The Canadian Senior Men’s National basketball Team had a busy summer starting with a pair of exhibition games in Toronto against Jamaica followed by a four game warm-up tournament in Puerto Rico and ending at the FIBA Americas in Caracas, Venezuela.
Despite fielding a very young roster, Canada had a chance to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Spain and they almost pulled it off. This is a quick rundown of every game Canada played with links to the full story.
Jack Donohue International Classic in Toronto
After numerous days of practice at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, the Canadian Senior Men’s National basketball Team finally got into game action against Team Jamaica on Thursday. Canada won a tight, exciting, physical contest by a score of 81-72.
After the game, Head Coach Jay Triano was happy with the victory, but he knows there is still plenty of work to be done, especially for the NBA players such as Tristan Thompson, Andrew Nicolson and Cory Joseph who need to make the adjustment to International Rules.
“You can see Tristan was a bit frustrated out there,” Triano said. “(He is) still trying to learn the International rules, but he will figure things out, veterans guys who have lots of international experience will help our young groups of guys.”
Jamaica controlled both the pace of the game and the scoreboard at Ryerson University’s Mattamy Athletic Centre and it wasn’t until the final moments that Canada was able to thrill the big crowd and pull out the come from behind 77-72 victory.
“Andy (Rautins) is a scorer and we needed points,” Head Coach Jay Triano said. “We had planned on before this game to not play him in the first half of the game and he and Brady (Heslip) knew that. We needed to take a look at other guys and in the second half, if they stayed zone, we knew that those two guys would get a chance to play.
“I don’t mind (playing Rautins and Heslip together). I think it really spreads the floor and if teams play zone, it is really going to open things up inside for Tristan to rebound and flash and Andrew to do things and if they don’t, those two guys (Rautins and Heslip) are very capable of scoring from the perimeter.”
Playing these zone-busting guards also opened the floor for center Joel Anthony who had 6 points and 4 rebounds in the 4th quarter.
Tutu Marchand Continental Cup in Puerto Rico
Timberwolves J.J. Barea had 23 points and 8 assists to lead host country Puerto Rico to a 78-71 victory over Canada at the Tutu Marchand Continental Cup.
Andrew Nicholson led Canada with 21 points on 9-15 shooting and Tristan Thompson had a double-double 10 points and 10 rebounds.
It was too much Luis Scola for Team Canada as the veteran Argentine power forward scored 25 points in his team’s 83-74 victory.
Canada was led by Nicholson who had 17 points going 3-3 from deep and Tristan Thompson who just missed another double-double finishing with 16 points and 9 rebounds, but Canada lost this game in the paint where they were outscored 20-12 and from the three-point line.
Tristan Thompson played 32 minutes and recorded 21 points and 11 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough and Canada lost to the Dominican Republic 74-68.
Brady Heslip and Andy Rautins each finished with 11 points, shooting 4-12 and 4-10 respectively. The Spurs Cory Joseph and the HEAT’s Joel Anthony didn’t play for Canada in tonight’s game.
San Antonio Spurs backup point guard Cory Joseph scored 20 points for Canada in Monday night’s loss to Brazil 77-70 at the Tutu Marchand Continental Cup. Canada finished the warm-up tournament for FIBA Americas with a 0-4 record after losing to Puerto Rico, Argentina and the Dominican Republic earlier.
Nicholson scored 17 points on 6-12 shooting and Brady Heslip had 14 points on 5-10 shooting.
FIBA Americas in Caracas, Venezuela
Canada defeated Jamaica 85-64 in their first game at the FIBA Americas tournament in Caracas, Venezuela on Friday behind big efforts from Cory Joseph, Brady Heslip, Levon Kendall and Tristan Thompson.
Joseph nearly recorded a triple-double with 17 points, 8 rebounds and 10 assists. Heslip ended up tied with Joseph for the team lead in scoring with 17 points. Levon Kendall was effective off the bench for Canada with 13 points on 6-7 shooting to go with 8 rebounds. Tristan Thompson finished with an 11 point 12 rebound double-double.
