Basketball

Great Britain face USA test

Great Britain's men will face the best of the NBA in Manchester on Thursday

 
Great Britain face USA  - BasketballEurosport
 

Coach Chris Finch says his team have every right to be in awe of the US's all-star team - but only until tip-off. And Finch, whose side ended a run of seven defeats with a double win over Portugal last weekend, says his players will be treating Thursday's match at Manchester Arena just like every warm-up ahead of the London 2012 Olympics. He said: "We are focusing on us. Ninety nine percent of the things that we're trying to do is about us, it's about getting our systems down, about our cohesion, our chemistry, our rhythm. "Of course we're not stupid enough to know that we're playing the world's best side, and we understand what playing against a team like that means, but we're going to go out there and compete, and we're going to be ready for whatever they've got to give." The US team may feature household names such as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James but Finch laughed off suggestions that his players would be starstruck by their opponents. The popular American, who knows the city well having coached the last incarnation of returning franchise the Manchester Giants, said: "Let's just hope they're not still young enough to have posters of Kobe Bryant, and let's hope after Thursday there's new posters of them and Kobe Bryant. "I think there is (a mental obstacle) but I'm not worried about it because I think the opportunity is unique. "We're case hardening ourselves, we have some guys that are going to be a little in awe, and they should be, but after ninety seconds they should go out and play." Finch, who splits his time between Team GB and his role as assistant coach at NBA side Houston Rockets, was also quick to point out that the Americans were just like everybody else. He said: "One advantage in seeing these guys every day in my day job is that they make mistakes - they don't always play great basketball. "I think our guys will recognise that soon, and sometimes the talent level is not as big as you think, that's taking nothing away from them or saying we're anything special, but I'm just saying that these guys will realise it's a five on five game, an imperfect game, and it's our job to make as least mistakes as we can."

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