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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Team USA Narrowly Beats Brazil, 90-86

Brazil pounded the U.S. on the boards 41-25 and used a 16-0 run at the start of the second half to take a 54-52 lead, but the U.S. held on for a 90-86 victory in their third exhibition game. Brazil's dominance inside versus the U.S. is even more impressive considering that Nene, who just re-signed with the Denver Nuggets, did not play because of his knee injury. Dwight Howard led Team USA in rebounding with just five.

Anderson Varejao led the charge inside for Brazil with 11 points and 16 rebounds, but fouled out when he got a technical foul for complaining about a double dribble call against Wellington Dos Santos. Leandro Barbosa and Alex Garcia led Brazil in scoring with 14 points each. Carmelo Anthony had a game-high 16 points despite hyperextending his knee late in the first half. He did not return to action but initial reports are that the injury is not believed to be serious.

LeBron James had an off game, shooting just 3-8 from the field and finishing with only 11 points, but he did make a key basket on a baseline drive with 34 seconds left, giving the U.S. a three point lead. Kirk Hinrich scored 14 points and made all eight of his free throws. Dwyane Wade committed five fouls in only 10 minutes of playing time, contributing just four points and three assists. Like Varejao, he fouled out as a result of a technical foul, which he got for arguing about his fourth foul with 8:50 remaining in the third quarter.

This game shows why the U.S. is now requiring a three year commitment from team members and why a lot of practice is necessary for the U.S. to be successful in FIBA play. It is no longer possible for America to just throw a team together and defeat national teams that have played together for years under international rules.

posted by David Friedman @ 6:30 PM


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At Sunday, August 13, 2006 12:33:00 AM, Blogger illest said...

Do you plan on commenting about Eddie Johnson?

At Sunday, August 13, 2006 2:45:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

I had not planned on writing about Eddie Johnson but, since you asked, there are actually two stories here. First, for those who don't know, the Eddie Johnson who was an All-Star for the Atlanta Hawks in the early 80s--and has had his share of legal problems since then--has been accused of sexually assaulting an 8 year old girl. Unfortunately, several outlets mistakenly indicated that the Eddie Johnson who won the 1989 Sixth Man Award--and has never been in trouble with the law--was the one who was arrested. So the two stories here are (1): the mess that former All-Star Johnson has made out of his life; I have no idea if he is guilty of this latest charge but he has been in and out of jail for two decades and his problems curtailed a promising career; (2) the astounding negligence of any media outlet that did not take the time to make sure that the correct Eddie Johnson was identified in coverage of this story. That Eddie Johnson has been misidentified so many times over the years by careless members of the media that he actually seriously considered changing his name. I've seen some discussions that mock the so-called "blogosphere" but there have been numerous instances when bloggers either beat the mainstream media to a story or point out flaws in the coverage of a story.

Although I can't categorically say that I will never comment on athletes being accused of crimes, that really is not an area on which I plan to focus.

At Tuesday, August 15, 2006 1:53:00 PM, Blogger illest said...

Well at least you spoke on it. Its a shame certain media outlets, especially the Chicage Tribune (where the Suns Eddie is from) didnt know which Eddie Johnson it was. As soon as I heard the story, I knew it was the one from the Hawks. He had a lot of cocaine problems in the 80s and so did a few cats on those Hawks teams.


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