Kemba Walker

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Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum lead Team USA past Czech Republic

Nick Friar
September 01, 2019 - 10:28 am

For a short while, it looked like the Czech Republic was going to give Team USA some trouble. But after a bit of a slow start, the U.S. cruised to an 88-67 win.

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Jayson Tatum took control in the first half, scoring 10 on 4 of 7 shooting (2-for-4 from three). He also had three rebounds, a block and an assist in just under 10 minutes. He didn’t hesitate to take the three and, on more than one occasion, Tatum was able to power through the Czech Republic’s big men to finish at the rack after blowing by his man.

Tatum wasn’t on the floor much in the second half after getting into foul trouble early in the third quarter. That was a result of him getting beat one-on-one on the defensive end a few times. Though, Team USA didn’t need him to do much. The game was at hand early in the second half. Tatum finished 4-for-11 from the floor, 2 of 6 from three.

After also scoring 10 in the first half, Kemba Walker finished with 13 points on 6 of 8 shooting (1-for-3 from three). He had four assists and a steal.

While both Tatum and Walker were able to beat their man off the dribble, there’s a difference between the two. Tatum is more powerful and aggressive. Walker is just so quick.

Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown didn’t have as much of an offensive impact as the other two Celtics. Though Smart had a pair of plays that stood out.

He was able to score a mid-range jumper on a stepback. Not something he does often.

Also, Smart passed up on a long-range look in the third quarter, deferring to Nets sharpshooter Joe Harris. Definitely the right decision on his part.

Brown had three rebounds and went 1-for-2 from the field.