Live Blog: USA vs Turkey
For the Gold
by Matt Lawyue / @mlawyue
The United States of America vs Turkey for the 2010 FIBA World Basketball Championships.
It just sounds right. If there was a dream match-up organizers prayed for before this tournament began, it was this one. Two years after reasserting itself as the alpha basketball nation in Beijing, Team USA sent an inexperienced, unsure team to Istanbul. Coach K was expected to turn a cast of Eric Gordon, Derrick Rose and Rudy Gay into contenders. Well, mission accomplished. It also helps when you have the most dominant international basketball player suiting up for you and dropping a seemingly effortless 38 on the competition. Kevin Durant, this is the world. The world, Kevin Durant.
Turkey, in one of the most emotional displays of basketball I’ve ever seen, willed their way into the Finals during last night’s come from behind win over Serbia. If there’s a team that can match up with Team USA, it’s the host nation. Their suffocating 2-3 zone defense with feisty, aggressive players will look to wreak havoc on Coach K’s (lack of) half-court offense, while their front-court will try and establish an inside presence against the smaller American’s. Throw in absolutely raucous Turkish fans and an off shooting night from Team USA, and you have your upset in the making.
ESPN will air this game live at 2:30 PM EST and ESPN 3 will carry it online.