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 Team USA gears up for the real battle

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Magic Man13
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PostSubject: Team USA gears up for the real battle   Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:11 am



The message was delivered loud and clear: the Americans are back at the worlds for another shot at glory.

After playing a team that doesn’t seem to threaten their goal of winning back the title they last won more than a decade ago, the United States basketball squad will go into a last minute fine tuning before taking on the Russians on Thursday at the start of the quarterfinal round of the 2010 FIBA-World Basketball Championships in Turkey.

The Americans, who finished the game with a 29.8 point winning margin, looked invincible against the lowly Angolans in their 121-66 victory on Monday. Chauncey Billups, playing with renewed spike and vigor, regained his shooting touch as he torched the hoops from downtown to lead his team with a 19-point effort, anchored on 5-of-7 shooting (71 percent) from the three-point region.

The team’s stats will do the talking for you: a 48-23 edge in rebounding, 30-12 advantage on assists, five turnovers against Angola’s 15, and 10 steals against none from the opposing team.

"We have great respect for Angola. I coached against them at the Olympics and they played us a great game. We showed some of that game to my players and they responded,” said US head coach Mike Krzyzewski during the post-game interview. “We were very unselfish, we had 30 assists. We stayed aggressive for the whole game. The couple of days of practice really helped us. We played like we practiced which is the best a coach can ask for.”

Angola offered very little resistance in the loss, often being swallowed by the NBA stars’ trapping defense from start to finish. They were left in awe each time Rudy Gay slashes towards the basket, leaving the crowd on their feet with thunderous dunks and highlight reels.

Needing three more wins to snatch the gold against a very stellar cast of competitors, Team USA may see itself heading on to the semifinals against either Brazil or Argentina, in case they stand as victors against the Russians on Thursday.

“"It was good for us to have a good win like this. It shows how hard we have been playing and we just get ready for the next one,” says Los Angeles Clippers sophomore Eric Gordon, who had 17 points in the win. “We wanted to be really good on offense but really be tough on defense and that's what we did. We really got after it and created a lot of turnovers, we just wanted to have a good start.”

A tough road awaits for Durant and company starting Thursday, where they face a very tough field of squads in the quarterfinals. Into the next round are Serbia and Argentina (Group A), USA and Slovenia (Group B), Turkey and Russia (Group C), and Lithuania and Spain (Group D.)
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