The 2010 FIBA World Championships almost had another upset on Monday. In the 2010 FIBA World Championships, we have already seen defending champion Spain get upset by France in an embarrassing opening game, and we almost saw the United States lose on Monday afternoon. After winning very easily in their first two games at these FIBA World Championships in Turkey, Team USA was pushed to the brink against a quick and talented Brazilian team. Brazil even had a chance to win the game at the end, but came up just short to the underperforming United States squad.
Both Brazil and the United States were 2-0 in group play before their game on Monday, so it showed that Brazil had greatly improved over the past few years. It also meant that Team USA was going to have to be on their toes if they didn’t want to repeat what had happened to Spain on Saturday. The end result was the United States team winning the game 70-68, but it had better scare them into being overly prepared for their next two games in group play. How close was the United States to losing on Monday? Brazil missed a shot that rolled out while their player was fouled with just three seconds on the clock.
Point guard Marcelo Huertas was a hair from making that shot to tie up the game, and could have won it at the free throw line with his following shot. As it was, the shot rolled off, and Huertas missed his first free throw. He then intentionally missed his second free throw, but was able to sprint over and grab the rebound to give Brazil yet another shot right before the buzzer. That shot came off the rim as well, and Team USA was able to escape with a win that some might feel that they didn’t really deserve to have in the end.
Kevin Durant nearly played the whole game for a United States team that couldn’t seem to do anything right on Monday. He finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds, but also had seven turnovers of his own when he was trying to force the action. Team USA had 22 turnovers total, was losing by six at the end of the first quarter, and was only able to score nine points in the fourth quarter. None of this will translate into wins against the better teams in the field, and it should be back to the drawing board for this coaching staff. Brazil should walk away with their heads held high, as they played extremely well Monday.
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