Canada had fought their way back from a first half deficit to an early third quarter lead and trailed by one heading into the fourth quarter, but it all went wrong from there. Puerto Rico won this game going away 83-67 in a fourth quarter blow out.
Nicholson led Canada with 21 points, scoring 10 in the second half. His team looked lost offensively without him on the floor. Tristan Thompson had 20 points and 9 boards in a losing effort, but aside from Nicholson and Thompson, the rest of Team Canada was flat and shot a collective 11-42.
Cory Joseph had a monster game as he led Canada past Brazil in a blow out that started late in the second quarter and ended in a 91-62 laugher.
Joseph had scored 20 points in a loss to Brazil last week in Puerto Rico and he proved the Brazilian guards still couldn’t cover him when it counted, finishing with 28 points on 10-15 shooting. He just missed the double-double by grabbing a game-high 9 rebounds. Veteran FIBA guard Jermaine Anderson also had a big day with 14 points on 6-9 shooting. Big men Tristan Thompson and Andrew Nicholson who led Canada yesterday against Puerto Rico were much quieter today finishing with 7 points and 13 points respectively.
In a game that was never in doubt, Canada crushed Uruguay 93-67 after having wait over 8 hours to play because of a blackout earlier in the day. Canada grabbed the lead early and worked their way up to a double-digit advantage just over 4 minutes into this contest.
Cory Joseph was still hot after his big game against Brazil and finished with an impressive 17 points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals. Tristan Thompson had 14 points and 7 rebounds, showing off a couple of massive open court dunks. Levon Kendall came through off the bench to help maintain Canada’s huge lead in the second half, scoring 13 points to go with 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocked shots.
Cory Joseph led Canada past Mexico 89-67, the young guard finishing with 17 points on 6-12 shooting, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. The FIBA Americas tournament has been quite the coming out party for the Spurs backup point guard.
This game was a remarkable display of long range shooting as Canada went 16-28 from deep led by Heslip (5), Rautins (4) and Joseph (3). Rautins (19 points) and Heslip (21 points) put on a show from long range in the second half.
Canada had their chances, but they wasted a 12 point 20 rebound performance from Tristan Thompson and lost 64-59 to host country Venezuela at the FIBA Americas.
Canada dominated the glass in this game 40-24 behind Thompson’s big game and while neither team shot the ball well, Canada was absolutely brutal from beyond the arc, hitting on just 4-25 three-point attempts.
Cory Joseph scored 14 points for Canada.
Magic forward Andrew Nicholson came out on fire for Canada in Saturday’s game against the Dominican Republic, but even his 29 point performance wasn’t enough as Canada went cold down the stretch for the second game in a row to fall 81-74.
Tristan Thompson had another solid game with 14 points on 5-7 shooting, 6 rebounds, a block and a steal. Cory Joseph had 13 points on 50 percent shooting Brady Heslip had the long range bomb falling today, hitting on 4-5 attempts from deep and scoring 12 of Canada’s 14 bench points.
Canada wanted this game badly and they played like it, but they had no answer for the three-time FIBA Americas MVP Luis Scola as the 33-year old FIBA and NBA veteran poured in 28 points to eliminate Canada from the medal rounds at the FIBA Americas in Caracas, Venezuela on Sunday.
Nicholson scored 17 points on 8-20 shooting. Thompson had a good game for Canada with 8 points, 10 rebounds, a block and a steal. Cory Joseph played with a lot of intensity and led Canada with 19 points on 7-16 shooting.
It wasn’t for a lack of effort, but Canada lost 73-67 and only scored 11 fourth quarter points. Canada lost their last 3 games in a row to be eliminated from the medal rounds at FIBA Americas. With the win, Argentina moves on and automatically qualifies for the 2014 World Cup in Spain.