Agree that the U.S. had sent their best, most of the guys on this squad would not have made the team and the U.S. would have won every game by 40+. But why hasn’t more been made of Coach K’s terrible, horrible, very bad, not very good coaching job?
- He is a college coach with little familiarity with the NBA players. If the U.S. fielded the same players every year in international play, this could have been minimized, but he buried Barnes and had no idea how to use Draymond Green. When questioned, arguably one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time could only respond “Who do you want me to sub him for?” Gee, I dunno, Coach, maybe DeMarcus the foul machine, or DeAndre the player with no offensive skills, or Melo the indifferent defender? Do you think maybe a team with Irving and Lowry running the point could have used a little more passing? Do you think it would be helpful to have a front court player who can get a rebound and initiate a fast break, since neither of your point guards were capable of leading a break?
- In the NBA if a team plays bad defense and too much one on one offense, the coach gets canned. When the Olympic team does the same thing, the players are criticized and the coach gets a free pass. Huh?
- A Warriors style “Lineup of Death” with Draymond at center, Barnes and Durant at forward, and Thompson and Butler at guard, would have crushed every team in the tournament. The lineup would have forced turnovers and turned them into dunks and wide open 3s. K used that lineup exactly zero times.
- Another repeated observation was that the U.S. team didn’t have the familiarity of playing together like other international teams. Um, Green, Thompson and Barnes have played together for 4 years. K used the three of them in the same lineup virtually never.
- I am happy that Paul George has made it all the way back from his catastrophic injury. But 28.8% from 3 point range in the tournament? 2–9 shooting in the gold medal game? He led the team in steals, but also in gambles that led to wide open looks by the opponents. Dude played good defense (especially on Sunday) but got way too much run in terms of minutes.
The team was talented enough so that ultimately the perplexing coaching made no difference, but I am glad that K is “retiring” from international competition and I am excited about Pop taking over.