August 8, 2006 Guangzhou, China
Look at all the adversity that we faced. Carmelo gets hurt,
Dwyane plays about, I don't know how many minutes, but he was out of the
ball game. LeBron was having his worst offensive night. A little bit of
chaos there, especially for a team that's only been together for a short
period of time. Guys stepped up. Joe did. I thought Kirk Hinrich really
stepped up. Our big guys, Elton and Brad Miller, also gave us some stability.
But our guys made big plays down the end, they made winning plays and
that was the story of the basketball game.
You have to give a lot of credit to Brazil. They are an experienced
team. Welcome to international basketball. That's the way it is.
On winning a close game:
I'm not sure you are going to blow out people. That's the thing we have
to understand. These teams play this brand of basketball very well. If
we're playing our brand of basketball, it's a little bit 'different. The
calls are different, just everything. It's a different basketball game.
They are more familiar with it and therefore no matter what the situation
is, they're comfortable in it. We're learning to get comfort and I think
playing in a game like that helps us immensely.
On the game:
It's a game of a lot of adversity for both teams. For them, Barbosa was
in foul trouble. For us, Carmelo Anthony got hurt and was out. Dwyane
Wade was in foul trouble and left the game. It was a game of adversities.
I thought both teams handled them pretty well. I'm proud of our guys.
They made winning plays, especially that great defensive play at the end.
On being outrebounded:
It's not a trend. We've only played three games. It was just one of those
games where the ball just bounced real funny and it bounced over our rebounders
some times But, they were aggressive. You have to give them credit. They
ran down balls. I thought our guys tried. We just didn't rebound as well
as we can. At times, they were bigger than we were. When we went to the
two bigs, that's when some of those bounces happened. It was a crazy game,
there was no question about it.
We knew Brazil would be a very good basketball game for us because
they know one another. We are still learning about one another. We have
utmost respect for them.
On Anthony's injury:
Anthony is not a serious injury but we took precaution not to use
him in the second half because we don't play for a while. We're not at
the tournament. There is no reason for us to push that.
On the pressure defense not being as effective
as it had been in other games:
Well, one there a better team. Two, we forced double-figure turnovers
in the first half. We didn't score off of them. We were loose with the
ball after we forced the turnovers. We didn't turn them into points. And
we fouled too much. In that first period, I thought we were going to set
a record for most fouls in the history of China basketball. It was very
disruptive for both teams there were so many fouls in the first quarter.
On the USA point guards vs. Brazil point
We're younger. We're a young team. I'd rather not compare (against other
) teams because I haven't coached the other point guards. But my guys
are playing hard so I like them and I think they are going to keep developing.
I'm happy with my guards.
On the free throw shooting:
Well, we hit some clutch ones. We must have had about eight of them that
were in and out. It wasn't liked the guys were missing left or right.
Even Dwight Howard early in the game. It was just one of those games.
I've coached over 1000 games and they are crazy some times. And it was
a crazy game tonight.
On the third quarter drought:
Actually, our offense to start the second half, we had two great shots
for 3's and we missed them. If we hit them, we're up by 20 points. When
people miss open shots, the other (team) gets confidence and it seemed
like the Brazilians just had a lot of confidence. It happens in sport
where the ball just doesn't seem like it can go in. And we had about six
minutes there, it just didn't seem like the ball would go in the basket.
Thank goodness our guys had the composure to still save the ball game
and win the ball game. A lot of different things happened to our team
tonight. Like Joe said, we showed a lot of toughness to win the basketball
On playing against the zone:
We missed some shots against the zone. I think we scored enough
points. If we hit free throws and don?t throw the ball away, we would
have scored like 110 points. I thought our defense wasn't as good as it
needs to be. There are nights when the ball doesn't go in, you've have
to be saved by your defense and that?s why we put such a premium on playing
On LeBron James and his leadership:
We played three exhibition games and I think we've practiced for two weeks.
So, someone doesn't just become a leader. You develop that. He'll be fine.
He didn't have one of his great games, but he hit the biggest basket of
the game and that shows that he's a winner. That's a good way of leading
to hit that basket.
Is that your starting lineup:
I don't know. That's part of playing these exhibition games is to try
different lineups. Joe, to me, is a starter. The number of guys can start,
Elton, Brad Miller, Kirk Hinrich, we felt that was the way to start tonight
and try to get some type of rotation but the fouls and injuries, we weren't
able to develop that. That's the way the game goes.
ANTHONYOn the injury:
It's doing good. I'm icing it and get a couple of days of rehab and I'll
be back. It hurts a little bit, it's a little bit sore right now, but
a couple of days of rest and I'll be back.
