Saturday, August 19, 2006

Day 1 recap

I have just finished watching Italy playing China, and disappointment was just the least of my feelings. Excitement with Yao's playing (30 points, 12-17 shooting, 9 rebounds), and anger at the ineptitude of the rest of the Chinese players, especially those in the backcourt, and amazement and frustration at the shooting of the Italians (13-25 from three, better than their 2-point shooting) all combined at one time.

I'm not worried about China's defense, because Italy merely had a game-long hot streak (to my constant frustration). It was their offense in general, and passing in particular that distressed me. Their continual inability to dump the ball in the paint to the one player who could have won the game for them (Yao, of course), was horrifying. Not only that, their offense in general is stagnant at best. Little off-the-ball movement means that without Yao in the game, all they do is pass around the perimeter until one of them ventures to toss up a three-pointer -- a contested one, of course. The only one has any kind of ingenuity, any kind of ability to penetrate and be creative is Chen Jianghua, and he is, unfortunately, too inexperienced to play serious minutes.

(Forgive my rantings, but I heard it's good to expell it and take it out of your system.)

Anyway, I would provide an English box score, but as of now says "The amount of traffic exceeds the Web site's configured capacity." In other word, the official site of this tournament couldn't even get enough bandwith for this, which I think is incredibly stupid.
Moving on to the US game. I can provide a box score, here.

The general consensus around the forums is that the USA underperformed. In my personal opinion, I agree, as I stated before. But, as I also mentioned before, a win is a win, and the previous game means nothing in the game you're playing now. Really, the US won't be facing any serious competition in the group stage, so a loss against any of the rest of Group A would be shocking (or not, depending on your viewpoint).

Finally, the US and China will be playing tomorrow, at 6:30 AM ET, same time as today's game.

Incidentally, however scheduled these games is crazy. Back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back (5 games in 5 days) is way, way too much.

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