Additional Quotes >>USA 70, Brazil 68
Aug. 30, 2010 • Istanbul, Turkey
USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Duke University)
About the game:
I think both coaches have to be proud of their teams.† It was not Ė especially in the second half Ė where points came easy.† Both teams still played with great heart.† I think it showed the character of each team.
When that happens, to me, a team can show itís character in a bad way or a good way.† I thought both teams showed it in a good way.† I found out something about my team tonight because Brazil is so well-coached.† Their veterans, they have such a good concept and we were able to eke out a win when Ö we needed more energy to play against a Brazil team.† I thought we were young in that regard, playing three straight games.† The pool weíre in Ö when we saw that Brazil was in our pool, we said Ďwhoaí Ö theyíve got a chance to win the whole thing.† Slovenia, Croatia Ö I thought this was a great pool and itís proven to be that way for the first three games that weíve played and especially tonight with (Brazil).
Why did you stick with (Andre) Iguodala even though he wasnít a factor on offense?
With Andre, they have great players.† (Leandro) Barbosa is one of the best international players in the world and (Marcelo) Machado is one of the best shooters.† So, Andre is our best defender.† Even if he doesnít score, heís going to be on one of the two of those guys.† We got a little bit of a lead and Machado scored five straight points to keep them in the ball game right at the end of the third quarter and I had Andre out of the game.† And, I got him right back in.
What did you mean you learned something about your team?
Weíve only been together for a few weeks.† I donít know until youíre in these situations if weíre going to have the character to win when you canít hit a shot.† When someone is playing such good defense Ö tonight I found that and thatís a good thing.† Thatís a really good thing to find out about our team.
Have you worked on trapping on the pick and rolls and were you happy with how that strategy worked in the second half?
We just had to try to change the rhythm.† They were just killing us on the pick and rolls. Even at their timeouts, we were not able to do anything so we decided to do Ö we have practiced a few different ways of defending it.† We went to that.† I thought our defense was much better in the second half.† They missed some shots and so did we.† But, the defense was a lot better in the second half.† They really do a great job of spreading you and I thought (Tiago) Splitter was outstanding in how he played.† And, (Marcelo) Huertas played a magnificent first half.† I mean, he just ran his team so well.† If I wasnít coaching the other team, I would have loved to have seen him do that more.† He did it so well, but to me it was very frustrating.† They were so good in it so we had to try to do something a little bit different.
Derrick Rose following the USA's victory over Brazil
Kevin Love had a double-double yesterday but barely played today Ö why?
Kevin could play 20 minutes or none.† Heís just gotta be ready for that. Having Lamar in there as long as we did and I thought Tyson did a good job for a few minutes.† Again, weíre still finding out about our team.
Who spoke up in the locker room and what was said?
I was the one who spoke.† Iím the coach.† We told them before the game that Brazil was the (FIBA) Americas champions from last year.† They were 9-0 and won a great tournament in Puerto Rico with the same team that they have for this tournament.† So theyíre seasoned together.† I thought that our defense Ö we only allowed 22 points in the second and when youíre offense isnít going very well, to still play great defense shows that you have character.
I said that I thought they had the character to win because it was not easy to win tonight.† They had to do it doing tough things.† That was about it.
Will the political tensions with USA and Iran effect how you approach that game?
No.† This is a sporting event.† We have respect for Iran.† I actually played in Iran in 1970 when I was on the U.S. Armed Forces team.† I have great feeling for their country.† Theyíre sportsmen and so are we.† Weíll have a great game.
Chauncey Billups (Denver Nuggets)
On your scoring flurry in the third quarter and feeling the need to take the game over?
I wanted to aggressive.† I could sense that the game was in limbo.† I wanted to have an effect out there, call the plays and get what we wanted to get.† It worked out.
Did you sense some of the younger guys tensing up a bit?
I donít know if theyíre tensed up.† They honestly didnít play as much tonight as they did in the last few games.† Theyíll have more opportunities and theyíll do a better job next time.
Was trapping the pick and roll the key to the win?
Huge.† Their point guard was really crafty; really, really good.† He hurt us in that first half big time, coming off making shots and if he wasnít making shots, he was dishing it to guys and just kind of had it his way.† We got a little more aggressive and I thought it changed the game up for us.
Is this why youíre here to step up at the end?
