Friday, August 13, 2010
Tyson Chandler hits winner in USA scrimmage
By Jeff Caplan
The 15 finalists on Team USA were back in action Thursday night in a special showcase at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Dallas Mavericks center Tyson Chandler played for the Blue Team and grabbed an alley-oop pass from Rajon Rondo to score the game-winning basket in overtime.
Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski threw a twist into normal game rules by making the overtime period sudden death. The Blue squad won the tip and Rondo set up the offense. Chandler tipped an errant shot back out to Rondo, who then found Chandler with the alley-oop pass. It was Chandler's lone bucket of the game.
"Man, I don't even know if I've ever been in a sudden-death game," Chandler said afterward. "After I tipped it out, I knew it would be a scramble. I knew everybody would run towards the ball because it was sudden death. So as soon as I tipped it out, I knew I would be open for him. We made eye contact and Rondo threw it up for me."
Chandler was 1-of-3 from the field with two rebounds, a steal and a blocked shot in 21 minutes of action.
Team USA will play exhibition games against China on Saturday and France on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
Then it's off to Spain, Greece and finally Turkey, site of the FIBA World Championships, where Team USA will try to win the gold for the first time since 1994. Chandler is a lock to make the final roster of 12 and will likely be the starting center. Washington's JaVale McGee is the only other center currently on the roster.