Team USA ‘just scratching the surface’

The Boomers rocked the basketball world when they stunned the powerhouse that is Team USA on Saturday afternoon at Marvel Stadium.

In doing so they snapped a 13-year, 78 game win-streak held by Team USA.

Without the big household names in their line-up many suspected this squad was vulnerable, but seeing them actually conquered was a sight to behold.

Of course there was little to no chance lightning was going to strike twice and they made sure of that by comfortably accounting for Canada in Sydney.

READ: NBA star sends Sydney into meltdown

The mindset of the 12-man squad was clear from the outset this match wasn’t going to be lost, but after securing the 84-68 victory it was noted they still have a ways to go.

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Jaylen Brown was the catalyst offensively throughout the night after coming off the bench, and finished with a team-high 19 points on an efficient 8-11 shooting from the field.

🇺🇸 @FCHWPO paces @usabasketball's victory over @CanBball with 19 PTS on 8-11 shooting! #USABMNT #USAGotGame pic.twitter.com/cuKoE07UZZ

But the Boston Celtics forward said the group hasn’t yet found their groove as they get set to head over to China for the FIBA World Cup.

“It’s a journey and there is a lot of room to improve,” Brown said.

“Defensively we came out with the right mindset and that is more than half the battle.

“But I think we are nowhere near hitting our peak.

“We are just scratching the surface.

“It isn’t fluid yet but we will get there.”

His comments were backed up by his NBA teammate Kemba Walker.

“We’re getting better as the day’s go on, but we still have some work to do,” Walker said.

“I think we’re taking steps in the right direction.”

Canada’s Khem Birch tries to block Kemba Walker.-Source:AFP

Walker admitted the loss at the hands of the Boomers was a “wake-up call” for the squad.

“It was very humbling,” he said.

“I think it gave us a whole new perspective — wake-up call for us, a great wake-up call. Hopefully we can continue to grow, that’s the main goal for us. Continue to grow as a team. Tonight was great.”

The man in charge of bringing the newly formed Team USA squad together, Gregg Popovich, knows it takes time for cohesion to form, but “it’s coming along”.

“They learned that, in this competition, you can’t take nights off,” Popovich said.

“It’s one and done. Like I say, we’re learning a lot.

Gregg Popovich said of USA’s win in Sydney “we still have a lot to learn” but the performance against Canada was “another good lesson and they’re doing a great job” #usacanada #USBMNT

“This group has never been together before; had a lot to learn, still have a lot to learn, but game-by-game, practice by practice, trying to figure it out. Tonight was another good lesson of what the mindset has to be going into these games; how physical they are, how you have to sustain the energy for 40 minutes.

“They’re doing a great job of just paying attention, not talking to referees, not worrying about a bad call or anything like that. It’s coming along, but, as I said, there’s a lot of improvement we can make, and that’s a good thing.”

Team USA will head to China in the coming days with their first game against the Czech Republic on September 1 at 10:30pm (AEST).

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