualify for the World Cup last September without any of its NBA talent (and narrowly failed in the attempt), because if they were running out a starting frontcourt of Joel Embiid, Pascal Siakam and Luc Mbah a Moute, which they might very well next summer in Tokyo, that would fucking terrify me.
 

bakahump

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Yea and at this point its just an avalanche. The last thing you want to do is be the starting guard on a team that gets knocked out in the Semis or something.

Yea to us losing is "Who the F cares", but to these guys its better to suddenly pull a toenail and not go.

I like the attitude of Bostons players ("Screw it we are going and we are gonna win!") seemingly led by Kemba, compared to many other NBA players.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Maybe a spot on the Olympic team?
I’m guessing this plays little factor. Ex: Landry Shamet plays this summer and say he’s on the fence for the Olympic team next year......then Lillard, Lowry, Beal, etc etc tell USA Basketball that they are willing to play. It’s bye bye Landry, thank you for playing last year don’t let the door hit you.


I don't view it that way. I like the fact that established players are stepping aside to help younger players build their brands. Then too, established players are more likely to have spouses and children and this is their vacation time. There used to be a two-year gap between the FIBA world cup and the Olympics, but now it i only one year. It's also good that younger players get exposure to coaches like Popovich and Kerr.

So let's say that the younger, less experienced U.S. players are beaten by a team from some other country. So what?
Let’s put this in its proper context as you’re implying that only veterans are backing out. Shamet, Bagley, Zion, and I think a couple more I can’t think of off top of my head.

Go $erbia!!! Lol
 

The Gray Eagle

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This tournament is filled with former Knicks draft picks. Ntkilitina, Thansis Antetokounmpo, Kostas Papanikolaou, Danilo Gallinari, Maciej Lampe, Renaldo Balkman playing for Puerto Rico...

It should have actually been more than that, but Andy Rautins withdrew from Canada, RJ Barrett isn't playing, Slavko Vraneš isn't playing for Montenegro (but his brother is) Ognjen Jaramaz and Miloš Vujanić aren't playing with Serbia, Nene isn't listed on Brazil's roster, and Sean Marks won't stop being a GM long enough to play one more time for New Zealand.
 

Kliq

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I think Greece right now might be the best bet. They will have the best player in the tournament that nobody will be able to stop, surrounded by a bunch of veteran, battle-tested Euro players and should have plenty of size and shooting. At +2000 they seem like a good pick.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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HRB's Serbia money gets better and better.

Who'd have thought we'd have trouble getting an all-star level guard to play for the USA? Just taking any active guard from all-NBA or all-stars in the last 4 years, in a (very) rough power ranking when healthy:

Harden: "Focusing on preparing for upcoming season" (7/19)
Curry: Recent ankle & knee injuries (6/6)
Lillard: "Focusing on preparing for upcoming season" (7/23; teammate CJ McCollum had withdrawn a few days prior)
Irving: (was tournament MVP in 2014, no indication of invite here)
Westbrook: (played and won in 2010 and 2012, was never part of plans for 2019)
Walker: Playing, starting
DeRozan: "Focusing on preparing for upcoming season" (7/23)
Oladipo: long-term injury, never considered
John Wall: long-term injury, never considered
Klay Thompson: long-term injury, no indication he was considered
Chris Paul: (played and won in 2008 and 2012, withdrew from 2016 Olympic process for age and recovery related reasons)
Kyle Lowry: Was slated to start; withdrew due to hand surgery from July (8/12)
Mike Conley: Rumored to get an invite, but nothing confirmed
Bradley Beal: Planned to attend, but cites the upcoming birth of his second kid as a reason to withdraw, something he surely had no idea about when initially committing (7/22)
D'Angelo Russell: (Was on 2016 Select team, rumored to be among possible new invites, nothing confirmed)
Jimmy Butler: (never part of plans for 2019)
Gordon Hayward: (played U19 in 2009, almost made 2014 and 2016 squads, no rumors of 2019 participation)

And that's before you get into:

CJ McCollum: "Focusing on preparing for upcoming season" (7/23)
JJ Redick: (invited 7/23, declined 7/26)
Eric Gordon: "Focusing on preparing for upcoming season" (7/20)
Donovan Mitchell: Playing, starting
Devin Booker: "Focusing on preparing for upcoming season" (8/3, link)
Landry Shamet: "Focusing on preparing for upcoming season" (8/2; also said he really wanted to be a part of USAB, so you wonder why he'd withdraw from the Select team)
Marcus Smart: calf tightness during camp, really wants to play (8/7)

McCollum had the best explanation for why players are dropping in a herd-mentality style. Doesn't mean I like it, but with a 12-man roster it does make a certain amount of sense.

Lastly, we're damn lucky that Cameroon had to try to qualify for the World Cup last September without any of its NBA talent (and narrowly failed in the attempt), because if they were running out a starting frontcourt of Joel Embiid, Pascal Siakam and Luc Mbah a Moute, which they might very well next summer in Tokyo, that would fucking terrify me.
This article says that Russell, Conley, and Aaron Gordon were invited but I didn't hear anything about the three of them. Team USA could really use Gordon, and frankly, I would think that Gordon could benefit from playing.

This other article says that Butler passed a long time ago.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Apparently a combination of players from Select Team and overseas guys beat Team USA 36-17 in their first scrimmage today and by 2 points in their second. I honestly think this team is going to be at least a semi-disaster in China with so many young players without any FIBA experience.
 
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DrewDawg

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I remember the Dream Team losing a scrimmage too. I'm not going to draw conclusions based on 1 short game.
 

InstaFace

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I remember the Dream Team losing a scrimmage too. I'm not going to draw conclusions based on 1 short game.
This whole thing could be an elaborate ruse to build attention on the squad, given that it's not the Olympics. "hey, they might actually lose!" is a pretty good marketing theme for this particular case. I have to say, I'm a lot more likely to watch more of every game now than I was a month ago.
 

DrewDawg

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I'm watching because I want to watch #TeamShamrock and I like basketball.
 

lovegtm

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This whole thing could be an elaborate ruse to build attention on the squad, given that it's not the Olympics. "hey, they might actually lose!" is a pretty good marketing theme for this particular case. I have to say, I'm a lot more likely to watch more of every game now than I was a month ago.
+1, and also +1 to Team Shamrock
 

chilidawg

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Just watched the "full game" highlights, USA looked pretty good. Got to clean up the turnovers and gave up a few too many open looks on the perimeter, but otherwise controlled the game.

Never saw the ball stick in Tatum' or Brown's hands once, hope that trend sticks. Both were decisive and efficient, Tatum especially with some nice playmaking.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0qQ6EVQ85E