On what he did after
I came back out to the court and sat on the bench, giving
my team support even though I couldn't be out there with them.
On the next game:
I'm hoping to play Sunday and hopefully I'll be back on the court
BATTIEROn the game:
I give a lot of credit to Brazil. They came out and played aggressive
and didn?t play scared at all. They were very effective in driving to
the basket, especially by Barbosa. We made the plays we had to down stretch
and we'll take this victory.
On playing against a zone
: We missed a lot of shots obviously. And we could have done a
better job of penetrating the zone, but it's still early and we're learning.
And that's the good news.
On the game:
This was a tough game. Obviously, Brazil had some NBA players and
some very good international players. They played a very good game.
They just played a good game. Give them credit. It's still early
and we?re learning about ourselves and about each other. We?ll take from
this game what we need to take from it and hopefully not have a repeat
On the crowd rooting for Brazil:
That always happens. When you are playing a team that is considered
the underdog, the crowd sniffs potential upset. The crowd always gets
behind the underdog. I don't care what sport you are playing or where
you are at in the world. That always happens.
Comparing Brazil to China:
Brazil did a very good job of penetrating and getting open shots.
And China did a very good job of penetrating but they didn't finish their
BRANDOn the USA Team:
Guys will step up different days. It?s not just one player. I?ll have
a good game, Dwyane Wade will have a good game, LeBron James, anybody
is capable of having a good game.
They are a very different team. Brazil got us in foul trouble. They hit
some shots and came back and took the lead. We had a 16-point advantage
and when we do that, we have to keep our lead.
On Brazil's zone:
That was key, having a zone. But, we didn't have Dwyane Wade obviously
and didn't have Carmelo Anthony - two of our best penetrators and shooters.
So, that really hurt us.
On the offensive execution:
We should have attacked it more and got it in the post a little
more. But, we're learning and we're growing and that's what this process
of exhibition games is about.
On if a close game came earlier than expected:
We weren't sure but we're glad it did. It builds character and
we can learn from it. And we won't take any teams for granted.
On what they learned in the game tonight:
Hopefully, we learned a lot tonight. We have to realize you can?t
just show up and win. We have to know coming in that it?s going to be
different every game. It?s going to be tough; things aren?t going to go
our way. It?s a big deal and it?s obviously a big deal to us too. We just
have to learn from it and get better.
On the team's flexibility:
I think it just naturally fit like that. A lot of times we have four guys
that can bring the ball up the court. It's just the flexibility and versatility
that we have. It's not like I feel like I have to bring the ball up and
make a play every time down. I can run the floor and wait for a play to
develop and knock down a shot. I don't have to make everything happen.
A lot of times on my team in the NBA, I'm counted on to make all the plays
and that's not the case here.
BRON JAMESOn the game:
We're not going to just blow every team out even though we want to. But,
Brazil has a good team They have a lot of pro players on their team. They
got a lot of future pros. Doesn't matter if you win by 50 or win by one
point, a win is a win.
On the closeness of the game:
Some of the guys were a little nervous of course being in this
position for the first time. But, I've been in this position before, playing
in the games before. And I know what to expect when games get close. But,
we took care of business and made the plays at the end to win the ball
game and that's all that counts.
On the referees:
They did a great job. There is a lot of things going on during the game
that refs miss and they catch a lot of things that some people might not
catch. They got one of the hardest jobs in the world to try to referee
two teams and they did a great job.
On Coach K:
He's very intense and he wants his players to be the same way and we have
to respond. We did a good job of trying to respond to him tonight. We
had a big lead in the first half; we weren't able to capitalize and make
it better but we did win the game.
On the trip to China:
It was great. We came here and took care of business, got two wins. Met
some new people, new friends and we were able to showcase our talents
to new people in new parts of the world.
On the 2008 Olympics in Beijing:
Its going to be awesome. They got two years to prepare till we get there
in Beijing, but I think its going to very electrifying. And the USA team
will be there in red, white and blue to represent.
On his late steal:
I tried just to stay in front of my man and make it as difficult as possible.
I just had my hand right there; he tried to cross over and I hit it so
I just dove for it.
On the game:
I definitely thought it was a tough game. I think that now we'll take
a different approach to every other game. This is a great game for us;
we needed this. We needed to be tested and tonight we showed a lot of
pride and we came through when we needed each other.
On playing without Carmelo:
I' m going to give Carmelo Anthony a lot of credit. The guy plays with
a lot of heart. But those guys that came off the bench, we gave everything
we had. We stepped in up on defense and offense. We're just trying to
make basketball plays. It?s not necessarily about who scores the most
points. It's about us making plays and making plays easier for our players.
It's just about creating. We came off the bench and gave everything we