A war of words is going on between Australia and the United States after a competitive match that saw the US outlasting Australia to win by 10.
Australia were able to show their strengths as they led the United States for a long time. This was by far the closest the United States had come to losing a game.
“We knew we were going to get their best,” George said. “It was an adjustment for us. The game kind of got out of hand early with the physical play.
“We knew that coming in – this team has a knack for being a little dirty.”
George continued by saying:
“We were doing the same stuff [Australia] were doing and we got hacked for it. We’re fine playing physical, that’s our game in the NBA, but if they going to allow us to play that way they got to play it both ways.”
However one Australian wasn’t taking it. Australian legend and now assistant coach Luc Longley who was the starting centre during the Chicago Bulls second three-peat, fired up at the Pacers star.
“Tell ’em that’s international basketball”
Australia has had a history of being labelled “dirty”. Earlier this year, the league conducted a survey asking who the dirtiest player was, with top two being Matthew Dellavedova and Andrew Bogut respectively, with trans-Tasman rival Steve Adams at third.
Paul George claimed that he targeted Dellavedova.
“We just had to match their physicality,” said George. “That’s what we had to do. That’s the only way a team is going to get us out of our comfort zone is to muddy the game, doing little stuff to get to us.”
George continued to claim that the Australian starting 5’s confidence came from the fact that “they were role players in the NBA, but with their country their stars”.
George’s teammate, Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson had a different view of the game.
“Tough game and we expected that,” Thompson said. “…But a fun game, that’s what you play for .. They’re a tough team and we’ll probably see them again.”
Carmello Anthony was the biggest factor in the game, scoring 31 points, pulling down 8 rebounds, finding an assist and 2 steals. His performance helped the United States sneak past Australia. His 31 points also made him the all-time leader in points for Team USA.
Despite the loss, Australian G Patty Mills remains optimistic.
“We’re here to do something Australia has never done, it’s going to be a long couple of weeks and we’re going to keep chipping away”.
Australia verse China on Friday in a tough game that will test the Australians again, while Team USA verse Serbia.