After Tuesday’s 98-71 win in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, Coach K and James Harden spoke with the media about the challenge of playing against New Zealand’s smaller line-up, what they make of the Haka, and the impressive performances of Kenneth Faried. Krzyzewski also jumped to the defence of Harden’s defence and discussed Derrick Rose’s performance.
After struggling through three quarters against Turkey, it was back to business as usual for the USA as they delivered their most polished performance of the tournament to date in a comfortable win over the Tall Blacks.
No-one expected a contest here and Steph Curry got things under way with a three against a New Zealand team with it’s focus clearly on the winnable games on Wednesday and Thursday. Curry lobbed an alley-oop nearly the length of the court to Kenneth Faried as the USA tried to put to bed any doubts about their focus early. Tai Wabster and Mika Vukona did enough to keep the score interesting early but the physical superiority of the United States was obvious from the outset. Anthony Davis is a nightmare for any defender and the short aging legs of Casey Frank were horribly mismatched against the USA big. The double-digit lead was established with another Curry trey with a little over 2 minutes on the clock but the Tall Blacks enjoyed a mini-rally late in the frame to only trail 27-20 after one.
Mike Fratello and Ihor Zaytsev spoke to the media after Ukraine’s big win over Turkey on Tuesday in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Fratello also gave his thoughts on his efforts to see Bilbao during the few moments of free time he enjoyed on Monday.
Ukraine’s next game is against New Zealand on Wednesday.
Turkey coach Ergin Ataman explained to the media why his team opted against fouling Ukraine when trailing late in Tuesday’s 64-58 defeat to Ukraine at the 2104 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Ataman and Cedi Osman also gave their thoughts on the game as a whole and what went wrong for Turkey in the defeat.
Turkey’s next game is against Finland on Wednesday.
Omer Asik dominated from the off but with little support from those around him, Turkey fell to Ukraine on Day 4 of the 2014 FIBA World Cup.
The Turkish fans to the left of press row were far from great in number but inspired by the 12 Giant Men’s display on Sunday night, they were in a fiery mood to start the game. The action however took a while to settle down with both sides focusing heavily on defence early on. Turkey, showing the same patience on offence as they had against the United States, worked the outside to good effect for an open three by Ender Arslan. Ukraine were playing a more inside-out game, charging up the gut to make space on the perimeter. It was the Turks whose strategy paid off better initially as they got Asik to the line three times to move into a 10-4 lead mid-way through the quarter. The pace however was such that Ukraine didn’t need to hurry to catch up and an Olexandr Mishula three at the end of the first saw the sides go in level at 13-13.
With Asik having opened the path in the first frame, Oguz Savas charged right through early in the second to push Turkey back in front. Inefficiency however was hurting both sides offensively and it all had the feeling of a game that was waiting to get going, with only 5 minutes until half time. The reintroduction of Asik brought the spark Turkey needed. Already getting work done defensively, he continued to test the Ukrainian interior. Still, it was a balanced affair on the whole at the half with Turkey holding a narrow 26-25 lead.
We’re in Bilbao throughout the group stages giving you the scene on the ground here ahead of the day’s games. Emmet Ryan brings you up to speed with what you need to know.
It’s not really the morning anymore because I had to recover from my hunt for World Cup fever in Bilbao last night.
Tuesday in Group C begins with a clash of 1-1 teams as Turkey take on Ukraine. Both sides lost on Sunday night but Turkey will enter with more confidence on the back of a solid outing against the USA. For Ukraine, it will be worth keep an eye on if and how Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is used following an impressive outing for the youngster against Finland.
If last night is anything to go by, New Zealand are well relaxed for their clash with the USA as I ran into Isaac Fotu and Mika Vukona having an evening stroll around 10pm. The USA will want to start stronger than they did against Turkey and this one could get out of hand in a hurry. With NBC and CBS picking up on Mason Plumlee’s clash with a journalist here on Saturday, we might well see the big man look to make a statement in this one.
The day ends with two winners from Sunday as Finland and Dominican Republic meet in a game where the winner will surely be favoured to keep playing in Barcelona next week.
The warnings were there. At the media welcome on Friday, the Spanish press had said the nation hadn’t warmed up to the 2014 FIBA World Cup. Only two games per day are being shown live here and, with the rare exception of Tuesday, even the star-studded USA line-up is relegated to the graveyard shift on Spanish television as the rest of their games clash directly with the national team. Monday was the rest day for Group C so there were only two sensible things to do in Bilbao, sample the region’s famous cuisine and find a bar showing Spain’s game with Brazil.
The former was easy, the Basque Country has developed a strong reputation in Europe in recent years and La Vina del Ensanche didn’t disappoint but even a few helping hands on Twitter couldn’t help me find a bar for Spain’s clash with Brazil. This is Basque Country, apathy towards the Spanish team is understandable but a 45 minute walk through the heart of the city, past countless bars and three members of the New Zealand roster proved fruitless as I searched for somewhere showing the game. Half a bottle of Rioja and five beers in, I figured it was time to call it a night before finally coming across a bar near Abando metro stop with the game.
There were 2 minutes to play in the first half and 9 people were there, 1 wasn’t even watching the game. By the time the third quarter started, it was just me and the disinterested other left. A few cops came in for coffee but whatever hope I had that Bilbao had World Cup fever had evaporated. The Spanish press were right. No-one here cared. Then, one member of the Susijengi saved the day.