February 23, 2024

FIBA World Cup Recap

   Team USA has had quite the run-in recent weeks during the FIBA World Cup Tournament. NBA Coach Steve Kerr coached Team USA throughout the tournament. They started the tournament by playing New Zealand in the first round, where they finished the game with a box score of 99-72 in their favor. The standout player for this game was Paolo Banchero, finishing the game with 21 points, four rebounds, one assist, and four blocks. For the second round, they played against Greece, where they beat the team 109-81. The top performer for Team USA was Austin Reeves with 15 points, five rebounds, six assists, and two steals.

   As part of the next few placement games, they played against Jordan, where Team USA secured another win with a final box score of 110-62. Anthony Edwards had an explosive game, erupting for 22 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. The next game was played a day later against Montenegro, where Tyrese Haliburton was the top performer this time. He had an overall solid game, finishing the game with 10 points, two rebounds, six assists, and two steals. The final box score was 85-73. The last game in this placement series was against Lithuania, where again, Anthony Edwards stole the show from everyone else. Edwards had 35 points, one rebound, two assists, three steals, and one block. Unfortunately, despite the amazing performance by Anthony Edwards, Team USA lost this game to Lithuania 104-110, giving them their first loss in the tournament.

   Being placed in the quarterfinals, Team USA’s next opponent was Italy. Team USA bounced right back from their previous loss, finishing the game 100-63. Mikal Bridges led the team with 24 points, six rebounds, one assist, two steals, and one block. Advancing to the semi-finals, USA would face-up against Germany, who has been undefeated so far during the tournament. Despite a close game, Team USA lost the game 113-111, putting Team USA’s record down to 5-2 during the tournament. Edwards led the team with 23 points, eight rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block. Team Germany would go on to win the entire tournament. To wrap up their run in the FIBA World Cup, Team USA would play Team Canada for the third-place medal. Despite a valiant effort by Edwards and Reaves, scoring 24 points and 23 points respectively, Team USA lost the game 118-127.

   Despite Team USA not winning the entire tournament, many players have shown flashes of greatness, which will translate well into the NBA. The most obvious example being Anthony Edwards, who plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves. The FIBA World Cup also has called to question why many star NBA players have not participated in these recent tournaments, despite many of them participating in past tournaments. 38-year-old NBA star Lebron James has already made comments about wanting to participate in Team USA in the 2024 Paris Olympics happening next year, with Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant also showing interest in playing as well.