Sunday, September 5th, 2010 at 11:00 am  |  20 responses

USA’s Starting Five Remains Unchanged

photo via Fiba’s Flickr

On Friday Coach K evaluated Team USA’s starting lineup. Amongst other changes, Duke’s head coach admitted to contemplating benching Chauncey Billups in favor of Eric Gordon. Well, after Saturday’s practice, Coach said everything’s static, and the starting five will look the same come USA v. Angola on Monday. ESPN’s Chris Sheridan has more from Saturday’s practice in Turkey:

Coach Mike Krzyzewski has decided not to make any changes to his starting lineup for Team USA’s round of 16 game against Angola on Monday.

That was about the only piece of news to come out of the Americans’ practice today as they focused on two points of emphasis: communicating more on defense, and moving the ball more on offense.

“The last two ballgames you knew you were going to win, and you want to fast-forward into the medal round. And then what happens is you stop talking to one another out on the court, and you’re not as animated. And it’s still a game of being connected, and you’re connected primarily when you’re talking to one another,” Krzyzewski said. “They’d done that until the last couple games, so it was a matter of just kind of getting them to do it again.”

The practice was the Americans’ first since Aug. 27, coming after they were given a day off Friday to see the sights of Istanbul, which for Stephen Curry included a round of golf at a course a half-hour outside of the city, where he eagled the first hole — a 490-meter par-5.

“Driver, 6-iron, and a four-foot putt. With rental clubs,” said Curry, who plays to a 5 handicap and whose personal best is a 66. His score Friday was 78.

Kevin Durant’s day off included a stop at Popeyes Chicken, and for Andre Iguodala it included a stop at McDonald’s, where he sampled the MegaMac — a Big Mac with four patties instead of two. (Iguodala was so enamored of the burger, he inspired me to go out and try one for myself this afternoon. The verdict: Brilliant. We Americans are being cheated back in the United States by not having this item on the menu.)

Rudy Gay, who strained a right groin muscle against Tunisia on Thursday, was able to make it through the entire practice Saturday, and Krzyzewski planned to put Team USA through a less strenuous training session Sunday, the day before they will play Angola in the round of 16

Come game-time Monday AM, be sure to check back in. They’ll be plenty of real news, plus Matt Lawyue will be covering the game live for us from Turkey.

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  • Atrain

    America doesn’t have MegaMacs because we just order two or three regular Big Macs already

  • Dmac

    This team is starting to look a lot better. Billups at the point to start is a safe bet. Plus it isnt like he is getting that many more minutes than any other of the guards.
    BTW gotta try that 4 pattie big mac!

  • wilz

    dont you have double big macs in the states? those have 4 patties. plz dont tell me its a canadian thing..

  • Nick the Quick

    Doesn’t say but Danny G went to the local equivalent of K-Mart and stocked up on enough deodorant the next coupla weeks…

  • http://twitter.com/shinkaide André

    Or… I could just head over to Burger King and have ‘em put as many patties as I want in one burger. But then the whole “eating” part of that equation would be pretty problematic.

  • Scott

    Stephen Curry WOULD be good at golf – dude had a very privileged upbringing, he just moved around wherever Dell was playing at the time, even played against some of my friends in Toronto while he was in elementary school… he was even killing it back then with the butter J!

  • Whisp

    The McDonalds part..is SO F** RETARDED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! get a life …….!!!

  • Robb

    That pic proves KD is 6’11 not 6’9

  • jammal o

    no megamac in the states, just proves that all turks are fat dumba$$es who sit around watching turk idle all day.

  • http://www.michaelcho.com M Cho

    @jammal – you gotta be kidding me. Last time I was in Europe, the only people I saw going to any McDonalds were Americans. Europeans don’t eat anywhere near as much fast food as Americans do.

  • JD

    Andre you’re a international proffesional athlete i don’t go to McDonalds yet you do the world is weird a premier league footballer would never eat McDonalds

  • Robb

    Megamacs make sense for basketball players, I mean a regular Big Mac is more like a McCanape for a 6’6 guy.

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    if lil Steph’s golf stroke is anything like his jumper…Tiga Tiga Woods y’all lol.

  • twinparadox

    it’s funny that everyone seems to have something to say about the MegaMac…

  • http://hoopistani.blogspot.com hoopistani

    It’s awesome that Kevin Durant, perhaps the best player in this championship, takes his day off to go to Popeye’s

  • http://gmail.com Cole


  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » Live Blog: USA vs Angola

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Coach K didn’t want to tarnish Billups image by having a Clipper replace him in the starting lineup. People forget Billups was 4 for 19 from 3 point range before shooting 3 pointers very well today, since the game wasn’t close and he knew he had to pick up his game. Just wait until next game, I see Gordon starting eventually and Billups playing more 4th quarter minutes in blowouts.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    Kind of sad that when given one day of in one of the world’s most historic cities. The three mentioned players choose to either go to American fast food restaurants or play golf, things they could do any day at home in the states (or just about anywhere else in the world for that matter). Now that is utter cultural ignorance imo. As much as I love the US, as much as the US is still a world leader in many fields (basketball magazines being one of them), as many nice educated people I know from the US, things like this makes me remember that the US is still probably the world’s dumbest country (puts on helmet to withstand rock-pelting).

  • TheMac

    @Lz – Cphfinest3> Couldn’t agree more, even tough I’m American.

    What I still don’t get is why the Olympics is seen as a bigger stage than the B-Ball World Cup, of course it’s a great stage, but look at Soccer, everybody goes crazy all over the world when it’s time for the World Cup.
    Why can’t we get our players to understand this!
    The FIBA World Cup is a showcase for Basketball & the Olympics is a showcase for any summer sports. All the attention should be on this Basketball only event. Feel more like a patriot at the Olympics than the World Cup?!? Wasn’t Basketball invented after the Olympics!?! Isn’t the winner going to get the Naismith trophy, you know like the guy who created the game… Rep your game & country on any stage! Just needed to say… lol