Credit: FIBA
Credit FIBA

Team USA was relieved to get back on a winning track in Tokyo Olympics with an easy win against Iran. Devin Booker gave his first post-game interview after arriving in Tokyo after losing the NBA Finals to the Milwaukee Bucks. He was asked about overcoming the loss and turning his focus to the Olympics.

Player of the Game
Zach  LaVine
Zach LaVine
Points 13
Accuracy 3-5
Rebounds 4
Assists 8

"It's something that you have to learn from and use as motivation. It's not going to be easy to ever have the opportunity to play in the NBA Finals again, but it's all part of the journey and part of the process."

Booker also talked about getting along with two guys he lost to in the finals in Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton. "I mean the memories are, there's nothing personal between me and them. We lost and that's it. I'm man enough to accept that and move on. I have a lot of respect for those guys and when you're competing at the highest level, it doesn't always go your way."

Team USA received a lot of criticism for their game plan against France and raised questions about whether they were scouting opposing teams in the Olympics. BasketNews asked Booker how much emphasis their coaching staff put on watching other teams or if they were just focused on improving their own play.

"I think both. At the end of the day, we try to focus on what we're doing in-house, but games change personnel-wise so I think you have to get the gist and the idea of your opponent, but more focus on what your team's capable of control what you can as a team."

The Phoenix Suns guard also gave his thoughts about the difference between NBA and FIBA basketball: "Well, first of all, the ball is different so we have to adjust to that. We also have to adjust to the rules of the game, the spacing. But I've only got two games under my belt as far as international play so I think after a few more games I'll have a better answer for you."

Meanwhile, coach Gregg Popovich Americans emphasized the importance of getting better and being aggressive.

"I think that the longer the group is together, the better they are going to execute. Being able to have them playing with each other these last couple of days of practice has been good and hopefully, that'll continue. We have room to improve obviously, I think it will show a little bit more each time we get out on the court," said Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich after the game.

After going 3 for 10 in a loss against France, Damian Lillard was looking to get back to his usual dominant self. 

"If I had to say one person, it's Draymond (Green)," Lillard acknowledged the help of his teammate. "He was just like, 'man, Damian Lillard doesn't hesitate to shoot those shots,' especially at the end of a game (against France) when I had a turnover where I tried to make a swing to the corner, the guy stunted at me and went to the passing lane, saved it and they ended up taking the lead and winning the game. He was just like, 'that's not what you do, you knock those type of shots, that's what we needed you to do in that moment.' We spoke about it and it was simple. I just said I should have shot it and it won't happen again."

Meanwhile, Iran suffered yet another loss, but the Asian team is taking the Olympic experience with a positive attitude.

"They are the number one team in the world. We get experience playing against them, obviously happy to play top teams like USA and France, and see that they respect us," said Iran's veteran player Hamed Haddadi after the game.

"You always follow these kinds of coaches, the great coaches. He (Popovich) told me about the game, that my players improved and I appreciate that. I appreciate him. It was a good opportunity for me and my team to learn something about basketball from him," added Iran head coach Mehran Shahintab.

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JAV rinktinė
Irano rinktinė
Field goals

Best players

Damian  Lillard
21 PTS
7/15 FG
0/0 FT
Hamed  Haddadi
15 PTS
5/7 FG
4/8 FT
Few players
Hamed  Haddadi
Zach  LaVine
8 As
0 TO
23 MIN
Few players
3 As
Zach  LaVine
23 EFF
100% 2P%
50% 3P%
Hamed  Haddadi
11 EFF
67% 2P%
100% 3P%