By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
With the United States’ statement win against Czech Republic in their opening game, 88-67, the US team showed the world that they can play within a system and disregard individual talent.
With the team’s great ball movement and unselfishness on full display, there was no doubt that Gregg Popovich was manning the bench.
No flashy plays, no flashy passes, just pure fundamental basketball.
Popovich would always allude to the fact that this is how he would like to run a team, and he was able to do that masterfully in the World Cup stage.
“I’m happy the most when the shot we convert is coming from a five-pass sequence,” Popovich said in an interview.
The USA team’s motion offense is the same system adopted from the San Antonio Spurs that brought the team five NBA titles.
These were all evident against the Czech Republic, as the US team looked like a well-oiled machine, providing tough defense and zipping the ball across the court for easy looks.
Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, and Donovan Mitchell, NBA stars renowned for their isolation prowess, looked to pass to open teammates and scramble the opposing team’s defense.