4-36 that is the best summary of this final. For 4 very short minutes Serbia gave the impression that it was going to put up a fight, but it was a very brief impression. During those four minutes it moved the ball wisely, shot with great accuracy and played bravely against the USA. But it was not to be.
Coach K called a time-out and when the American team returned to the court it was like a savage blow in the face of the Serbs. Led by a superb Irving, by far the best player of this team, the intensity of the defense went up like 100% and every single three point shot went into the basket. Serbia gave in too easily, true, but the competitiveness of the American team was simply too brutal to be resisted. It would have taken a much more seasoned opponent, like…Spain for instance?
The USA did not even need to apply their famous third quarter torture, the whole thing was finished by then.
As a summary: the US team had prepared for a final against Spain. Their perimeter players displayed excellent defense and on top of that they travelled to Spain with several big men to stop the Spanish centers. They did not need any of that and as a result everything looked extremely easy. So, is the FiBA world getting behind or are the USA getting ahead like in the XX century? No doubt Europe is going through a transition period. Neither Serbia nor Croacia perform consistently, Greece is rebuilding, Lithuania is steady but not outstanding and Spain is about to enter a transition phase. The US is set to dominate for next few years.