View Full Version : Power of '03
08-18-2006, 08:54 AM
A trio from the Class of 2003 will serve as the leaders of Team USA in the World Championships.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski announced on Thursday that LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade -- three of the first five picks in the 2003 draft -- have been named as captains of the United States team.
"It was a pretty easy decision to select those three guys," Krzyzewski said.
"From the very start they have asserted themselves and showed leadership through how hard they worked, their cooperation and the fact that they wanted to be like everyone else. They didn't come in as stars, they came in as members of the team. Everyone looks up to them and they look up to them even more now because they have set such a good example."
In the United States' five exhibition wins, the trio ranked as the team's top three scorers. Anthony averaged 16.8 points, James posted 15.8 points and Wade added 12.2 points and 4.0 assists.
"We, as in myself, LeBron and Dwyane are honored," said Anthony, who was selected by the Denver Nuggets with the third overall pick in 2003. "We're experienced, we know what we have to do to succeed. I know it means more responsibilities, so we have to go out there and take care of business on and off the court."
James and Anthony were members of the 2004 Olympic team which won a bronze medal. But both did not play much under former Team USA coach Larry Brown.
08-19-2006, 08:25 AM
Americans unable to slow down Puerto Rico, but win 111-100
The United States wanted to make a statement as it opened the world championships against Puerto Rico. However, it took the Americans most of the first half Saturday to get it going.
Carmelo Anthony scored 21 points, and LeBron James and Kirk Hinrich each added 15 as the U.S. overcame a sluggish start before rolling to a 111-100 victory in Sapporo Arena.
Carlos Arroyo scored 23 points to lead Puerto Rico, and Elias Ayuso added 14.
The U.S., ranked No. 1 in the FIBA world rankings, improved to 8-1 against Puerto Rico in world championship play. But the 11th-ranked Puerto Ricans werenâ€™t intimidated. They led by four points midway through the second quarter.
U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski has stressed defense during training camp. And when the Americansâ€™ shots werenâ€™t falling early on, their defense kept them in the game.
Trailing 12-9 with 6 minutes to go in the first quarter, the Americans came up with steals on three consecutive possessions.
First Chris Paul stole a pass and fed LeBron James, who dunked. Then Dwyane Wade snagged a pass and went the length of the court for another jam. After Josh Howard made it three steals in a row, he blocked guard Elias Ayusoâ€™s shot, setting up Shane Battierâ€™s 3-pointer.The sequence led to a 9-0 run that put the U.S. ahead 17-12 with 3:49 to play in the first quarter.
â€œThatâ€™s the way to get in the passing lanes,â€ Krzyzewski told his players during a timeout.
The U.S. had nine steals in the first half â€” three by Paul, the quick-footed New Orleans guard. But the Americans struggled to contain Puerto Ricoâ€™s scorers, allowing them to shoot 55 percent from the floor in the first half, including 4-of-7 (57 percent) from beyond the 3-point arc.
08-20-2006, 02:38 PM
Wade's 26 lead way in U.S. 121-90 thrashing of China
One day Carmelo Anthony leads the U.S. in scoring. The next game it's Dwyane Wade's turn.
Wade scored 26 points Sunday night to lead the U.S. to a 121-90 rout of Yao Ming and China, the Americans' second victory in as many games at the FIBA world championships.
Someone else may lead the way against Slovenia on Tuesday.
This is how the Americans were assembled. Unlike many teams in the world championships, they don't have to rely on one or two stars to carry the scoring load.
"We have to be unselfish because of the caliber of players that we have," captain LeBron James said. "There's no reason for us to be selfish. Guys can make shots. Guys can make plays at any given moment of the game. I go out there to be unselfish and it kind of rubs off on everybody else. That's the kind of team that we have."
James averaged 31.4 points per game last year for Cleveland. He's averaging 13 in the first two games here.
"The dimensions we have on our team, I don't need to score at all," said James, who has eight assists in two games.
The Americans have averaged 116 points against lightweights Puerto Rico and China. And they haven't relied on any single player.
08-20-2006, 02:42 PM
I really had no doubt they would be the three captains :lol:
This team has something the other one didnt, Youth and Heart :yes:
08-22-2006, 11:42 AM
U.S. routs Slovenia, clinches round of 16
LeBron James and the rest of the U.S. starters were yanked less than halfway through the first quarter.
