Earlier today, the US Men’s National Basketball team squared off against the Chinese National team at Madison Square Garden. The relatively unpublicized matchup resulted in a pretty modest crowd for a game serving as a basic tune-up for both teams.
As part of the World Basketball Festival, the highlighted players were of course Kevin Durant and Yi Jianlian, who expectedly were wearing the Nike Hyperfuse and Nike Hyperdunk 2010.
The game was filled with far more intensity than Thursday’s US intersquad scrimmage, and it was also filled with quite a few missed dunks and botched fast breaks, as is expected in any kind of exhibition game. Even more impressive was the fact that USA Basketball continually changes the actual rules of the sport whenever they feel like it. Thursday’s game at Radio City Music Hall included a sudden death overtime period, clearly decided on the spot, and today’s games were the usual four quarters long, but the score was re-set to 0-0 at the start of each quarter. Perhaps to spare the Chinese team from a 40-point loss.
Either way, it was a great display of shooting and defensive intensity for the US and a complete turnaround from Thursday’s game. Tyson Chandler dominated the paint, talking excessively on defense and orchestrating great rotations when the team was in zone. Eric Gordon impressed with a smooth and consistent outside shot. And Javale McGhee pulled off some ridiculous dunks with amazing extension in warm-ups, but didn’t play at all. Enjoy some shots below from Zac.