In front of a 51,218 strong crowd for “exhibition” play, Coach Popovich handed Jaylen Brown the starting nod alongside Joe Harris, Myles Turner, Kemba Walker and Donovan Mitchell. Brown came out of the gates aggressively and skied to block an early Patty MIlls layup attempt.
Feed me more Jaylen defense babyyyy pic.twitter.com/RYC0WLt2jO— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) August 22, 2019
Kemba Walker was as solid as ever and displayed his elite quickness early as he snapped the ankles of Matthew Dellevadova late in the first quarter.
Walker also gave fans a taste of what to expect when the game slows down as he timed a perfect pick and roll to slowly create enough space and room to get off a neat floater off over Bogut.
Jaylen Brown got on the scoreboard in the 2nd quarter as he got downhill on a retreating defence and attacked the cup for a neat lay in. Australia with a host of NBA talent provided a great test outside of the world cup competition as this was a tight and competitive first half.
This Australian team is tough. There’s not a huge talent gap this year between Team USA and the other top squads.— Jay King (@ByJayKing) August 22, 2019
With Tatum finding more significant minutes in the second quarter, Taco Jay smoothly drained a pair of triples after being on the end of some crisp passing.
Jayson Tatum stays silky smooth pic.twitter.com/Ok6l9nqOCJ— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) August 22, 2019
For the Boomers in the first half, Patty Mills was terrific, as was sharp shooter Chris Goulding, however it was former St Marys four-year product Jock Landale who was brilliant on both ends and NBA scouts will likely be tracking his performances this summer.
Few random Boomers observations from first half— Ben Mallis (@BenMallis) August 22, 2019
- Landale has been a plus defender tonight. Making great plays sliding his feet
- Like the mins Creek gave. Needs to play more. Ditto Goulding - his shooting is needed
- No Sobey, Barlow or Gliddon - Deng Adel should be on this team
Team USA up 44-43 at halftime on Australia. Kemba Walker and Donovan Mitchell combined to go 6-19, and Team USA is 6-18 on 3-pointers. That’s the kind of combination that will open the door for a close game.— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) August 22, 2019
With the game getting serious in the 3rd quarter, Coach Pop went to the Celtics trio of Walker, Brown and Tatum to get the chemistry on track.
Jays and Kemba on the floor together...USA up 14. Doesn't feel like an accident— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) August 22, 2019
Baynes aka “All of Australia” was terrific and hard nosed on both ends, getting up into Jaylen Browns face and screaming at the Refs at every given chance. Kemba Walker kept the score board ticking for Team USA and finished with 23 points and 9 in the final stanza.
Jaylen Brown provided the exclamation mark on the contest with a vicious throw down on a fast break transition play via a neat Jayson Tatum lob.
Overall, this was a fun contest and a good test for both teams. Good times, looking forward to game two.