Rockets’ PJ Tucker says too much was made out of scrimmage loss to Select Team
Houston Rockets forward PJ Tucker has taken notice as to how news of Team USA players losing to the Select Team, noting the context of the story wasn’t truly told. A five-on-five scrimmage that included Kemba Walker, Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum lost a resounding 36-17 on Wednesday, failing to score during the last few minutes of practice and giving up a 14-0 run to a team comprised of G League and overseas talent.
“Nobody gave the whole perspective of what happened. They just threw the score up and said, ‘they lost,”’ Tucker told USA Basketball. “It was two quarters after we’d been playing two hours. And they just come in fresh and everybody kind of … we played. We didn’t play a game. That was two quarters of practice and whatever.
“We come in today and nobody talked about it. We’re doing what we do, working hard and practicing. It doesn’t matter. It matters when the game starts. We’re just going to keep working and get to the point where we’re comfortable with each other and playing together and fighting for each other.”
There was no real consequences to this loss, which was actually only one of two losses against a Jeff Van Gundy-coached team. That Select Team also had a year’s worth of experience playing together and plenty more chemistry than a newly-assembled roster after a wave of dropouts.
These losses however can serve as a humbling moment and a learning experience for a Team USA that will face its first international test in a friendly against European powerhouse Spain on Friday night in Los Angeles.