By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
USA got a spot in the final, controled the game against Spain, but did it thanks to its defense with DeAndre Jordan being the hero of the night. And as coach Mike Krzyzewski admitted, it was a peculiar game.
Coach K expected a game against Spain down the road, but compared to the previous two Olympic Games finals, this was a different animal: “We knew when we first started training camp that there was a great, great chance that we were going to play Spain at some point. We’ve had some great, great games against Spain, some unbelievably competitive games. We expected the same today and we got it. It was a different type of a game. It was a very hard game and both teams had to … it wasn’t easy flowing, and both teams had to make big plays. I thought our guys did that a little bit more than they did, and that’s why we won. DeAndre (Jordan) was huge, 16 rebounds, but also Pau’s a great player and not that he, no one’s going to stop him, but he made him work all the time. Getting the rebounds were amazing, and then Klay played the most minutes he’s played and came through. I thought Kyle Lowry just gave us a huge spark, so I’m really proud of my team. That was the most different game I’ve coached internationally for the United States. It was just a real different game today”.
And that had also to do with the decisions of the referees. Krzyzewski also addressed this matter: “It was a different atmosphere in there tonight. Those are three of the top officials in international basketball. We’ve had them in big games and I’d want them again. They’re really good. Whatever was happening there, they felt they had to take control. But it became very sensitive, in other words, you better not say or even ask a question. I thought what they did at the start of the second half in bringing the coaches and the captains together, we just said, “let’s play basketball.” I thought the second half was much better. It’s their game. They know what they’re doing and we have to adjust to it. It made it a different atmosphere, let’s put it that way. And for both teams. That’s why I’m really proud of my team”.
Still the hero of the night was DeAndre Jordan and he got his credit by coach K: “It was huge. I would say his activity that sometimes didn’t translate into stats but it translated into disruptive play or taking away the continuity that Spain normally has. The other thing he came up with a couple of huge offensive rebounds. He played a great game, not a good game, a great game. We wouldn’t be playing for the gold medal if DeAndre didn’t play that well”.
Kevin Durant added for DeAndre: “He was our MVP tonight. He was everywhere on the defensive end. He was rebounding for us. He was blocking shots, finishing at the rim. He played a great game. We’re going to need that in the next game”.