FIBA Basketball is beginning to get interesting as Team USA struggled defensively in their second game in Group C play versus a formidable Turkey team packed with sizable veterans and “glue guys”. Offensively, Turkey executed well and lead by five points at the half. The team had an unexpected edge throughout most of the contest as Team USA failed to adjust to their pick and roll game. Turkey played exceptional team ball throughout the first 2 1/2 quarters, their ball movement was excellent as their open players continued to knock down open shots. The only negative I have for team Turkey is their sloppiness with the ball resulting in multiple turnovers and a failure to close out the 3rd quarter effectively.
Much deserved credit goes to Kenneth Faried and Anthony Davis, they owned the low-post area and were the most aggressive “bigs” on the floor. James Harden struggled throughout the first half, he eventually caught on late, breaking down the defense and penetrating to the basket in multiple efforts which lead to an assist, bucket, or trip to the foul line. Team USA ramped-up their defense and outscored Turkey 67-37 in the final 20 minutes of the game.
Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Derrick Rose each struggled to find a basket. Curry and Thompson took several ill-advised shots while Derrick Rose showed his frustration early during the game. Overall, Anthony Davis and Kenneth Faried receive the player of the game awards. Davis finished the game with 19 points, six rebounds while Faried contributed a team high 22 points, eight rebounds. Both players were total beasts offensively and defensively.
While the Team USA roster is packed with All-Stars, they have some defensive issues that must be addressed as they continue to play in the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Team USA will face New Zealand on September 2nd.