The pass thrown by Kyrie Irving in the following video is perfect in every way. Perfectly timed, and perfectly placed. We are used to this, however, because American basketball players are freaking incredible at alley oops.
But what you don’t see every day, is a perfect alley-oop thrown by a guy who is in the middle of falling to the floor.
You’ll notice, in the top left corner of the screen, that the United States was in a fourth-quarter battle with France, which is something like the overall NCAA No. 1 seed getting a scare in the second round.
Except that Team USA has played more or less like this three games in a row, now. Australia played the Americans to within 10, and Serbia fell 94-91.
Sunday, France outrebounded Team USA 35-29 and shot 36 of 54 (66 percent) from inside the 3-point line. The Americans made 10 3s to France’s five, led by Klay Thompson, who went 7-for-13 from long range and scored 30.
A trend has developed.
“You’re not going to play extremely well every single night, but we got to hold our hat on the defensive end,” Irving said. “We gave up a lot of easy buckets. I feel like we started to play at their pace in the first and second half. But we’ll be better.”
Irving said that after the Serbia game. Maybe Team USA hasn’t fully arrived for this tournament yet. That would be understandable. So let’s not freak out.
They are, after all, the team that can throw alley oops while falling on its face.