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5-0 and healthy: Coach K happy taking team to Barcelona
BILBAO (FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Barcelona certainly brings very fond memories for USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski. The Catalan capital was the very venue way back in 1992 that the coach sat on the USA bench as an assistant to Chuck Daly who steered the Dream Team to the Olympic gold.
Not that it was Krzyzewski's first gold medal - he had also been an assistant on the USA's gold medal winning team at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Nor was it his last – he now has back-to-back golds from the 2008 and 2012 Games to go with one for winning the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey in between. These three as the chief play caller.
But each of them is special for the Duke University coach.
"For me, I associate the gold medals with relationships. Very few people are lucky to have such experiences," he said.
I look at golden relationships that have been established with those memories - Krzyzewski
"We had a great experience in 2010," said Curry who had 14 points in Thursday's 95-71 win against Ukraine.
"Jumping on the podium, confetti thrown all around… I think we had a great time.
"That's why we are back here… to relive that experience."
Krzyzewski was overall pleased with the way his team has played so far.
"5-0 and healthy. We are happy going forward," he said. “Kyrie (Irving, who had a fall in the fourth quarter) is fine. He took a blow on his tail-bone, but I think he'll be fine.
"I think it's tough on all the teams to play five games in six days. Overall I think we have played well. We have shared the ball well. I think we have worked very hard defensively.
"Our offense was not all that good for the first quarter tonight (against Ukraine when the USA trailed 14-19) and for the first half against Turkey (when they fell behind 35-40 before bouncing back to win 98-77), but defensively we have been excellent all along."
The USA line up against 2013 FIBA Americas Championship winners Mexico on Saturday in the Round of 16 in Barcelona.
"We still haven't studied them," said Krzyzewski.
"We know they have a couple of good young players, but we haven't studied their strategies yet."