Team USA prepares for Russia; Lakers’ Matt Barnes arrested

By: 09.09.10

Derrick Rose (photo. Chad Griffith)

Call ’em whatever you like: Thrillers, classics, epics, or just games with so many balls on display they’d make the Borat director’s cut. Either way, after the last couple of days of World Championship goodness, we don’t wanna see Team USA in another sloppily vicious 30-piecing when they face Russia today. Tip-off is at 11 a.m. EST, so make sure you’re on to check out our live blog of the action. The biggest X-factor in this game for the U.S. will be Derrick Rose. Russia’s strength is inside, but if Rose can penetrate and get to the rim to draw fouls with his hang-time and body control, he can literally take some of Russia’s bigs out of the game … Over/under on Rocky IV, “Miracle on Ice,” 1972 Olympics, and Hulk Hogan vs. Nikolai Volkoff references? We don’t even wanna guess … Even if Apollo Creed and Ivan Drago suited up, it will be hard for USA/Russia to top the intensity of yesterday’s Serbia/Spain matchup. Down the stretch every bucket was punctuated with guys screaming, scowling, exploding off the bench, and various other unintentionally goofy reactions … Serbia was up 8 with four minutes left, but Jorge Garbajosa, Marc Gasol and Rudy Fernandez prevented things from getting out of hand with some quick buckets. With 25 seconds left, J.C. Navarro (27 pts) and Gasol ran a textbook pick-and-roll that left two bodies in its wake and resulted in a Gasol dunk to tie the score. Last possession for Serbia, point guard Milos Teodosic dribbled around (seemingly) aimlessly before launching a three from Montenegro that dropped with 3.5 seconds left. Just an incredible shot. On Spain’s last chance, Garbajosa — whose was understandably a little incapacitated since Milos (12 pts, 8 asts) had just shot his eyes out — turned the ball over, and that was it … When Rudy Fernandez was walking off the court dejected after the loss, was anyone else thinking that might be the last time Rudy is ever on NBA TV? … Turkey/Slovenia was just a rout. Ersan Ilyasova led the home team with 19 points in what was nearly a 30-piecing, while Hedo Turkoglu added 10 points and 7 dimes … The Sacramento Bee reported that Matt Barnes was arrested and booked Wednesday night on a felony domestic violence charge. “Both parties had visible injuries but Barnes was determined to be the primary aggressor,” the report said, only identifying the alleged victim as a woman with whom Barnes lived with and was dating … And you thought winning a championship would make Ron Artest chill out? Please. You’ve probably seen the photos of Ron-Ron getting pulled over recently while driving a (street legal) Indy-style racecar, and now he’s talking about auctioning off his 2010 title ring for charity. His choice obviously, but can’t he just give up some of his own money? … Yeah, we know the story is getting a little old, and reality is setting in, but please bear with us any everybody else who watched the NBA from ’96 to ’08: But are we really in a place where Mustafa Shakur and Chucky Atkins are getting more interest from NBA teams than Allen Iverson? When A.I. wound up on the lowly Tier 7 in Dime’s Free Agent Tracker, a lot of people bashed our decision, but Allen is getting zero interest and it’s almost time for training camp. His career may very well be over … We’re out like Espana …

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