International Wizards: Canada Takes Down Yi Jianlian and China
Yi Jianlian and Team China didn’t fare too well last night … they got routed 86-62 by Andy Rautins and Team Canada in an exhibition match held in Vancouver. (Worth typing again) … China got routed 86-62 by Canada and ANDY RAUTINS! (who led his team with 19 points). The Canadians were up 41-16 at halftime by the way, so China actually won the second half 46-45.
“It’s like we fell asleep in the first half,” Yi Jianlian told the press … not exactly what you want to hear from your number one player. You can read more about the game here, here and here, but basically Canada dominated most aspects of the game — they out-rebounded China 44-25, out-shot them 56.4% to 29.1%, and out-scored the Chinese in the paint 42-10. Wow… miss Yao Ming much?
Yi scored 15 points and only grabbed five rebounds in 28 minutes to go along with two assists, one turnover, one block and two steals. Even worse, he shot 3-12 from the field (1-3 from three, 8-12 from the free-throw line). Reports say Yi was doubled … a lot. And I imagine he will see most international defenses focus on him since he’s China’s best player. In such a scenario, it’d probably help if Yi found his teammates more (or, perhaps, played inside more). Again, Yi only had two assists, and has never been known as the best passer anyway — his NBA career 1.2 assists per 36 minutes is worse than Nick Young’s career rate of 1.7/36 … that speaks volumes. Worth noting that China only had nine total assists as a team.
It will be interesting how Yi eventually transitions from his role as the main guy for his country this summer to someone who must play off others and concentrate on doing the little things for the Wizards.
China will next play Puerto Rico in New York City this Sunday, August 15 at 3:30 pm. The game will be televised on NBA TV. The 1 pm match between the U.S. and France, also at Madison Square Garden, will be televised on ESPN2.
Other International Wizards:
>>Notes from Team USA’s first practice in NYC:
When asked what McGee, a 7-0 bean pole, thinks his best assets are to help him make this team he believes it’s “clogging up the paint, being a big body in the paint.” This was evident today on a couple of rejections he sent back to sender.
>>Imagine what happens when McGee becomes the sum of athleticism and smarts.
>>Peter John Ramos and Fabricio Oberto are on the final FIBA Worlds rosters of Puerto Rico and Argentina respectively ... if you want to keep up with former Wizards in Turkey. [Pro Basketball Talk]
>>Here’s the first episode of a USA Basketball web series … did you know that the U.S. hasn’t won a FIBA World Tournament in 16 years?