The U.S. men's basketball team thought it had a wake-up call on Wednesday with a comeback, 10-point win over Australia. But they got another scare on Friday, fighting off a spirited comeback attempt from an inferior Serbian team, only winning by three points.
Indiana Pacers forward Paul George, who had 12 points and nine rebounds in the win, summarized Team USA's problems.
"We just have to start getting some movement. We're relying on our natural talent so much. It's so easy to guard us," George said on NBCSN after the close win. "Teams are just loading up and watching us play one-on-one."
Team USA has one more game in pool play, a Sunday afternoon match against France, before they enter the knockout round.
George said an up-tempo style will help the U.S. get back to the form that saw them win their first two games in Rio by a combined 101 points.
"Teams are going to try to muddy games up, they are going to figure out ways to slow us down. If we can get easy transition baskets to give us a little breathing room, a little separation, that's what this tournament is about," George said. "As good as we are in the halfcourt, that's not going to win enough games for us."