I think so.† The guys look for me to be me especially in games like this.†† Obviously, itís not going to happen every time.† Iím looking for them to kind of have their input with two minutes to go in the game as well so I donít want them to just defer to me because Iíve been doing this for a long time.† I want them to create their own identity as well.† I thought this was a great game for us.
Was three games in three nights a reason for the lack of energy at the beginning of the game?
They had three games in three days too.† They came out with more energy than us.† We canít let that be a factor.† Another lesson that we learned.
Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder)
On the game:
It was a hard game, a tough game from the beginning.† Brazil is a well-coached team.† They have a lot of great players, they are very disciplined.† I think in that first half we didnít bring any energy as a group.† Overall it was a great game.† We fought hard.† Both teams fought hard and itís something we can learn from.
Is that type of game good for you before you enter the medal round?
Of course.† We knew Brazil was a great team.† Yesterday, Coach said this was the equivalent to a Game 7 in the NBA playoffs.† The atmosphere was great.† They came out first and did a great job of putting pressure on us but I thought we fought hard all game.† Shots werenít going down for us, but we still continued to play defense in that second half.† Like I said, itís a learning experience for us.† It was a game we needed.
Kevin Durant shares his thoughts with NBA TV via Skype following the Brazil win Monday
Talk about how Chauncey carried you guys in stretches tonight and what he means to the team?
Thatís what he does.† Coach ran plays for him and he was able to come through for us.† I just try to do a good job of securing rebounds on the defensive end and trying to help my teammates on the defensive end.
Chauncey made some big plays.† Heís the leader of this team so we got to follow him, but I think everybody did a great job in the second half of locking in on the defensive end and playing hard.† Wish we could have made more shots, but thatís how the game goes.† Chauncey, he did a great job of carrying us in the second half.
Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers)
Is it frustrating to play so much and get very few offensive opportunities?
No I wasnít frustrated.† I know my role on this team.† The main thing is we got the win.† All the other stuff doesnít matter.† It only matters what the score is at the end of the game.† I had a job, which was to make it tough on Barbosa to score and he had to pull out his best moves to score in the second half.
On the defensive adjustments you made in the second half?
We switched it up a little bit.† We were giving them too much freedom coming off and we applied a little more pressure in the second half and it seemed to work.
Coach K said you played because you are his best defender.† Has he made that clear to you that itís your primary role?
Iíve know that ever since being a part of the USA Basketball system, knowing that weíre going to have some great scorers.† You got the Dwyane Wades and Kobe Bryants and on this team you got the Kevin Durants of the league.† I feel like I can fit into any system no matter who Iím playing with.† With this group, I feel like I go out there and try to shut down whoever their top scorer is.
Thoughts on Chauncey carrying the team when times got tough?
Well, his nickname is Mr. Big Shot and thatís for a reason.† He got key baskets when we needed them and he showed veteran leadership tonight.
Did you feel the offensive was stagnant in the second half tonight?
It was a little bit.† I think in the past, USA teams, if they arenít scoring baskets then theyíre struggling on the defensive end and thatís how we had those three losses that we had.† I think tonight we just continued to stick with it.† We showed some character as far as if weíre not scoring, weíre going to pull it out on the defensive end and get stops as well.
Is there a value of persevering to get a tough win for later on in the tournament?
Yeah, I think it was really key for our group, knowing that we can get through anything.† We were down in the first half but we just kept pushing Ö cut it down little by little Ö Weíve been down in games before Ö were down against Spain in an exhibition game.† Those moments help you for those key moments in the important games.
What is this teamís identity at this point?
We just have to take the last two games again one at a time Ö try to get something done.† Give everybody some key minutes in the next two games and everybody get their confidence where it needs to be going into the elimination round.
Kevin Love (Minnesota Timbewolves)
Was the game the most intense you guys have played in?
It definitely was.† We knew that coming into this game, it was going to be a lot tougher than Croatia and Slovenia so we just wanted to really try to pick it up from the start.† One thing we didnít do was really come out in warmups and give our best effort right from the start.† We kind of got warmed up during the game.† One thing we need to do is just be ready at the very start of the game and really pick it up on the offensive end with the turnovers.† We had a couple lapses in the first two games and I think you kind of saw that tonight throughout the whole game.† If we clean that up, weíll be Ö weíll win by a substantial amount against most teams Ö but against a team like Brazil as talented as they are, we canít have lapses like that.
