Sheridan: The World Cup mattered, and Team USA did America proud

TeamUSAMadrid

MADRID — Team USA’s bus was parked in the narrow street outside the Palacio de los Deportes, and a crowd dozens of people deep — folks from Espana, Serbia and America, too — broke into a chant of “M-V-P” for Kyrie Irving as he exited the arena and made his way on board. He heard them, and he let them know that he had heard them. Kenneth Faried got a lot of love, too, and gave some back with that whiter-than-white

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Sheridan: How Team USA Could Lose to Serbia in Gold Medal Game

RedFoxes

MADRID — The Red Foxes dance team held their practice right after Team USA held its practice, and many of the American players stayed around to watch. And why wouldn’t they? The Foxes, from Ukraine, are an extraordinary confluence of genetic brilliance with a ballerina meets pole dancer sexiness. Not one of them is shorter than 6 feet tall. The should call themselves the unicorns. They are a pleasure to watch, and a number of the American players did just that before posing

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Sheridan: Gotta hand it to Coach K for US dominance at World Cup

Krzyzewski-spain

BARCELONA — Quite the bizarro scene in the post-game press conference after Team USA destroyed Lithuania in the semifinals of the World Cup. There was a reporter from Slovenia who had been going back and forth with coach Mike Krzyzewski over the past several days — he wanted to ask questions that Coach K did not want to answer, and Coach K told him he’d answer his questions over a glass of wine when the time was appropriate. So the guy from

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Sheridan: USA-Lithuania Preview; Beware the Bigs, and the Shooters

lietuva

BARCELONA — Two years ago, when Team USA was jam-packed with superstars at the London Olympics, they played Lithuania in the preliminary round. Forty minutes later, they were fortunate to escape unscathed. The final score was 99-94, as Lithuania stuck with the Americans until the final minute. It was the only competitive game for Team USA until the gold medal match against Spain. That version of Team Lithuania had a bona fide alpha dog in Linas Kleiza, who is not competing this

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Sheridan: Derrick Rose rediscovers “attack mode” for Team USA

Rose

BARCELONA — Attack mode. Derrick Rose had lost it. Now, after a long one-on-one meeting with Coach Mike Krzyzewski, he has rediscovered it. And all that talk about how he was hurting rather than helping Team USA should disappear, too. It was a sight to behold Tuesday night in a 119-76 victory over Slovenia, the Derrick Rose we had grown accustomed to seeing a couple years ago before the two knee injuries. The guy who exploded to the basket and always was

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Sheridan: USA-Slovenia Preview: Wear sunglasses. Or a blindfold

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BARCELONA — A reporter from Slovenia asked DeMarcus Cousins a question Monday: “Do you know where Slovenia is?” Cousins snapped back: “Do you know where Alabama is?” Touche. The reporter was undoubtedly pursuing the storyline of “They don’t respect us, they don’t know us, they don’t even know where our country is located.” It is as predictable of a storyline as you could imagine, but Cousins was not taking the bait. So make that two big days in a row for the big man

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Sheridan: More on the Premature Spain-USA Debate

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BARCELONA — You know, we really have no business debating whether Spain can beat Team USA, or whether Team USA can beat Spain. It is disrespectful to Serbia, which whacked unbeaten Greece out of the tournament Sunday with an 18-point beatdown, and Brazil, which took down Argentina by 20. And it does a disservice to the four other teams that will begin the new workweek with a chance to be World Champions seven days from now. But you know what? It

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Sheridan: Team USA is not good enough to beat Spain … as of now

HueccoSnip

BARCELONA — If the gold medal match was being played Sunday, Team USA would not beat Spain. It wouldn’t even be close. But the gold medal game is not this Sunday. It is next Sunday. And a lot can change in a week. So the burden is on coach Mike Krzyzewski: Figure out who is going to give you the best chance to beat the host nation, start shortening up the rotation, and hope that in one week you can achieve what it

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