Marcus Smart was back in action for Team USA on a minutes restriction (7 points in 9 mins) however he started in this Saturday Afternoon (Australian time) game against the Boomers. Australia was really physical in the first half as Team USA was slow to get it going as this game would be a lot closer going down to the wire. 13 points for Patty Mills in the final quarter was enough to seal the first win for Australia over team USA ever.
Was impactful early, hitting on his first 3-pointer and had a pair of assists as he started in place of Kemba Walker for this Game 2 clash. He battled hard against Matthew Dellevadova and was involved in quite a few nice plays. He was back on a minutes restriction though as they look work him back slowly, he had a brilliant layup in this game over former teammate Aron Baynes.
Marcus Smart is already hitting threes pic.twitter.com/FiHt4uLkxK— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) August 24, 2019
Kemba has been the best player of this mini series for Team USA. His ability to generate good shots whilst not forcing too much has been a joy to watch. Although he struggled late to find a bucket, he once again finished with 22 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. His mid range game has been stellar and he was picking his spots expertly to steady things time and again for Team USA.
Kemba has been killin Delly this whole trip pic.twitter.com/Lq2TPa1ulh— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) August 24, 2019
With the long range shot not falling for Jayson in the first half, JT was aggressive in getting shots at the rim. On his first basket he recognised the open lane and strolled through for an uncontested dunk, the second dunk was a vicious strip and steal in transition.
Tatum (5 points, 2-8 shooting) got some late fourth quarter minutes just as the game turned and the Boomers established a lead. Tatum worked into the key for tough layup attempt but was bodied out of position.
Like Tatum realizing he had a lane and attacking instead of settling after missing some early jumpers pic.twitter.com/RLyDlGxvdD— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) August 24, 2019
The Jays are killin people lets goooooo pic.twitter.com/0nhQ3pj7z7— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) August 24, 2019
Brown finished the game with 8 points and was active on both ends, just as he was on Thursday. His ability to guard 1-4 has given team USA a great deal of versatility. He had a lovely running hook shot in the lane in the first quarter and played a gorgeous pick and pop with Kemba Walker to calmly drain a three pointer.
Did Jaylen just unleash a running skyhook?!?! pic.twitter.com/F5MDpyI1w2— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) August 24, 2019
Into the final quarter Pop kept Brown in for key minutes in the fourth as things were close. Brown showed good awareness to thread a brilliant assist along the baseline to Joe Harris for a three after a neat penetrating drive.
With a 13 year winning streak on the line, Team USA suffered from a few breakdowns late and Patty Mills showed a great deal of poise when it mattered. No question, Team USA were well and truly tested in both games and struggled to punch the Boomers back in front of 52,000 fans for the for first with over the USA ever. Our Celtics players were solid in both games and did enough to earn spots on the final 12.
Four Celtics are gonna make this team— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 24, 2019