Tag: Gustavo Ayon


Report: Gustavo Ayon prefers to play in NBA over Europe next season


Gustavo Ayon was the one bright spot in Mexico’s 86-63 loss to Team USA on Saturday, finishing with 25 points on 11-of-19 shooting, to go along with eight rebounds.

That performance may draw some attention from NBA teams in terms of considering adding Ayon for next season. But as of now, the offers are far more lucrative to play overseas.

From Marc Stein of ESPN.com:

ESPN sources say Gustavo Ayon certainly prefers to play in NBA next season but at this point his offers from Europe have simply been richer

Ayon has been handful for USA bigs even though they’re obviously zeroing in on him. Yet I suspect he’ll pass on NBA unless offers improve

The Spurs recently registered interest, but it’s unclear if things ever got to the offer stage, and if so, whether San Antonio would commit enough to match the ones that are more concrete at this time.

Ayon appeared confident as Mexico’s best player against Team USA, and put in a strong showing, even with Anthony Davis patrolling the paint defensively. That will need to translate in his workouts for NBA teams if he wants to improve his stateside reputation, and entice someone to give him an offer that will rival those he’ll receive to play in Europe next season.

Stephen Curry leads Team USA to 86-63 win over Mexico at FIBA World Cup

2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup - Day Four

Team USA entered the single-elimination phase of FIBA World Cup play with plenty of questions, but pulled away for an easy 86-63 victory over Mexico because of the one thing that has remained constant.

From top to bottom, there isn’t a team in this tournament with more individual talent, or one with more guys that can simply explode offensively at any given time.

On Saturday, it was Stephen Curry who took control, putting on a show in the third quarter that helped put the game even more out of reach than it already was. He scored 11 of his team-high 20 points in the period, getting loose for threes in transition on multiple, consecutive possessions.

Curry’s backcourt mate with the Warriors, Klay Thompson, finished with 15 points of his own, though missed some easy open looks on the way to a 6-of-14 shooting performance. DeMarcus Cousins took advantage of mismatches inside to hit all five of his shots while grabbing seven rebounds in under 14 minutes of action, and Kenneth Faried continued to be active, finishing with eight points and eight rebounds.

Anthony Davis turned in a stellar game defensively, blocking four shots while grabbing six rebounds and coming away with a couple of steals. He was just 2-of-9 shooting, but his offense wasn’t needed with so many others scoring at will against a mismatched opponent.

Derrick Rose struggled again in this one, going scoreless in 16 minutes of play on 0-of-5 shooting. He seemed to be pressing a bit more than we’ve seen, perhaps beginning to lose patience with his game taking (what he believes to be) much longer than expected to return to otherworldly levels.

A bright spot for Mexico and a potential cause for concern for Team USA was the play of Gustavo Ayon. The big man had to have been the focal point of the USA defensive plan, but he still finished with 25 points on 11-of-19 shooting, to go along with eight rebounds. Ayon looked strong, and showcased good footwork and excellent agility against the likes of Davis inside. With the rest of his teammates only able to hit a combined 17 of their 54 shot attempts, however, the game’s final result was never in question.

You’d like to see Team USA put together some cohesive stretches of team play before facing the inevitable matchup with Spain in the tournament’s championship game. But with so many different guys that can singlehandedly take over games offensively the way Curry did in this one, they’re still going to be extremely difficult to beat.

USA vs. Mexico World Cup preview: USA has flaws but Mexico can’t exploit them


As we enter the win-or-go-home, 16-team knockout stage of the FIBA world Cup starting Saturday, we need to be clear:

Team USA has serious flaws.

Ones that could keep it from the gold medal. Don’t let the 5-0 record with a 33.4 average margin of victory in group play fool you, that’s more about the weak competition, there are holes in Team USA. Their perimeter defenders get lost in the half court if you run their man off multiple screens, leading to wide open looks often close to the rim. The USA’s half-court offense is stagnant and often just a high-pick-and-roll with everyone else standing around. The USA’s ball movement has not been great at all. It hasn’t mattered so far because the USA’s athleticism just overwhelmed the lower-level opponents they have seen, turning the games into transition track meets and dunking exhibitions.

However those flaws could cost the USA in the knockout rounds…

Just not Saturday.

Mexico is first up for Team USA in the round of 16 (10 am ET Saturday, ESPN 2) and they do not have the tools to pick apart the USA’s flaws. If this were soccer I would be pumped for a good match, but on the basketball court is going to look like every other American game so far. A rout.

(Maybe no team can exploit the American’s flaws until the Gold Medal game Sept. 14 — so far Spain has looked like the best team in the tournament. Better than the USA.)

Mexico is led by Gustavo Ayon, the free agent NBA big man who played last season with the Hawks. He is averaging a team high 15.8 points a game on 62.5 percent shooting, plus has a team best 7.5 rebounds a game. He can make a few plays. Forward Hector Hernandez pitches in 11 points a game and is hitting 44 percent from three serving as a stretch four.

Neither of them is a match for USA big men Anthony Davis and Kenneth Faried, who have been the best American players — Davis averages a team-high 15.8 points a game on 62 percent shooting, while Faried averages 13.8 points a game on 79 percent shooting, plus is grabbing 7.8 rebounds a night.

At the guard spot Mexico is led by Francisco Cruz, who averages 13.4 points and 3 assists a game, along with the Nets’ Jorge Gutierrez (9.6 points a game).

Both of them will be overwhelmed by the pressure of the USA. The Americans are once again just wildly more athletic than their Mexican opponents. Like every other USA game it could be tight for a stretch (the USA does the slow starts thing) but will eventually go on a run that will stretch the lead out to about 20, and then they will coast in.

For the USA, the guards to watch are Kyrie Irving, who will play after a nasty fall on his hip in the last game. He went through the full USA practice Friday and will start Saturday. Irving says he is good to go but we’ll keep an eye on him. That could mean more minutes for Derrick Rose, who has played in five games in six days for Team USA but still looks rusty with his shot (25 percent so far). There are flashes of the explosion we remember, but he’s just not finishing consistently like he did a couple of years ago. Which is to be expected at this point but can be a concern down the line.

Making it to the knockout round is a great result for Mexico basketball — you can argue they were the best team with a losing record in the tournament — and this is the first time the USA has played Mexico in the Olympics or World Cup since 1967. That is a nice bit of history.

But the game isn’t going to tell us if the USA has started to fix its flaws and bad habits. This will be another American blowout win.

Next week team USA starts to get real tests.