What changed from the first half to the second half?
Coach K gave us a great talk at halftime, (he said) we need to pick it up and we only get one shot at this.† We want to come out first in pool play and the only way we do that is if we beat Brazil because they probably wonít lose the rest of the way.† He gave us a great speech at halftime, got us going and I think just warming up at halftime, we were ready to go from the start and I think we held them to 22 points in the second half.
Thoughts on the last play?
He got it on the left side after he shot it up and got it back Ö who knows if he left early, but they made a good play on the ball and we were just lucky that it was contested and Barbosa missed the shot.† We had a little luck on our side.† Sometimes, itís better to be lucky than good and tonight we had that little luck at the end.
Lamar Odom (Los Angeles Lakers)
On the game:
Challenge.† Sometimes family that goes through adversity gets a little better.† Itís a game we probably needed.† Probably a good tune up especially going into the medal rounds, trying to finish up this tournament.
Difference in the second half?
Defense.† There are going to be times when you have offensive lapses especially when you got team first time playing with each other.† But, if we are the best defensive team in the tournament, we give ourselves a pretty good chance to win because weíll get out in transition and get easy buckets.
On buckling in defensively in the second half?
We got poised guys like Chauncey and poised coaches that have been in big games before and the young guys are learning how to play in this tough environment.
On the last play of the game:
He had to miss on purpose and he missed on purpose really good.† That ball bounced to the corner and Chauncey was able to close out on him and take away the three. He was still able to find Barbosa.† The opportunity came at the free throw line and he came a little short.
On Chauncey asserting himself:
He was getting to the basket. Pick and rolls is one of his fortes, whether itís find his shot or find a man.† Heís one of the best at it.
On Kevin Durantís performance:
Heís the best scorer in the NBA.† These guys canít check him or stay in front of him.† He can score in so many different ways whether itís over the top or around you.
Looking forward to a day off?
Weíll just keep building, keep building and hopefully keep getting better.
Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls)
On the game:
It was definitely exciting.† Theyíre a good team.† They challenged us throughout the whole game.† This is what we live for: to play in these type of games.
On the young team:
Weíre young but we have confidence and we trust each other.† Weíre a young team that can relate to one another without getting angry at one another.†† We know that if another person is telling you something, listen and go out there and do whatever theyíre telling you to do.
On the last shot:
I thought it was in to tell you the truth.† Thank God it came out.
What did you do at halftime to change the momentum of the game?
Our coverage on the pick and roll in the second half.†† In the first half, where we were down and everything, sending them to our bigs but help side wasnít over.† In the second half, we were ďblackingĒ the top where the big came up and met them and on the side, we were trapping the pick and roll so that we forced him to throw the ball out and other guys had to make plays.
Was today different than you first two games?
Totally different.† We won by two so itís totally different.† They other games we played we won by double digits.† This game right here was an eye opener.† We know that teams are really coming here to win this tournament and weíre here to do the same.
What is different that you take from this game as opposed to the game in Madrid?
Itís tough out here.† This is the third game in three days.† Weíre playing against professionals Ö some of us havenít played three games in three days since AAU or high school games and you got us playing against a whole bunch of professionals that really know how to play.† Itís tough out here.† Itís very tough, but every game we learn something different and our hope is it prepares us for the next game.
On the offensive execution down the stretch:
Itís just slowing the ball down, calling out plays, making sure people were at their right spots before we start anything.† I think tonight, Iíll put it on me, I didnít really get into the ball in the beginning.† I guess it was fatigue or something like that but Iíll guarantee you it wonít happen again next game.
Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)
On the game:
They did a good job of coming out and jumping on us early.† We just stayed strong and finished the game.
On you surprised how close they played you?
Not at all.† They have a lot of good guards and good bigs.† Thatís a real good team and weíre fortunate to come out with the win.
Is that the kind of game you needed before you get to the knockout stage?
Yeah I think so.† Definitely.† We got to finish this pool play out with the two games we have left and win or go home comes up.† We definitely need a game like this to wake you up and let you know that you canít afford to do that again.
What do you think Coach K has learned from this team tonight?
Just about we held tight.† Usually, when youíre down like that after youíve been winning by 30 or 40 points, you tend to put your head down and we did a good job of competing throughout the game.