Friday, September 01, 2006

WBC: Greece 101, United States 95 [J. Mark English]

SAITAMA, Japan (AP) - Vassilis Spanoulis scored 22 points Friday as Greece used a sizzling stretch of shooting across the middle two quarters to turn a 12-point deficit into a 14-point lead and beat the United States 101-95 in the semifinals of the world championship.
The Greeks (8-0) can add a world title to the European championship they won in 2005 with a victory over either Spain or Argentina in Sunday's gold medal game. Those teams, also undefeated, met in Friday's second game.
"They played like a champion plays," United States forward Shane Battier said of Greece....
Carmelo Anthony scored 27 points for the Americans, who couldn't overcome their 32 percent shooting from 3-point range or 59 percent from the foul line. Dwyane Wade added 19 and LeBron James had 17, but the three U.S. captains were unable to avenge their disappointment from Athens.
My thoughts...
Mike Krzyzewski was brought in to coach this team back to respectability. No one doubts that the United States can field the best basketball talent in the world. But the best team? If the great Krzyzewski cannot even pull together a team out of the world's greatest talent then U.S.A basketball is doomed. On the other hand, the concept of 'team play', which the rest of the world has mastered, will thrive.