They hadnâ€™t done anything wrong; it was just time for the second team to come in.
That one was better than Slovenia, too.
Using both units to wear down and outrun the Slovenians, the Americans rolled to a 114-95 victory Tuesday, remaining unbeaten and clinching a spot in the round of 16 at the world championships.
â€œIt seems to favor our team,â€ Elton Brand said. â€œYou donâ€™t have to pace yourself at all because you know youâ€™re going to get a certain amount of minutes. You know youâ€™re going to be in there, and you know youâ€™re going to play. So once youâ€™re out there, you play hard, and you can try to wear down teams.â€
Dwyane Wade scored 20 points for the U.S. team (3-0), which plays Italy, also unbeaten in Group D, on Wednesday. James added 19 in his most impressive performance of the tournament.
James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Shane Battier started the game, but U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski sent Wade, Brand, Antawn Jamison, Kirk Hinrich and Joe Johnson out together midway through the first period.
The second unit put a stop to Sloveniaâ€™s strong start, and both groups contributed to the big run that blew open the game in the second quarter.
08-23-2006, 10:14 AM
Americans win group at world championships
First place didn't come easily for the United States.
The Americans survived their toughest test yet in the world championships, overcoming a 12-point deficit in the second half to beat Italy 94-85 Wednesday night.
Carmelo Anthony (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/players/3706) scored 19 of his U.S.-record 35 points in the third quarter, when he played extensive minutes with fellow captains Dwyane Wade (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/players/3708) and LeBron James (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/players/3704). U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski was forced to scrap his two-unit rotation after an anemic offense in the second quarter.
Wade added 26 points, helping the Americans (4-0) finally seize control for good midway through the fourth quarter with six points and an assist during a 10-2 spurt that gave the U.S. a 13-point lead.
Anthony broke the previous scoring record set by Kenny Anderson (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/players/393), who scored 34 points in a 1990 world championships game -- a team also coached by Krzyzewski.
The U.S. clinched the top seed in Group D and will face the fourth-place team from Group C on Sunday in Saitama in the round of 16.
The Italians (3-1), done in by a five-minute stretch without a field goal in the third quarter, can still earn Group D's No. 2 seed by beating Puerto Rico on Thursday.
But they were thinking big after controlling the first half to the delight of a group of fans chanting "Italia! Italia!"
Marco Belinelli scored 25 points for Italians, the 2004 Olympic silver medalists. They defeated the U.S. 95-78 in an exhibition game prior to those games, and clapped as they walked off the floor Wednesday even though they fell short.
The Italians were expected to take a step down from that level after turning to a younger team following a ninth-place finish in the 2005 European championships that forced them to need a wild card from FIBA to qualify for the world championships.
But they hit 30 3-pointers in their first three games, and the Americans tried to negate that by extending their defensive pressure further away from the basket. But the Italians took advantage with dribble penetration while working their offense expertly in the first half, when they shot 58 percent.
Elton Brand (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/players/3324) scored the last five points of the first quarter as the U.S. took a 25-19 lead, but the Americans then made only two field goals in the second -- and made matters worse by missing five of 12 free throws -- during a dismal 11-point period.
The Italians capitalized with a 12-4 spurt to close the half, with Matteo Soragna scoring the final five points of the half to give Italy a 45-36 lead at the break.
The Americans, who came in averaging 115.3 points, shot only 39 percent in the first half.
08-23-2006, 10:35 AM
They are just too nasty for another team to stop...
08-24-2006, 10:37 AM
Americans finish unbeaten run through pool play
Dwyane Wade (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/players/3708) rose to acknowledge the crowd chanting his name with 4 minutes left, the only time he got off the bench as the United States routed Senegal 103-58 Thursday to advance to the second round of the world championships.
Wade had the night off, after helping the U.S. rally a day earlier in the win against Italy.
The NBA finals MVP for the Miami Heat (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/teams/heat) stood and waved, drawing a loud roar.
"That was a first for me," Wade said. "It was a great experience, though. We play our heart out here to entertain. We gained some fans on this trip."
Chris Bosh (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/players/3707) scored 20 points and LeBron James (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/players/3704) added 17 in limited duty for the U.S. team, which remained unbeaten.
