Rajon Rondo may no longer be with the squad, but that doesn’t mean CelticsHub won’t be keeping an eye on Team USA as they try to bring home their first World Championship since 1994. The National “B” Team opened up in pool play this afternoon against Croatia on the slow side, only leading by two after the first frame.
Luckily, Coach K’s squad used their defense and athleticism to break things wide open in the second period, holding Croatia to just 6 points, while opening up a 22 point halftime lead they never looked back from on their way to a 106-78 victory.
Kevin Durant led the scoring with 14 points, but it was a couple NBA sophomore stars that stole the show with Eric Gordon (13 points) and Kevin Love (10 rebounds) serving as terrific sparkplugs off the bench in the balanced effort.
Everyone on the team scored at least 4 points, and 9 of the team’s 12 players made a 3, as Coach K put a premium on shooting by going with a small lineup with 3 guards (Rose, Curry, Billups) to start. I am curious to see if they will stick with this lineup heading into tomorrow’s game against Slovenia (9:30 a.m. ESPN2)
In honor of the win against Croatia, naturally we had to bust out some highlights from the greatest Croatian Celtic of all-time, the one and only Dino Radja. Incredibly, someone made a mix tape on Youtube, combining both Dino Radja and Eric Montross highlights, which will make any 90′s Celtics fans weekends.Enjoy the goodness.
A look at how the C’s newest European import Semi Erden fared in his FIBA debut, after the jump
Erden came off the bench for Turkey in native land’s 39 point romp over Ivory Coast this afternoon. The center had a rather unimpressive line, considering the competition, with just 6 points (2-6 shooting), 3 rebounds, an assist, steal and 3 turnovers. Disappointing to see Erden not getting starter minutes in place of the injured Mehmut Okur, but he will have to increase his output to get more of an opportunity.