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USA Basketball relying on defense so far at World Cup

/ 11:32 PM September 08, 2019
USA 2019 Fiba World Cup

Harrison Barnes (centre L) of the US and teammate Brook Lopez join a huddle of US players during the Basketball World Cup Group E game between US and Turkey in Shanghai on September 3, 2019. (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL / AFP)

SHENZHEN, China — U.S. guard Donovan Mitchell turned toward his bench with fists clenched, then punched the air in celebration and let out a joyous scream.

It wasn’t for a dunk, or a 3-pointer, or some highlight-reel play.

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Mitchell’s exuberant reaction was because the U.S. forced a 24-second violation in a big moment against Greece on Saturday.

The U.S. team at this World Cup is like none other assembled by the Americans for a big international tournament in a long time. This is no scoring juggernaut, but rather a team that has decided its best path to victory — and, it hopes, an unprecedented third consecutive World Cup title — is to clamp down on the defensive end.

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TAGS: 2019 Fiba World Cup, Basketball, China, Donovan Mitchell, Fiba World Cup, Team USA, USA
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