Team USA so close to another Olympic gold – but yet so far away
Coach Mike Krzyzewski believes his men are ready for glory. The United States men’s basketball team just finished what coach Mike Krzyzewski likes to call “the week before the week.” Coach Mike Krzyzewski believes good preparation is an important gateway to victory.
Well, United States men’s basketball team is still undefeated, although Lithuania came agonizingly close to shattering American pride. Nonetheless, all is well that ends well – a quote that summarized Mike Krzyzewski speech after the close call against Lithuania.
Team USA put your game face on because from Monday 5:15 p.m. EDT it’s playtime. United States will face Argentina on Monday, which will be followed by the knockout round which starts on Wednesday.
In summary, United States needs to win three consecutive games in order to defend their gold medal.
United States won the first three games at the Olympics with a margin of 27, 47 and an astonishing lead of 83 points. However, Lithuania forced the best out of United States. Coach Mike Krzyzewski was forced to field his best team LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul in order to make sure United States stepped out of the game as victors.
United States won the game 99-94 with LeBron James taking most of the credit for the victory. LeBron James rightfully deserved every ounce of appreciation he got after the game. His superb performance in the final five minutes of the game was the reason behind United States’ victory.
“For us as competitors, we wanted to have a ‘test’ game,” LeBron James said after the game.
Lithuania was a pretty good scare for Team USA. Lithuania recorded from shots 58.5% and deadly number from layups as well to make United States sweat for the first time in the tournament. This should have awakened Coach Mike Krzyzewski inner demons, but apparently he is still at calm seas.
“I’m not down on my team at all,” Coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “I think this is a great game for us. Again we’d always like to see 30-point wins. But I think one of the big pluses was to see game pressure on us like that and to see the spirit and response during that time. We can’t simulate that – although it’d be better if they don’t simulate that again.”
United States shot poorly throughout the game. Sadly, their shooting form has been suffering since the start of the tournament. Talking about mistakes United States made against Lithuania, Coach Mike Krzyzewski admitted shooting was becoming a problem for Team USA.
“We’ve grown accustomed to hitting everything,” Coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “I thought sometimes we took the misses to the defensive end of the court. You want to do it with defense and we have been doing it. … But we were so good offensively (in the first three games) that we got a little bit away from the personality that will give us the best chance to win.”