The Group D champions depart Friday morning for Saitama, where they will face Australia, the fourth-place team from Group C, on Sunday in the round of 16.
That will surely be more difficult than this one, where the U.S. led by as many as 45 against the overmatched African runner-up.
08-27-2006, 12:29 PM
U.S. routs Australia to advance to quarterfinals
Dwyane Wade, right, and Team USA rolled past Andrew Bogut, left, and Australia at the world basketball championships on Sunday.
Andrew Bogut was no problem for the United States. Next up: Dirk Nowitzki.
Carmelo Anthony scored 20 points, and the Americans smothered Australia in the second quarter and ran away to a 113-73 victory Sunday in the second round of the world basketball championships.
Joe Johnson added 18 points, and Dwyane Wade had 15 for the Americans, who allowed only two baskets and six points in the second period en route to a 30-point halftime lead. The U.S. shot 54 percent from the field, including 14-of-27 from 3-point range, and led by as many as 42 points.
â€œThat goes to show that when we really get focused in and play defense,â€ Anthony said, â€œwe can do some damage.â€
The U.S. (6-0) advanced to a quarterfinal matchup Wednesday night against Germany, which beat Nigeria 78-77 in the first game of the day behind 23 points from Nowitzki, the All-Star forward from the Dallas Mavericks.
â€œI think weâ€™re as ready as weâ€™re ever going to be right now,â€ U.S. point guard Chris Paul said.
08-30-2006, 12:17 PM
Cold-shooting USA beats Germany, reaches semifinals
Once they realized they couldn't shoot, the Americans knew they had to make sure Dirk Nowitzki (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/players/3252) couldn't, either.
Carmelo Anthony (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/players/3706) scored 10 of his 19 points in the third quarter, when the United States finally took control with its pressure defense, and the Americans went on to beat Germany 85-65 Wednesday night in the quarterfinals of the world championships.
The U.S. overcame its worst offensive performance of the tournament with one of its best, limiting Germany to 26 points in the second half and forcing Nowitzki to miss nine of his 12 shots.
"Dirk is unstoppable, so we tried to send in as many defenders as possible,'' LeBron James (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/players/3704) said. "You've just got to contain a guy like that and hope he misses some shots. He only had 12 attempts so we know we did a good job.''
James added 13 points for the U.S., which broke away from a one-point halftime lead by using a flurry of steals and blocks to outscore Germany 16-2 over a nearly 6-minute span in the third period.
The Americans (7-0) remained one of the four unbeaten teams and advanced to face European champion Greece (7-0) Friday night in the semifinals. Greece beat France 73-56 earlier Wednesday.
But this was unlike the other American victories in Japan.
Instead of looking like the team that came in averaging 109.3 points, the Americans looked like the ones that have come up short in recent years because of a lack of perimeter shooting. They shot 37.6 percent (32-of-85) and were 10-of-40 from 3-point range.
09-02-2006, 05:15 PM
U.S. settles for bronze at world championships
From left, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James walk off the medal stand. The U.S. beat Argentina for the bronze medal at the FIBA world championships on Saturday.
When the U.S. basketball team was assembled this year, it embarked on a three-year march to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Now the road to China must go through South America.
The Americans won the bronze medal at the world championships Saturday night with a 96-81 victory over Argentina. That will be their last game until next summer when they will try to earn an Olympic berth in the FIBA Americas tournament in Venezuela. A gold medal in the worlds would have punched their Olympic ticket.
â€œWe obviously wanted to get the automatic bid, but we didnâ€™t,â€ guard Kirk Hinrich said. â€œMaybe itâ€™ll be good for us. Maybe we need more time to gel as a team and weâ€™ll have more time to play.â€
The U.S. has a wealth of talent and coaching acumen. But that combination isnâ€™t enough against superior teams groomed for the international game. The U.S. has failed to reach the final in each of its last three major international competitions.
As the Americans accepted their bronze medals Saturday night, many gave military salutes to the Saitama Super Arena crowd of 16,700. But they knew a strong effort against Argentina had come one day too late.
â€œWinning the bronze, itâ€™s not good,â€ center Dwight Howard said. â€œBut we canâ€™t just look over it. We had to forget about what happened the other day against Greece and just come out and put our best effort forward in this game.â€
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