Lance Thomas and Marcus Lewis came up huge in the second half of Team USA's victory over the Dominican Republic on Wednesday night. The American team made up of NBA Development League players will continue their run toward the gold on ESPN2 Thursday night, but USA Basketball was nice enough to supply quotes from Wednesday's win that seemed worthy of posting here.
Thomas, a Duke Blue Devils grad, was never as impressive with the Austin Toros last season in the D-League as he was for Team USA on Wednesday night -- a phenomenon briefly touched on here -- but the forward played down his 15-point, 16-rebound contributions when asked about them after the game.
"I saw plays that were there and I just tried to make them. That's just the way I've always played the game," Thomas said. "I know no other way but to play hard and if there was a rebound to be made or a play to be made on the hustle at the end of the game that's the play I made."
Lewis, Team USA's savior on Wednesday after being also-ran on the Tulsa 66ers for the past few seasons, talked about the shutdown defense he displayed while guarding the always-excellent Jack Michael Martinez.
"Yeah I knew they were going to 15 (Martinez) and I knew he was either going to use a pump fake or try and shake me off one way," Lewis said. "So he went right and I stayed down, he turned the other way and at first I just kept my hand up there and when he jumped for the jumper I got all ball. That was a pretty big play."
And that's how you defend JMM. Everyone take notes.