Team USA and Lithuania played an ugly first half in their FIBA World Cup semifinal on Thursday. As always, the game was littered with inexplicable foul calls, this time sending Kenneth Faried, Steph Curry and Anthony Davis to the bench early. Late in the half, Rudy Gay was at the free throw line, while DeMarcus Cousins lined up against Jonas Valanciunas on the low block to fight for a potential rebound. Gay sank the shot, but in the scrum for positioning, Valanciunas tossed a calculated elbow into Boogie’s throat. I say “calculated” because Valanciunas knew exactly what would happen next: the notoriously hot-headed Cousins immediately stepped to him, causing Valanciunas to cower in fear.
Here’s the deal, Jonas: if your intent is to get Boogie tossed from the game (which it was), you can’t duck away from the impending one-hitter quitter headed your way. You gotta sell it. Instead, Boogie — yes, Boogie — was slapped with an unsportsmanlike foul, presumably for scaring the ever-living crap out of Jonas (did I mention FIBA refs have the competency of your average rec league official?) and Lithuania was awarded two free throws and the ball.