One game in, one Nets player gone: Team USA sent Jorge Gutierrez & Mexico home in the first round of the FIBA World Cup Playoffs with an easy blowout victory, 86-63.
USA raced out to a 23-13 lead after one quarter and never looked back, dominating the game both with offensive rebounds inside and Stephen Curry burying three-pointers throughout.
Plumlee, an integral part of the Nets roster, didn’t see the court until the game was well out of hand in the fourth quarter, while Gutierrez, who only has a non-guaranteed contract, was arguably Mexico’s second-best player. That should give you an idea of the state of both teams: USA is arguably the favorite to win it all, while Mexico is still developing its international talent.
Plumlee did little in his few minutes, choosing to play it safe instead of risking injury in a blowout. He threw down one emphatic putback dunk with four minutes left, but the basket was waved off due to an offensive foul call.
Plumlee finished with only one stat -- an offensive rebound -- in garbage time.
Gutierrez struggled against Team USA’s length, getting a few passes batted around and giving up a couple of rough turnovers. As Brian Mahoney said, Team USA’s a tough matchup for any point guard:
It's really tough for a point guard to look good against the U.S. and Gutierrez hasn't.
— Brian Mahoney (@briancmahoney) September 6, 2014
That doesn’t mean Gutierrez didn’t get some nice plays in. He was able to stick with USA’s smaller guards defensively, though it was a nightmare when he was switched onto James Harden. He also attacked the lane on a few occasions, including one pretty layup over Team USA’s DeMarcus Cousins in the third quarter.
Gutierrez finished with 7 points on 3-7 shooting in his lone tournament playoff game, adding two assists, one steal, and one rebound.