World Cup Day Three: Team USA off, Spain bests Brazil

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In a highly patriotic coincidence, Team USA was off on this Labor Day Monday as they prepare for Tuesday’s match with New Zealand, the only Group C team without a win here in this FIBA World Cup. Groups A and B played on Monday with the hosts separating themselves from the pack, one big upset, one huge Freakish dunk and an emerging dark horse for the all-tournament team. Group A Serbia (2-1) outscored Iran 25-13 in the decisive third quarter and defeated Iran

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Gonzalez: Manimal, Uncle Mo Are Keys for Team USA

Faried-USAB

I hate to say I told you so, but after the first day of Team USA training camp in Las Vegas, I wrote that Kenny “The Manimal” Faried must be the first guy selected for the roster and everyone else should come thereafter. My reasoning was Faried’s motor, toughness and energy level with intangibles such as putbacks and garbage points would be invaluable to this team. In Sunday’s come-from-behind victory against Turkey, Faried led Team USA team with 22 points and

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2014 Basketball World Cup: 24 Players To Keep An Eye On

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In years past, Americans have considered the Olympics to be the only relevant international basketball competition. Stateside, the other quadrennial tournament formerly known as the FIBA World Championship went largely unnoticed until Team USA embarrassed themselves in 2002, losing three times in Indianapolis and finishing sixth after never having lost with NBA players. The rest of the world sees things differently. Other basketball federations have been viewing the World Championship as the more important international competition. Also, because the very best Americans play

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Mitnick: Can The Spanish National Team Upset Team USA?

Spain

After Kevin Durant quit (to borrow a phrase from Sheridan) and Paul George’s devastating broken leg, the hosts of the 2014 Basketball World Cup have emerged as legitimate contenders for a gold medal. While Team USA remains the odds-on favorites according to sportsbettinginfo.com to take the gold, despite clearly sending a “B” team, they will have their work cut out for them overcoming a cohesive Spanish team in a potential Gold Medal game. The Spanish national team will be in Group A with France

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Rookies McDermott, Smart Chosen for USA Select Team

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Chicago Bulls forward Doug McDermott, coming off a First Team selection at the recently completed Las Vegas Summer League, is among two rookie rookie chosen for the USA Select Team announced Tuesday. McDermott averaged 18.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in four games in Las Vegas. He was joined by Boston Celtics rookie guard Marcus Smart, who averaged 14.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists over five games in the Orlando Summer League. The Select Team is a group of players younger than

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Mitnick: The best International Prospects in the NBA Draft

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With the 2014 NBA draft merely a few hours away, teams are gearing up for all of their possible choices as the clock is winding down. In what should be one of the stronger drafts in recent years, despite being significantly weaker than the famous 1984, 1996 and 2003 drafts, there is a very strong crop of international prospects going into the draft. This year there are three prospects who could be picked in the lottery (Dante Exum, Dario Saric, Jusuf

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VIDEO: What David Blatt brings to Cleveland Cavaliers

David Blatt, Russia

The Cleveland Cavaliers have chosen David Blatt of Maccabi Tel Aviv as their new head coach. They will not be disappointed. I have known Blatt since 2007, when he led the Russian national team to a victory over Spain in Madrid in the gold medal game. I dined with him in Shanghai in 2008 in the prelude to the Beijing Olympics, and our paths crossed again in Istanbul in 2010 when I was covering the world championship. That was when Blatt

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Mitnick: 2014 International Draft Prospects Below the Lottery

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Who are this year’s international men of mystery whose names will be called at the 2014 NBA draft? We already have looked at Dante Exum, who is a near lock for the top five, as well as Dario Saric and Jusuf Nurkic, a pair of bigs playing in Croatia who could be in the lottery. However, this international class goes a bit deeper, with a few established players who can play right away, plus the usual draft-and-stash candidates who could come to the league after a few years of

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