When Team USA strategized for the World Cup, they made a calculated decision and took calculated risks. They assembled a strong roster and prepared a game plan to increase their chances of winning. However, they were also aware that there were potential vulnerabilities that could be exploited by their opponents. Despite this awareness, the team remained committed to giving their best effort on the field.
The assumption that a significant size difference can be overcome by other attributes has proven to be unsuccessful. This was evident in the recent world semifinals, where Germany, a European team with a clear height advantage over the Americans, utilized this edge and emerged victorious with a score of 113-111 against Team USA.
For the second time in a row, the Americans will unfortunately miss out on the gold medal in this event. However, they still have a chance to showcase their skills and compete for the bronze medal on Sunday against Canada. Be sure to catch this exciting game on ESPN+ at 4:45 am ET!
The U.S. team showcased their spirited and aggressive style of play, although their smaller size became a noticeable factor throughout the game. This was evident not only in this match but also in their previous loss against Lithuania last weekend.
“Their team consists of a formidable lineup of strong and talented athletes,” acknowledged Team USA coach Steve Kerr. “They certainly challenge our defense and deserve credit for their superior performance in the game.”
Germany’s success in scoring was largely attributed to their ability to regain possession of the ball after missed shots. With an impressive 12 offensive rebounds, they capitalized on these opportunities with 25 second-chance points. In comparison, Team USA managed only eight offensive rebounds. This key advantage enabled Germany to create more scoring chances and ultimately dominate the game.
However, their misses were few and far between. Point guard Dennis Schroder, known for his exceptional passing skills, proved to be a formidable opponent against the U.S. team. He navigated through their ball pressure with ease, making him a valuable asset for the German team. Coupled with their height advantage, this allowed them to consistently create scoring opportunities and take high-percentage shots.
Guard Anthony Edwards expressed his frustration after the game, acknowledging that rebounding was a major issue for their team throughout the night. Despite his commendable effort of scoring 23 points and attempting to rally a late comeback, he acknowledged that the opposition displayed more physicality on the court.
In a thrilling basketball match, the United States managed to narrow the lead to just one point in the last two minutes, despite Germany having a significant advantage of 12 points earlier. However, it was Andreas Obst’s impressive performance, scoring 24 points and four 3-pointers, including a crucial shot in those final moments that prevented the American team from making a comeback.
The U.S. encountered some challenges when they implemented screen-and-rolls, resulting in a few mismatches. Their defensive strategy of protecting the paint led to the Germans finding open shooting opportunities from the outside. The Germans capitalized on these chances, impressively sinking 13 out of 30 three-pointers and making the U.S. pay for their defensive struggles.
Germany put on an impressive display, shooting an incredible 58% overall and dominating with 50 points in the paint. Their accuracy and scoring prowess were truly remarkable.
Not only did Schroder excel with an impressive 17 points, but the German NBA big men put on quite a show as well. Franz Wagner delivered an outstanding performance, proving his worth with an impressive 22 points. And let’s not forget about Daniel Theis, who contributed significantly with his remarkable 21-point contribution. It’s safe to say that the German players truly shined on the court.
According to Austin Reaves, it’s clear that allowing 113 points in a 40-minute game is not a recipe for success. With his own impressive contribution of 21 points, he acknowledges the disappointment that comes with losing any game. It serves as a reminder that striving for better results and defensive prowess are key components in achieving victory on the court.
Throughout the tournament, Kerr made a strategic decision to adopt a smaller lineup. He opted for players like Josh Hart at power forward and Jaren Jackson Jr. at center, allowing him to maximize the team’s performance. Kerr continued with this approach, even utilizing Paolo Banchero as a backup big man. Although Walker Kessler, the only true center on the roster, did not see much playing time during this tournament, it was a calculated move by Kerr to create an effective and well-balanced team dynamic.
When the stars align, Team USA has proven that they can emerge victorious with this strategic configuration. However, a crucial element for their success lies in the presence of an aggressive and fast-break-generating defense. It’s undeniable that this factor plays a pivotal role in their ability to secure victories on the basketball court.
However, the margin for error was simply not acceptable. Despite having a highly advantageous draw that included beneficial travel arrangements and facing weaker opponents, the sheer size difference was too challenging to overcome.
Despite the unfortunate absence of Brandon Ingram, Team USA powered through the game with true determination. Ingram’s upper respiratory illness may have sidelined him for this match, but his teammates rallied together and demonstrated their unwavering strength. This marked the first instance in the tournament where a player had to miss a game due to injury or illness, highlighting their resilience and unity as a team.
Team USA’s dominant performance was spearheaded by the remarkable Anthony Edwards, who led the team with an impressive 23 points. Not to be outdone, Mikal Bridges contributed 17 points, showcasing the depth and talent of our roster. Together, they propelled Team USA towards victory with their exceptional skills and contribution to the game.