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Quotes: USA vs Spain

  • Date:
    Jul 18, 2021

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Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat/Kentucky/High Point, N.C.)
What did you improvements did you see from this team today?

In the first half the offense was stagnant, so we came out in the second half and got the ball-movement, started attacking gaps, just picking up on defense. That’s how we kept chipping, and we got that big outbreak and at that point, we let the momentum take care of the game.

Was this game important as you head to Tokyo?
Yeah. It's good to go to Tokyo on a W. We just feed off of that momentum, and then we get to Tokyo and we rebuild that momentum and energy and get back to work.

Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets/Texas/Washington, D.C.)
Talk about the improvements you saw:

I think the energy was better. We executed our game plan on the defensive side of the ball, which feeds into the offensive end. That practice time definitely helped us out.

How important was getting this win heading into Tokyo?
It was important to play well, just to give us some momentum. I feel like this last two weeks was straight practice for us, even though we had games. It was still practice time. Now we have somewhat of an identity on both ends of the floor and now we can take that over to Tokyo.

Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors/Michigan State/Saginaw, Mich.)
What were you focused on?
Trying to push the pace, get the tempo to where we wanted. I think when we're pushing the pace, it’s hard for teams to keep up with the athleticism that we have and all the guys who can score. A lot of great scorers on this team, so it's important that we're not just trying to play against a set defense every time. And, ultimately just getting better. I think we got better tonight. First half, we couldn't really get a shot. But we play great defense, and ultimately the shots started falling. 

How big of an improvement have you seen since the first game?
Huge improvement. Guys are getting used to playing with each other. Usually when you come out in the first game or two, guys don't know when to shoot, who should be taking the shot, and then you kind of just figure it out and it’s just important that you play. So, the improvement from the first game to now is tremendous. We're trending in the right direction at the right time.

Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers/Weber State/Oakland, Calif.)
On the game and what you thought about the energy:
I think we came in saying we were a group of talented individuals and we were working towards becoming a team, and I think we've gotten better each game since we've been in Vegas. And tonight in the finale, I think we looked how we want to look getting ready to go to Tokyo tomorrow. We looked like Team USA.

How important was it to get the send-off win?
It was really important. After the first two games, and then our third game we played well and got a win, and then coming out tonight against a really good team, continuing to trend in the right direction. I thought it was a great performance by us.

How about Keldon’s (Johnson) play?
He played great. There is a reason why, once a few guys weren’t able to continue with the team, there’s a reason why he was asked to stay.

Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics/Duke/St. Louis, Mo.)
How important was, not necessarily winning, but seeing improvement and playing well in the final exhibition?
I think that's what we all know these games are for. Obviously, you want to win every game you play, but we understand that these are just unique circumstances. A bunch of new guys, just trying to figure this all out and play with each other. I think each game, each day, each practice, we started to get more and more comfortable individually and with one another, and just ended on a good note. Obviously, we won, but I think played really well. A lot of guys contributed, and we’ll just carry that with us on this flight tomorrow.

What do you see is the strength of this team right now?
I think we've got to use our athleticism and our speed to our advantage. On the defensive end, get stops, and we got to go. We got to push it. You got so many guys that can bring the ball up, make plays, make shots. This is not our normal NBA team, so we got to do things we're not used to doing.

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