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USA - Lithuania - Semi Final Preview

I only have time for a brief post.

When the US came back from a terrible start to beat Lithuania three weeks ago, the feeling was that they probably weren't one of the best teams the US would see in Turkey.  Team USA faced Spain the next day and Greece a few days later in their final tuneups, and those teams were considered the real meat of their friendly schedule.

Well guess what?  Spain and Greece are gone (along with Argentina, another pre-tournament favorite), while Lithuania is undefeated.  In fact, Lithuania has a pool play win over Spain, and was the team that sent the Argentines home on Thursday.  So maybe they're a little better than we thought.

Linas Kleisza is easily the leading scorer on the team with over 19 points per game - no one else is averaging double figures.  But they play well together, and they used some red hot three point shooting to beat Argentina.  It seems unlikely that they'll stay that hot, but if they do, watch out.  The made their first 8 threes against Argentina and the Argentines never recovered.

In their exhibition game, Team USA forced 22 turnovers, and indeed on paper Lithaunia's guard play looks suspect.  That will be the game plan as it has been throughout the tournament - Team USA will pressure the ball, and try to force those turnovers that lead to easy baskets.