Team USA had a tough matchup against Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico did beat Team USA back in 2004 in Athens. Team USA eventually pulled away and beat Puerto Rico 112-86.
There was a lot of 1 on 1 play in the 1st half for Team USA. Puerto Rico was able to spread the floor and knock down three pointers. They shot 6-10 from the three point line in the 1st half. The game was actually tied after the 1st quarter.
This US team is very talented but we must remember a lot of these players do not have internationally experience. Team USA only gets together in July and they have to get ready to compete against teams that have played together for years.
Defense has been a strong point for Team USA in their other exhibition games against Brazil and the Dominican Republic. However against Puerto Rico they were not able to string together a bunch of defensive stops. They only went into the half up 52-47. Klay Thompson hit a tough off balance three pointer before the half.
Anthony Davis was in foul trouble early and he sat a lot in the first half. Stephen Curry also picked up two pick fouls in the 1st half. Derrick Rose came off the bench and played well in the 1st half. He scored the ball but he did a good job of finding open teammates. Kyrie Irving has really looked good in these exhibition games on both ends of the floor.
After getting a good halftime speech from Coach K, Team USA came out in the 3rd quarter; really played smart defense, outscoring Puerto Rico by 15 and extending the lead to 20 points. The defense was tighter and the ball movement was better. They limited Puerto Rico’s three point shooting while knocking down a bunch of their own. Kenneth Faried and Anthony Davis did a good job of protecting the basket in that 3rd quarter.
The game was over by the 4th quarter. Damian Lillard, Andre Drummond, DeMar DeRozan and Gordon Hayward were all DNPs. There will be some roster cuts before Team USA leaves to the Canary Islands on Saturday.