Thursday, August 24th, 2006 at 10:32 am  |  28 responses

USA 103, Senegal 58

News and notes from Team USA’s final preliminary game…

by Lang Whitaker

– US starts with Jamison, Miller, Hinrich and Joe Johnson in the starting lineup. The only regular starter in the lineup is LeBron, which isn’t a bad idea after how he played yesterday. Senegal has both Makhtar and Mamadou Ndiaye starting.

– Senegal jumps ahead to a 4-0 lead after 2 minutes. Makhtar Ndiaye hacks Joe Johnson and allows the US to get on the scoreboard.

– Fran Fraschilla points out that several guys from Senegal chose not to play on their team this year, including the wonderfully-named Clippers forward Boniface N’Dong.

– With 5:40 minutes to go, the game’s tied at 8. This game is zipping along, with no clock stoppages. I’m not even sure if Coach K is at the game.

– USA’s first elimination game will be against Australia on Sunday.

– Dwight Howard and Melo check in with 5 minutes to go, US down 10-8.

– LeBron is not playing well tonight — as I wrote that he just had a nice tip jam on a missed Hinrich layup — but early on he’s not a part of the offense at all and doesn’t seem to understand how to make himself a part of it with dominating the ball.

– 14-13, US, 3:39 in the first.

– Melo wets a three from the wing. Battier checks in with a freshly shaved head. His natural cornrows don’t seem as pronounced as they were when he was at Duke.

– Chris Paul and Elton Brand are in. The announces mention that D-Wade probably won’t play at all.

– Paul sinks a jumper to make it 21-13. Melo drills a three. 12 straight for the USA. Senegal responds with a runner that hits nothing but glass.

– 26-13 after one. Then the US comes out and steals the two initial Senegal possessions and scores 5 points off the turnovers.

– Chris Bosh checks in. How far down the depth chart has he fallen?

– Brad Miller gives up a layup to a guy named Savane who played at Navy.

– Bosh catches inside and…misses a dunk. A foul call bails him out and sends him to the line, where he misses both free throws. He just can’t get anything to go his way.

– Senegal, down 33-16, finally decides to try a zone defense. Joe Johnson dribbles through it to the rim for a layup.

– Bosh under the rim and he…turns it over. Come on, Chris! At this point I just want him to get any kind of basket.

– Miller gets fouled and goes to the line, and Bosh gets called for a lane violation. Good grief.

– Senegal scores 4 straight, and the US gets a run out. Alley oop to Bosh…he makes it! The camera cuts to the US bench where Melo and Dwight Howard are on their feet cheering.

– Bron nails a three from the corner. 41-22, USA.

– According to Fran Fraschilla, Greece has lost one of their best players after he was elbowed in the jaw and had it fractured by Anderson Varejao.

– Melo throws an alley-oop to Bron, who reverses it in. Next time down Bron dribbles through the lane for a dunk. 48-22, USA. Bron scores again to make it 50-22. Bron has a quiet 15 points.

– I’m curious to see the ESPN2 ratings from this event. Who is watching these games? Am I the only person waking up early to watch?

– Jamison pops a three, US takes a 31-point lead. I think Coach K just put Darko in the game.

– Someone calls a timeout with the US up 53-21.

– Free throw shooting in this tournament is interesting. You’re apparently allowed to just stroll up to the lane and find a spot whenever you want to, so long as you’re set when the ball is shot. This results in a lot of moments where guys are kind of milling about and wandering around, and the lane can resemble a bus stop the way people come and go. It seems like it would be just as distracting to the US players as the opponents.

– US leads 58-24 at the half. Bron has 15, almost exclusively in transition, on fast breaks or run outs. I can’t remember him even shooting a jumper. Senegal is 10-35 at the half.

– At the half they do a flashback to the Sydney Olympics and do a things about Alonzo Mourning flying from Australia to Miami for the birth his child and then flying back to Australia to get his gold medal. They don’t make any mention of Mourning finding out he needed a kidney transplant a few weeks afterwards — remember how he thought he was just tired from all the travel?

– Halftime in these games takes forever. It’s like having an extra quarter.

– Fraschilla has now metnioned three times that “process” is more important than results today for Coach K.

– 63-26 now. I’m now surfing the internet.

– Coach K apparently has some beef with Makhtar Ndiaye. No mention of this from ESPN, because they’re too busy telling us how many NBA guys are on each team.

– Wow, Dirk scored 47 for Germany today in a win over Angola. Did you know Dirk is an NBA player?

– Senegal pg Cisse drives on a fastbreak and Elton Brand hacks him into the basket support.

– The US goes ahead 67-34. A rebound for Bosh! We get a shot of Melo and LeBron on the bench cracking up.

– What a terrible game. US is up 72-38. Bosh bricks a jumper and knocks the rebound out of bounds, then swings his arm through the air in frustration.

– Oh great. Imagine you’re Senegal, and you’re down 30 when LeBron and Carmelo check in. Melo and CP hit back-to-back threes.

– A Japanese fan holds up a Dwyane Wade sign that reads “Burning Slashing Flash.” The other side should say Lost in Translation.

– Ok, it’s 81-40 after three quarters. If the US loses this game it would be the worst loss in the history of organized sports. I’m dunzo with this one. For his sake, I hope Chris Bosh gets going. USA’s next game will be early Sunday morning against Australia.

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  • http://www.slamonline.com Marcel Mutoni

    glad i didn’t bother watching that stinkfest.
    the elimination round should be very interesting.

  • pete

    i caught the end, bosh finally was putting it together. i think it was espn or the AP article or both who thinks australia is a much tougher challenge than any of the teams we faced besides italy. uh besides bogut….and maybe sean marks….they have noone. slovenia was probably better than them.

  • Bigi

    Well…Bosh did get IT going…20&10 even if it is Senegal.

  • Matthew

    I’d say 20 and 10 gets in going, even if most of them came in the 4th against Senegal. Hopefully that’ll give Bosh some much needed confidence. Again, thanks for the updates Lang.

  • Bishop

    Its quiet funny that Chris ended up 20 and 10. Lets hope is confidence goes up now!

  • Matthew

    Didn’t mean to repeat what pete and Bigi said. Sorry fellas. You guys beat me to the punch with the submit button, but we all agree Bosh ended the game on a positive note. Holla.

  • Paul Johnson

    Hey Lang,

    I almost spit my drink out when I read that last line ["If the US loses this game it would be the worst loss in the history of organized sports"] Man That’s funny. I watched the whole game while surfing the net here at work. Air Force doesn’t sleep. LOL!

  • simon

    Hey Pete, Sean Marks is from new zealand. Im australian and i know we have a terrible team this year.we may be competitive for a little while but not for long.

    Yeah we got Bogut and theres Brad Newley who is a good prospect but has room to improve.Also CJ Bruton is pretty good too.Apart from that i couldnt even tell you who is actually in the team! haha

  • Drew

    glad to hear Bosh started playing better.
    Such a great kid to watch, I’d hate to see him come back and have confidence issues.
    so glad T.O. managed to sign him to an extension.

  • Mighty

    team usa had 58 at the half….super blowout

  • Steve

    I’ve noticed that the scorer’s table announcer at the arena where the U.S. plays announces fouls and substitutions in English. Isn’t that a little odd for a game in Japan? Lang (or anyone else), any idea what the deal is (not that I am losing sleep over it, just curious)?

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    I noticed that too. Maybe English is the official language of FIBA? I’m pretty sure that during the Olympics they announce everything in French, no matter where they are, because French is the official language of the IOC.

  • http://yahoo kurt

    bosh should have bin cut and senegal isn’t dat bad

  • http://yahoo kurt

    australians suck donkey nut in bball….it an american thang

  • http://www.winstonandthetelescreen.com winston and the telescreen

    whats the date and time for the australia elimination game?

    and I have no feelings one way or another about duke being as I dont watch college ball other than USC football, (and UCLA basketball back when it was the O’Bannon brothers)

    but I like Battier after watching him play here

    anyone that takes a charge from the likes of Yao Ming and Shaq deserves a spot
    hes just that hustle guy

    If anyone I’d get rid of:

    Brad Miller for Amare
    Joe Johnson for Kobe
    Hinrich for Chauncey
    Bosh for Pierce, (sorry all you canadians)
    and Jamison for Ray Allen

    I keep Battier, (sorry Bowen and Lamar)

    anyone that thinks Argentina has a chance now would go hide under their beds and piss themselves if they saw Kobe in the line-up, stick to soccer you nazis in hiding

    oh, and by the way- I had no idea that Carmelo was this good- looks like I need to pay more attention

  • http://bearscomeuptothiswindowblogspot.com truce

    We play at 4am sunday morning.

  • Chunk up da duece

    I think the only changes made by 08′ will be

    Joe Johnson for Kobe


    Jamison/Miller for Stoudemire/Ogden

    With Kobe, Melo, Bron, and Wade there is no need for Allen or Pierce. Plus I think they wanna keep this a tight-knit group and let these guys develop as a “TEAM” for the next 2 yrs.

  • Justino

    nobody dunks like yo Mamadou! Ndiaye!

  • Drew

    Hey Lang,
    just so you know, I live in Cali and I go to bed till 3:30am and then I get up and watch the games. Your not the only one!

  • albie1kenobi

    wouldn’t you want a shooter like redd (who was invited, i believe) to spread the floor? i don’t think there’s enough shooters on the team for the unit to maximize its potential. i guess we’ll know what dept we’ll need personel when USA play against argentina and spain.

    i just watched argentina played against nigeria, which consist some former NCAA guys and play the NBA style basketball. nigeria got killed, needless to say. but it also shows that argentina has all areas covered: decent transition offense/defense, and superb half court offense and defense.

    good teams are not scared of kobe; they may in fact cheer for it, especially if mr kb24 doesn’t buy into (and execute) the team strategies. he is a fantastic talent and his offense/defense IQ is off the chart. he is the best equipped player in NBA. but in stiff competition, it’s how you execute as a team that is most important. if he plays within the system, he should be the alpha dog of team USA.

  • Sam#15

    screw kobe bryant, he doesnt do shit, he would be horrible for this team joe johnson is a better fit. Wade is already bad enough he takes every shot when he gets the ball. Imagine kobe.

  • Dutch Rich

    Chris Bosh will have a short career unless he starts to seriously bulk up. No lower nor upper body strenght with this dude. And his frame doesn’t show potential for it either. The way he was getting pushed around in the paint by the senegalese skinny bigs was embarrasing. Offcourse I didn’t stick around for the fourth quarter. He won’t get any burn against Argentina or Spain that’s for certain.


  • simon

    That Ogden must be a pretty good player… ;-)

  • Paps

    Dutch Rich.

    Are you crazy. Bosh is an allstar for years to come. Dude has the best 1st step of any PF and drills shots all the time. The guys money. The only PF last season that gave him trouble was KG. The rest couldn’t touch him. Dont hate on him cause he’s skinny.

  • Troy Dallas

    Paps is right on that one. Bosh can hold his own against guys that are bigger than him, the problem here is that he just hasn’t found his groove with this USA team….yet. I’m sure he’ll be ready by ’08, which is what this team was put together for anyway.

  • http://www.winstonandthetelescreen.com winston and the telescreen

    earlier I said jamison for ray allen
    i was feeling confused
    what I MEANT to say was jamison for Michal Redd

  • Classic

    Bosh just had a off day,you have to be comfortable if your up by so much,justa bad day.

  • Bobby

    Chris Bosh will need to put some weight on but he is still an allstar and future all pro. Kurt you say bosh should have been cut over battier ok. Yea Bosh probably be cut because he is sixth on the team in scoring and first in rebounds in only 15 minutes per game which is fifth to last understandable why u said bosh should have bin cut