Long a San Antonio Spurs staple is the concept of pounding the rock. Pounding the rock, again and again. The adage refers to process over fixation with result. Of sustained endeavour, regardless of the odds. If you trust the process, the outcome will eventually take care of itself.
Eventually, the walls of resistance inevitably crumble.
Perhaps there’s much to be said about the approach that Gregg Popovich drills into his team: Intractable belief can beat bludgeoning talent. And it’s something the Boomers have channelled.
If the two-game sample size against the best national team on the planet can be used to gauge the medal prospects of the Boomers, then their historic 98-94 victory over Team USA on Saturday will reverberate across the world.
The margin for error is zilch. Not when there is astonishing, relentless athleticism being rammed down your throat at every bad shot, every turnover. Not when you face a team that appears to have no real weakness. Not when they can create at will. Not when they have one of the world’s greatest coaches masterminding every action.
There is another old adage: Talent trumps all. Of course, the Boomers counterpoint is will.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale
They have real belief that they can — and should — go for gold. That invariably will lead down a route that crosses paths with Team USA once again.
Before the four-game gauntlet against Canada and the USA, Boomers assistant coach Luc Longley told ESPN that the Boomers’ greatest strength was likely their desire to medal — the hurt of finishing fourth at the Rio Olympic Games, the resultant hunger and the core belief that this team was worthy of a place on the dais would drive their progress.
This spine-tingling win reveals that this goal was never a false conceit. That’s because the Boomers kept pounding the rock.
In that vein, coach Andrej Lemanis has continually preached defence as the bedrock of this team’s identity. And in that respect, the Boomers’ display in Thursday’s 102-86 Game 1 loss to the Americans was replaced by a hardened response.
This was a real grit-and-grind riposte.cheap nfl nike jerseys china
Matthew Dellavedova was back to his rugged Cleveland Cavaliers self, physically hounding Donovan Mitchell at every turn. Jock Landale’s activity was irrepressible, chasing down every offensive rebound opportunity. Andrew Bogut and Aron Baynes combined for 13 rebounds. Nick Kay was scary good.
As a team, they chased, pushed and disrupted, limiting space. They were the aggressors, not content to sit back.
They fortified the defensive boards, a weakness from the other night. They still trailed 26-23 at the first-quarter break.
Yet despite a free-wheeling first quarter offensively in which both teams scored at will, you could feel the aggressive intent from the Boomers.
In the second quarter, Team USA amped up its defence with its athleticism, pushing the Boomers’ actions out toward half-court, challenging their ability to create late in the shot clock, rather than churning through their motion. Out of the Boomers’ first 10 made baskets, nine were assisted.