The Toronto Raptors DeMar DeRozan and virtually everyone on Team USA knows they can’t take other teams lightly if they want to win Gold at the FIBA World Cup in Spain.
“I am not surprised about anything in international competition,” USA Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “All these teams are good. That is why we haven’t mentioned anybody that we might play because we don’t know if we might play. We can lose. If we feel we can lose, then anybody else can lose because there are so many good teams.”
Emmet Ryan of Ball in Europe talked to DeRozan after Team USA’s win over Lithuania that put Team USA in the Gold medal game on Sunday.
“We understand that there are still a lot of things at stake,” DeRozan said. “We can’t take nobody lightly.”
The lesson of Spain’s elimination by France is not lost on the American team.
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) September 10, 2014
Team USA knocked off Lithuania 96-68 on Thursday to advance and with so many players who know each other well as in the case of DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas who are from the same club team, but representing different countries, there is a significant amount of goodwill at these international competitions.
On Sunday, the USA goes for Gold against winner of the semifinal game on Friday between Serbia and France.
Lithuania plays in the Bronze Medal game on Saturday.