Team USA received a huge scare this morning from Team Lithuania. Team USA was outshot and outrebounded, and one of the guys doing the outshooting and outrebounding was the horrible Darius Songalia. Never should happen. The Americans were lucky to escape with a 99-94 win.
This might be Coach K’s fault. Lithuania shot a ridiculous 58% from the floor against Team USA. This might be due to the fact that Coach K (I’m not spelling his last name) insists on playing a small lineup. Tyson Chandler and Kevin Love, the only two legitimate big men on the team combined for only 20 minutes of action. Love may have rescued Team USA in his few minutes because he roped in 4 offensive rebounds in that little bit of time. Without the offensive boards, Team USA goes down to a shocking defeat (its not that Team USA is unbeatable, its that Team Lithuania is vastly inferior).
Coach K is proving to be one of those coaches who doesn’t understand the importance of size and possessionary basketball, and overvalues scoring and the mythical “shot creation”. If he continues his small lineups, he could blow a heretofore un-blowable Gold Medal for Team USA.
EDIT: Team Lithuania posted a Team Win Score of 40.5, whereas Team USA posted a 46.0, so Team USA deserved to win… but that’s WAY too close. And did I point out that Lithuania shot 63% on two pointers?? That means the lane had an “open for business” sign in it. That’s ridiculous. The thing that saved USA’s bacon was the steal gap — 17 to 3. That’s apt, since that’s what Coach K is relying on – superior athleticism. That may not work. I’d rather rely on basketball skill along with size and muscle.