Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich was on good spirits as he’s now narrowed his talent to 15 players who are expected to travel with USA Basketball as they work toward a final 12-man roster. Much has been said about the Americans’ vulnerability after a slew of rejections from some of the most known NBA stars, but Pop stayed clear of responding to comments made by Serbian national team coach Aleksandar “Sasha” Djordjevic about matching up against the USA.
Djordjevic said that if the Americans and Serbians were to meet in the upcoming FIBA 2019 World Cup: “Let’s let them play their basketball and we will play ours and if we meet, may God help them,” according to Eurohoops.net and Mozzart Sport.
Popovich stayed diplomatic, having a bevy of experience with international coaches and international play, choosing not to bite.
“You’ll have to ask Sasha,” Popovich said, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. “I don’t really pay attention too much. I’ve been doing this too long. But he’s a hell of a coach. He’s a competitor, and he’s been a hero in Europe as a player. He was fantastic, and they have a program that goes way back with a lot of success.
“They do have a heck of a team. There is no doubt about that. They’re deep and talented, and they are going to work their fannies off. They want to win just like anybody else. People will talk, but that is usually not something I respond to.”
Serbia has been known to have a physical and almost brutalizing style of play, despite boasting a finesse center in Nikola Jokic. If the two teams meet, expect a lot of fouls, tight defending, and for Serbia to try to neutralize the Americans’ fast-paced game in the open court.
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