Monday, 23 August 2010
THROUGH THE WIRE: NEWS (08/23/10)
Kevin Durant,the poster boy for this years USA team delivered on Sunday as he lifted his nation past Spain. America just edged the talented Spanish side 86-85. Durant had two decisive blocks in the final seconds to claim the victory for the United States. Kevin's game changing plays came on both Spanish wonder kid Ricky Rubio and current disgruntled Portland star Rudy Fernandez. Although this game was merely a warm up for the World Championships the heat and intensity was turned on between two of the best international sides in the world. The USA not only had Kevin Durant to thank but Syracuse Coach Jim Boheim too. Team USA switched their defensive strategy to Coach Boheims trademark 'Orange' 2-3 Zone. This change was key to the success of America's defensive play. The hero on the court Kevin Durant had a terrific night with a double, double of 25 points and 10 Rebounds.
To add injury to insult for Spain they have now lost their speedy guard Jose Calderon to injury. A torn muscle in his leg unfortunately will keep him out of the forthcoming World Championships. The Toronto Raptors guard injured himself in the last few minutes of Spain's loss against the USA. Spain now face another loss, in their speed, tenacity and passing. This Spanish side has plenty of talent however, guys like Gasol, Fernandez and Rubio will pick up the pace. Don't siesta on this side.
Keeping with the World Championships, but also unfortunately keeping the topic on injury, another NBA/international star will also miss the upcoming championships. Denver Nuggets and Brazil centre Nenê Hilário is suffering with inflammation in both his legs. Nenê had to be taken out of a friendly against France after just a quarters worth of Basketball. The big mans absence will be a big loss to Brazil. Nenê is not only so strong and a presence in the paint, he also has so much heart and is a presence in the lockeroom. This inspirational player will be replaced by João Paulo Batista who was part of last years Brazil side that won the gold medal in the FIBA Americas Championship in Puerto Rico. Nenê's loss is the second setback this talented Brazil side have had to endure regarding their post players as they also lost Cleveland Cavalier power forward/center Anderson Varejao to an ankle sprain. Ouch!