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Next up for the USA is Lithuania, which isn't as easy as you think

Sep 9, 2010, 9:31 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for Kleiza_Lithuania.jpgSadly, the Lithuanians will not be breaking out the Grateful Dead tie-dye uniforms Saturday.

They will not be rolling over for the USA, either.

Lithuania advanced to the semifinals of the World Championships, routing Argentina 104-85.

A lot of people probably thought with Argentina gone this should be easier for the USA, but Lithuania has been anything but an easy out this tournament — they are undefeated. They have defeated Spain and Argentina.

Former Nugget, soon to be Raptor Linas Kleiza has been the leader of this team — dropping 30 on China last round then 17 on Argentina —  showing off a more rounded game than he was allowed to in Denver. But more on him tomorrow. (That’s called a tease in the business.)

Lithuania fell to the United States in a warmup game for the World Championships, 77-61. It was a game where the Lithuanians were very physical with the USA and it was close for a half, with the Americans shooting just 25 percent. It was a combo of poor play from the USA as they adjusted to a more physical brand of basketball, and the fact that Lithuania isn’t bad.

And they are playing better, with more confidence now than they did then. Russell Westbrook (12 points), Rudy Gay (14) and the quickness of the Americans eventually wore down Lithuania. It probably will again. But like we said, every step on the road to a title gets more challenging, and this will fit that mold.

  1. sigh - Sep 9, 2010 at 11:12 PM

    Once again…the U.S. is NOT losing to ANYONE. Their B team is still by far the best in the world. With it.

  2. vilnius - Sep 10, 2010 at 2:55 AM

    We’ll see about that …

  3. Vilnius - Sep 10, 2010 at 3:56 AM

    I am not Lithuanian and not even a basketball fan but since i moved to Lithuania I learned and they(Lithuanian) taught me how to love and respect this game.
    wonderful team the Lithuanian team is, go for it as you deserve it.

  4. alan - Sep 10, 2010 at 8:51 AM

    Lithuania is a country of 3 million caucasians- about the size of Conn. If you took a team of USA born caucasians(still about 230 Mill peoople) they would lose to Lithuania by 40 or more points. Americans eat hot dogs and drink but are too afraid to compete. I think young american white players should watch this game and realize that they can compete.

  5. Lithuania - Sep 10, 2010 at 11:18 AM

    “You can beat us. You can win. But you cannot destroy us”.

  6. la lt tv - Sep 10, 2010 at 2:22 PM

    you’ll have your ass handed to you. then you can sigh and come up with a million excuses as you always do why you lost.

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