Dre Diary

Nail-biter was good for U.S. team

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The U.S. barely beat Brazil, 70-68, in their second group game of the World Championships. (Ibrahim Usta/AP)

Sixers' Andre Iguodala is keeping an exclusive diary for the Daily News at the World Championships. The latest entry comes after Team USA's 70-68 win over Brazil, which means the Americans have earned a spot in the elimination round. Iguodala finished with three points - all from the free throw line - and attempted just one field goal in 29 minutes. He also had five rebounds and five steals.

 

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I know my role on this team. The main thing is we got the win. All the other stuff doesn't matter. It only matters what the score is at the end of the game. I had a job, which was to make it tough on [Leandro] Barbosa to score and he had to pull out his best moves to score in the second half.

I've known [my role] ever since being a part of the USA Basketball system, knowing that we're going to have some great scorers. You got the Dwyane Wades and Kobe Bryants and on this team you got the Kevin Durants of the league. I feel like I can fit into any system no matter who I'm playing with. With this group, I feel like I go out there and try to shut down whoever their top scorer is.

We switched it up [on defense] a little bit . We were giving them too much freedom coming off and we applied a little more pressure in the second half and it seemed to work.

I think, in the past, USA teams, if they aren't scoring baskets then they're struggling on the defensive end and that's how we had those three losses that we had. I think tonight we just continued to stick with it. We showed some character as far as if we're not scoring, we're going to pull it out on the defensive end and get stops as well.

I think [the win] was really key for our group, knowing that we can get through anything. We were down in the first half but we just kept pushing . . . cut it down little by little . . . We've been down in games before . . . were down against Spain in an exhibition game. Those moments help you for those key moments in the important games.

We just have to take the last two games again one at a time . . . try to get something done. Give everybody some key minutes in the next two games and everybody get their confidence where it needs to be going into the elimination round.