After the Team USA men's basketball team was nearly defeated by Lithuania unexpectedly over the weekend, the players were offering up mixed opinions of what happened. It was clear that the team was a bit down on themselves after several intimidating victories in the last week over Nigeria and Tunisia. They were also surprised by a Lithuania team that deserved credit for their play.
In the end, the United States earned a 99-94 victory that had them down even late in the fourth quarter.
"We didn't look sharp at all," said Carmelo Anthony. "They almost played us perfect and it kind of caught us a little off guard. [They] had us on our heels for a moment."
Several U.S. players had nothing but praise for a team who could continue to cause problems coming into medal contention if the chips fall correctly.
"Their timing is what separates them," said Chris Paul of the Lithuanians. "I was on the bench [at one point watching Lithuania's offense] and I was like, 'I like it.' They know each other so well. They know how to play off each other."
"They're a good team," Deron Williams added. "They've been together for several years. They played well together and they execute to death. They're well-coached. They came out with a good game plan. We got a little stretched out on the floor and they got confidence. Our defense wasn't like it's been in the past."
The U.S. plays Argentina next in group play later Monday afternoon.