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"Can't take anybody for granted" - Coach K acknowledges USA's scare against Turkey
BILBAO (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - When the USA headed to the locker-room trailing Turkey 40-35 in their Group C game on Sunday night, there was an air of familiarity about the situation the Americans found themseves in.
It was four years and one day ago, on 30 August 2010, that they trailed 46-43 at the break against Brazil, before rallying in the second half for a 70-68 win in their third outing in Group B at the FIBA World Championship in Turkey.
This must have surely rankled head coach Mike Krzyzewski's mind when he called upon his team to pull up their socks and "stop taking things for granted."
"We allowed them (Turkey) to control the tempo of the game for the entire first half. We never really attacked the way we were able to in the second half. I think we played a very poor first half," he said after the USA took charge of the proceedings in the third quarter and went on to win 98-77.
"We played an outstanding second half.
"I think sometimes when you have a game like we did last night (the USA's 114-55 win over Finland), when you are scoring at will you tend to take things for granted. We can't afford to do that especially when we play teams like Turkey, who were coming off a very good win," the Duke University play-caller added.
"We learnt a lot tonight," said Kenneth Faried, who led the USA with 26 points and eight rebounds. He had 18 of those points and six of those boards in the second half alone, when the USA outscored Turkey 63-37.
"I thought Kenneth and Anthony (Davis) played at an extremely highly level in the second half," Krzyzewski pointed out.
"We responded very well to game pressure in the second half. Especially when they sank those three-pointers after we began to take control… That (counter response) was when we showed we are a good team. You don't understand these things till you are put in game situations like this.
"The main lesson for our team from the game is 'never get behind.'"
Following Monday's day off in Bilbao, the USA will face New Zealand on Tuesday.