In a display of balanced teamwork and skill, the U.S. World Cup team emerged victorious in an exhibition game against Slovenia with a decisive score of 92-62. The game, which took place on Saturday as part of the team’s five-game slate of exhibitions, showcased the American squad’s growing prowess and unity as they gear up for the upcoming FIBA World Cup.
Led by Anthony Edwards’ consistent performance with 15 points, Team USA exhibited a cohesive effort on both ends of the court. Jalen Brunson, known for his impressive court vision, added 11 points and dished out eight assists, highlighting his playmaking abilities. Austin Reaves and Tyrese Haliburton each contributed 10 points, demonstrating the team’s depth in scoring options. This balanced attack enabled the Americans to secure their second consecutive victory, improving their exhibition record to 2-0.
Notably absent from the game was Luka Doncic, the standout All-NBA guard from the Dallas Mavericks. Doncic, who scored 17 points in Slovenia’s previous match against Spain, was held out of Saturday’s game as a precaution due to a minor injury sustained in the previous game. His absence gave Team USA an advantage, allowing them to capitalize on their defensive strategies and establish an early 7-0 lead that they maintained throughout the game.
The exhibition match also highlighted the versatility of the U.S. roster, with all 12 players contributing points. Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Paolo Banchero, and Bobby Portis all made significant contributions, scoring eight points each. Brandon Ingram rounded out the scoring with seven points, underscoring the team’s commitment to a collective effort.
While Team USA displayed dominance on the court, their three-point shooting continued to be an area of concern. Inconsistent shooting from beyond the arc was evident once again, with the team converting 9-of-33 attempts from downtown. Jalen Brunson emerged as the sole player on the roster with a strong three-point shooting record from the NBA’s previous season. The team’s overall performance highlighted the need for improvement in this aspect as they face tougher challenges on the global stage.
Looking ahead, Team USA is set to face off against Spain, the world’s top-ranked nation according to FIBA, in their next exhibition game. This matchup promises to be a significant test for the American team, evaluating their readiness for the FIBA World Cup. Following the Spain game, the team will head to the United Arab Emirates for games against Greece and Germany in Abu Dhabi.
The anticipation for the World Cup continues to build as Team USA prepares to compete in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia. The Americans will be stationed in Manila for the duration of the tournament, beginning their campaign against New Zealand on August 26. Subsequent matchups against Greece and Jordan on August 28 and August 30 respectively will determine their fate in the group stage.
The pressure on Team USA is palpable, driven by their desire to reclaim their dominant position on the global basketball stage. After finishing seventh in the 2019 World Cup, expectations are high for the American squad to reassert their dominance. With the memory of their last World Cup victory in 2014 and a total of five gold medals, Team USA stands poised to rise to the occasion and vie for another triumphant performance on the international basketball stage.