Team USA players upset with Antetokounmpo brothers after late foul

Basketball player Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks who was named NBA Most Valuable Player for the 2018-19 speaks as he is presenting his new shoe in Zappeion Hall Athens on. Antetokounmpo is in Greece to attend a 3x3 baseball tournament

Basketball player Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks who was named NBA Most Valuable Player for the 2018-19 speaks as he is presenting his new shoe in Zappeion Hall Athens on. Antetokounmpo is in Greece to attend a 3x3 baseball tournament

NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo fouled out as Greece were eliminated from the FIBA World Cup despite an 84-77 win over Czech Republic.

The U.S. national team has won 57 consecutive games in global tournaments with NBA players, starting with the 2006 world championships bronze-medal game and continuing through every FIBA Americas, world championships, World Cup and Olympic event since.

The Greek Freak finished the game with 15 points and 13 rebounds, along with two steals and one block. Whether it is differences in the ball, the stadiums they are playing in or their roster, Team USA has to start making its shots if it plans to win this tournament.

Needless to say, this was a matchup that many had circled on their calendars. Led by a wing-by-committee approach of primarily Jaylen Brown, Harrison Barnes, Marcus Smart and Khris Middleton, the USA combined to clog Antetokounmpo's driving lanes in jumping out to a 13-point halftime lead. "So we move on". It was a team effort, from the scouting staff led by Jeff Van Gundy to assistant coach Steve Kerr working with players to explain their roles to Popovich pouring in hours between games in meetings and watching film.

In fact, often it is the opposite: They allow the big names to be beat up more than they'd allow others.

Team USA will face Brazil in their next game on Monday.

Nike Zoom Freak 1'Greece
The Nike Zoom Freak 1 “Greece.” CREDIT Nike

New Zealand rallied in the final minutes, with four players tallying double figures, but it was too little, too late. Team USA may not have the star power it typically does, and their shooting has not been great, but this group is ready to compete with anyone on the world stage.

Some of his improvements are illustrated here by Utah Jazz radio voice David Locke. "Apologies only go so far", said an angry Barnes. Pop used Barnes and Smart and Brown to guard him.

The 93-71 victory of the Czechs over Brazil earlier in the day means that, unless the Brazilians upset the US, Greece can advance to the last eight with a 12-point margin at least on Monday. Antetokounmpo and Greece (2-1) will be the opponent when the US (3-0) opens second-round play on Saturday night, in what's essentially a must-win game for the Greeks in their quest to reach next week's quarterfinals. "At that moment, you've got to take it for what it is".

One good sign for the Americans was the strong play of Jaylen Brown in Tuesday's win over Japan. After consulting with the coaches, when it came time for a team meeting Friday afternoon Popovich told Joe Harris that he was going to open the game defending Antetokounmpo.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Basketball Association or its clubs.