Team USA Reaches FIBA Semifinals

Team USA is officially in the semifinals of the FIBA World Cup. It has been an interesting ride, with some ups and downs. Most recently, after their loss to Lithuania, they bounced back to dominate Italy.

This team certainly has flaws, specifically their rebounding, but they have really come together to play as a solid unit.

Brooklyn Nets’ Mikal Bridges lead the way against Italy with 24 points, but there has been no defined number one option for this team throughout the tournament.

Timberwolves’ Anthony Edwards, who was crowned earlier as “the guy” by Steve Kerr, went for 35 in the loss to Lithuania, but only three points in the win against Italy.

Lakers’ Austin Reaves and Pacers’ Tyrese Haliburton have been sensational in their second unit roles for Team USA, providing great playmaking and timely shots.

One of the biggest “concerns” for Team USA was Pelicans’ Brandon Ingram. Ingram was expected to be one of the leading guys on this team, but has really struggled alongside other ball-dominant players in the FIBA tournament. Ingram was moved to the second unit in favor of Knicks’ Josh Hart, who fits in more favorably with teammate Jalen Brunson and Edwards. I love Brandon Ingram, I think he is a sensational player; some guys just have more trouble fitting into schemes involving other ball dominant players. It’s not something he is used to, I wouldn’t read into it too much.

What you can read into is Team USA’s complete lack of rebounding. Grizzlies’ Jaren Jackson Jr, Magic’s Paolo Banchero and Bucks’ Bobby Portis are the guys relied on at Power Forward and Center. Jackson getting into foul trouble against Lithuania was a huge factor in their loss, and something other countries will definitely target in the last stages of this tournament. He’s got to play smarter.

I think Team USA might have a challenging road ahead of them if they go up against the likes of Canada, which is everyones pick to give the U.S. their hardest challenge, with the Thunder’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Knicks’ RJ Barrett leading the way.

Luckily for the U.S., despite their loss, they are in the knockout round. FIBA defending champs Spain, and the Olympic silver and bronze medalist France and Australia all did not make it this far, shockingly.

One step closer to another gold medal.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *