U-S-A!

by August 15, 2006
6

by Lang Whitaker

Despite being bumped by ESPN2 in favor of a replay of some tennis tournament in Ohio or something — and people at ESPN wonder why we question their commitment to the NBA and elite hoops — Team USA played Korea last night and handled their business rather easily, winning 116-63. I didn’t see the game (obviously), so I’m going totally off the box score, but a few things worth noting…

• Yesterday I wrote how Gilbert Arenas‘ groin injury seemed suspicious, particularly the way it happened just before the team had to cut a player. An NBA-related person who shall remain nameless emailed me…

Yo…I saw your note about Gilbert…you are so right about the “injury”…I heard about a week ago, he was one of the 2 guys to go…too bad, because he was really into repping the whole USA thing.

Of course, this isn’t to say Gilbert didn’t really get injured. As several of you pointed out in the comments section yesterday, Gilbert’s long had problems with groin injuries, which are notoriously hard to treat. Also, I was in Vegas with the team a week or so ago and heard nothing about him being the guy to go — though it was obvious to me from the way he was playing (or wasn’t playing) that he wasn’t the best fit for this team.

• I still think Bruce Bowen will be the other guy to be sent home. In yesterday’s game he played 14 minutes, had 1 foul, 4 points and 2 turnovers. No rebounds, no blocks, no steals, which is not good for a defensive specialist.

• I totally should’ve put money on Bowen and Arenas getting sent home while I was in Vegas. I bet back then I could’ve rated some great odds.

• Fewest minutes played last night? Dwight Howard with 9, although he still finished the game tied for the team lead in rebounds.

• If I had watched the game, my favorite Korean player would probably have been Bang Sung Yoon.

• As best as I can tell from this, Team USA’s next game will be on Friday night/Saturday morning at 1:00 a.m. against Puerto Rico. And from now on, all the games count.