By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Coach Gregg Popovich hopes the defeat of Team USA in Melbourne will be a wake-up call for his team before the upcoming FIBA World Cup.
Pop believes that his team should learn from this result: “It’s not just the fourth quarter; we didn’t play well for the entire game. We made some poor decision. Some of this was expected; we are a new group; we are still learning the system. It’s not surprising, but the Aussies gave us a great lesson and what it means to play in that kind of competition. We should get used to that and hopefully learn”.
And of course, he gave credit to the Australian national team and his San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills: “The Boomers were great; it’s a testament to how long they have been stuck together to get this accomplished tonight. They were competitive on both ends of the floor, they executed correctly, and they came out with the victory, and as I told you so after the last game, Patty is a pain in the ass”.
Mills killed the US, scoring the last 10 points of the Boomers and coach Gregg Popovich couldn’t be happier for his Spurs guard.
“In a strange sort of way, I’m happy for him,” Popovich said. “He’s a wonderful human being; much better human being off the court than on the court. I mean that sincerely. He’s just a beautiful guy. He cares about people, and he loves people. So, when someone like that has success, you’ve gotta feel good about it.”
Still, the bottom line for Team USA is simple, according to Pop: “The loss means that we need to play better, and it’s a measure of who you are. Nobody wins forever. This is a group of guys who worked pretty hard and whatever comes, we can handle. We are now a better team due to the knowledge of this game. You move on”.
Photo credit: USAB