Teodosic elation after big win over Boomers
They'll get another crack at the USA in a title game after blowing out Australia, 87-61, on Friday night. In a Semi-Final that many expected the Boomers to win, Serbia's defense shut down Andrew Bogut and his passing game and took away the backdoor cuts that had made Andrej Lemanis' team look so good in earlier games.
Beaten by 15 points in the first encounter by Australia, Serbia effectively had victory in the far more important game sewn up by half-time with a 35-14 advantage.
Now, it seems, an even bigger challenge awaits Serbia. Is it possible to beat the USA, Teodosic was asked in the mixed zone?
"Can you imagine that Australia were going to score 14 points in one half?" he answered. "You're probably going to say no. They (the USA) are for sure the best team in the tournament, one great team with the big names and I can just say that we're going to go on the court, try and play our game and we're going to see if it's enough."
In case they are unaware, Serbia are most dangerous when they have lost to an opponent already in a tournament. At the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain, they fell to Brazil and France in the Group Phase but beat both in the knockout round.
The USA beat Serbia in Group A at this Olympics, but only by a 94-91 score. Teodosic, who excelled in that meeting against the Americans and led all scorers with 22 points on Friday, deflected the praise and stressed it was he and his teammates that had thoroughly slammed the door shut on Australia.
"He (Serbia coach Sasha Djordjevic) is an unbelievable motivator. In his eyes, you can see this power and this is pushing you each second that you talk to him. It's an unbelievable energy." - Teodosic
"Our game was incredibly good," he said. "I'm really proud of my team. To hold a team like Australia to 14 points in the first half, it's something amazing. Almost impossible. We did it. Even when we were losing to Australia, against the USA and against France in the group, I was happy with how the team was playing.
Teodosic said Serbia's win over Australia was down to a total team effort
"We were playing well the whole tournament and we showed really our team spirit and our character in this game."
Still, there's no doubt that since the appointment of Djordjevic as coach in 2014, he has been a different player for the national team. Teodosic made sure to thank him after the win over Australia, a victory that has assured Serbia of their first-ever Olympic medal.
"He's one of the few coaches who helped me so much in my career," he said. "He gives me the freedom that I needed. We have a great relationship, a great connection.
"He is an unbelievable motivator. In his eyes, you can see this power and this is pushing you each second that you talk to him. It's an unbelievable energy."