Andrew Bogut of Australia, right, passes to teammate Matthew Dellavedova during their victory over the Dominican Republic. Picture: AP Photo
Andrew Bogut of Australia, right, passes to teammate Matthew Dellavedova during their victory over the Dominican Republic. Picture: AP Photo

‘It’s horse s---’: Bogut identifies Boomers’ issue

Australia have qualified for their first World Cup quarter-final in almost 40 years but Andrew Bogut says history will mean nothing unless the Boomers improve their "horse sh*t" game management.

The Australians confirmed their first final eight finish since 1982 following a hard-fought win over the Dominican Republic on Saturday.

The Boomers now face France on Monday night from 10pm (AEST) to determine who finishes top of Group L.

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Andrew Bogut of Australia, right, passes to teammate Matthew Dellavedova during their victory over the Dominican Republic. Picture: AP Photo
Andrew Bogut of Australia, right, passes to teammate Matthew Dellavedova during their victory over the Dominican Republic. Picture: AP Photo

 

The clash against the French is crucial because the loser will most likely play Team USA in a quarter-final in Dongguan on Wednesday.

Australia remain undefeated in the World Cup (4-0) but Bogut believes his side must be more clinical to beat the big teams.

He was bitterly disappointed with the Boomers' last quarter against the Dominican Republic.

The Australians led by as many as 12 points before the Dominicans charged home to force a close finish.

"The good teams, the US's the Lithuanias and whatnot will punish you, if you don't manage the clock well in the last two, three minutes," Bogut fired.

"Our clock management was horse sh*t.

"I've lost games like that before, up eight with a few seconds left. You've got to be very careful.

"It wasn't a great game again, still got that Senegal feel, but give them (Dominican Republic) credit, they junked the game up, took us out a lot of our stuff.

"We managed to battle, cleaned it up bit but we turn the ball over like we did in the first half we shoot ourselves in the foot."

The unconvincing win over the Dominican Republic is why Bogut is refusing to get excited about the Boomers' historic run to the quarter-finals.

The Sydney Kings big man says the Australians have their eyes on a much bigger prize.

"We're trying to get eight wins.. we're at four right now and I believe eight gets a gold medal," he said.

"That's what we're trying to count; all that history stuff doesn't matter.

"It's great but we don't look at that."

The Boomers will have to dramatically improve defensively to defeat France on Monday.

The French have five NBA players including Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert and Charlotte Hornets small forward Nicolas Batum.

 

Chris Goulding and Joe Ingles celebrate victory over the Dominican Republic. Picture: Shi Tang/Getty Images
Chris Goulding and Joe Ingles celebrate victory over the Dominican Republic. Picture: Shi Tang/Getty Images

 

Australia and France are locked at 1-all in international clashes. The Boomers defeated the French at the 2016 Rio Olympics in their most recent match.

France are loaded with talent but there is one man that makes Bogut nervous.

"Their guard (Evan) Fournier is one of the most talented guys at this tournament," Bogut said about Fournier, who had 24 points in France's thrilling three-point win over Lithuania on Saturday.

"We've got to make sure we make life tough for him.

(France are) tough, athletic, long and a lot of guys that can play multiple positions and a really big rim protector in there."

Australia's leading scorer Patty Mills could be the man to counteract Fournier's hot hand.

Mills continued his outstanding form against the Dominican Republic with a team-high 18 points and 9 assists.

Bogut has no doubts that the veteran San Antonio Spurs guard holds the key to success for the Boomers.

"Patty's our scorer," he said.

"He's going to volume shoot, going to get them up and he might not shoot a good percentage but we want him to keep shooting because he keeps the defence honest.

"Even if he's not making them he demands so much attention.

"So we want him to shoot, 20, 30 shots a game if he can."

Bogut was required to play more minutes against the Dominican Republic when fellow big man Aron Baynes was fouled out.

He finished with 8 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists.

Bogut enjoyed the extra responsibility but is far from satisfied with his performances.

"OK, little rusty with the longer minutes with Baynesy blowing a gasket," he said.

"That's the beauty of our team, we have a lot of guys on our bench that can play big minutes when called upon."

News Corp Australia


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