The basketball exhibition game between Team USA and the world champion Spain provided some preview of what is expected at the World Championships. Team USA had some bright moments but Spain kept crawling back to keep the game close. The final score of 86-85 in favor of the US, could have gone the other way had Kevin Durant not blocked a desperations shot from Spain’s guard Rudy Fernandez.
While we all know that these exhibition games do not show too much of what a team has to offer, it somehow showed some weaknesses in Team USA. For one, they have not fully adjusted to international rules. NBA stars usually can get away with travelling calls with a few extra steps but this does not apply in FIBA rules.
NBA stars also need to adjust to the more physical brand of play in international competition. They will not get any bail out fouls like they are used to in the NBA.
Team USA also needs to force turnovers on defense to enable their running game. The open court will be their strong suit given their athleticism. Clogging the lanes should always be their mindset on defense especially with their size. International teams can work their way inside against Team USA with their lack in size down low. One-on-one defense may have been what they are used to in the NBA but they need to develop chemistry defensively and offensively if they want to beat the best of the world.