World Cup Day 6: Unbeaten Team USA cruises into knockout stage vs. Mexico

HardenUSAB

Team USA had nothing to play for, and it showed. The Americans already had clinched Group C at the FIBA World Cup by winning their first four games. While other countries jockeyed to get into the knockout stage – or avoid certain opponents – Team USA was on cruise control in Friday’s game vs. war-torn Ukraine. The United States was playing for the fifth time in six nights and had a start time four hours earlier than Thursday. The combination of apathy

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SH Blog: Lakers could go after Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic next summer, Josh Smith ready to play more at power forward

bledsoe

For some reason, the Phoenix Suns have put themselves in quite the vulnerable situation. With innovative coach Jeff Hornacek at the helm, the Suns were truly one of the biggest surprise teams of last season. No one expected them to be in a dog fight to be a playoff team in April. Hell, not many expected them to win even 30 games.  Yet, they won 48 games and became one of the most dynamic offensive teams in the league (eighth-best offensive

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PODCAST: Kenneth Faried is MVP of World Cup so far

Faried-USAB

When you shoot 8-for-11 from the field, as Kenneth Faried did Wednesday in Team USA’s 106-71 victory over the Dominican Republic, and your shooting percentage for the tournament actually goes down … well, that says something about the kind of tournament you are having. Faried is unquestionably the leading candidate to be MVP of the 2014 FIBA World Cup after four games of pool play. The question is whether he will be able to keep it up over Team USA’s next

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FIBA World Cup Day 4: Rose Starts, Sort Of

HardenDavisRose

The debate over whether Derrick Rose should be playing for Team USA is behind us. Clearly he is not yet himself, and clearly he is using the FIBA World Cup to get himself back into playing shape so he has a running start when the Chicago Bulls’ NBA season begins. A big test is coming Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday as Team USA plays on three consecutive nights. We will have a much bigger body of work to judge him on when those three days

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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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World Cup Day 2: Team USA looks awful in first half of win over Turkey

Davis

You probably know by now that Kevin Durant isn’t playing for Team USA. They could have used him Sunday, when his absence exposed virtually all of the warts of this American squad. On the same day ESPN reported that Nike will match Under Armour’s offer of nearly $300 million to Durant, Team USA showed how much it really missed its true alpha dog in an unconvincing 98-77 win over Turkey, which gave every medal contender a blueprint for beating the Americans. In a

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World Cup Day One: Team USA thumps Finland by 59

MissFinland

We will spare you too many of the gory details of Team USA’s massacre of Finland. Here’s all you need to know: The Finns were 0-for-17 from the field in the second quarter. If you watched the entire game, congratulations. You have proven yourself worthy of throwing away two perfectly good summertime hours from your Labor Day weekend that could have been spent doing something more enjoyable, like watching paint dry. Day One of the 2014 FIBA World Cup is in the books,

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Three-Man Weave: Burning Questions for Team USA

Derrick Rose

The 2014 Basketball World Cup is finally here. And you need to take it seriously, because everyone else does. Thanks to NBC and the other fall-in-line media outlets, most Americans believe the Olympics is the premier international basketball event. Globally, nothing could be further from the truth. With 24 teams and no automatic bid for the host, the World Cup is twice the size of the Olympics. It doesn’t share the spotlight with track or swimming. And most of the players will

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