The Associated Press SHENZHEN, China (AP) — U.S. guard Donovan Mitchell turned toward his bench with fists clenched, then punched the air in celebration and let out a joyous scream.
It wasn’t for a dunk, or a 3-pointer, or some highlight-reel play.
Mitchell’s exuberant reaction was because the U.S. forced a 24-second violation in a big moment against Greece.
The U.S. team at this World Cup is like none other assembled by the Americans for a big international tournament in a long time. This is no scoring juggernaut, but rather a team that has decided its best path to victory — and, it hopes, an unprecedented third consecutive World Cup title — is to clamp down on the defensive end.
“We all love playing defense,” U.S. guard Marcus Smart said. “That’s the thing. When you’ve got a team like that, it’s not crazy for us. We knew coming in what we could do and hopefully everybody else knows.”Speech