Fiba World Cup: Josh Hart’s strong defense draws praise from Team USA coaches | Inquirer Sports

Fiba World Cup: Josh Hart’s strong defense draws praise from Team USA coaches

/ 04:05 PM August 29, 2023

Team USA's Josh Hart  against Greece's Ioannis Papapetrou in a Fiba World Cup game.

Team USA’s Josh Hart against Greece’s Ioannis Papapetrou in a Fiba World Cup game. –FIBA BASKETBALL

Team USA coach Steve Kerr lauded the effort put up by Josh Hart in Monday’s 109-81 win over Greece in Group C of the Fiba World Cup at Mall of Asia Arena.

Hart received plaudits from Kerr for his stellar play on the defensive end that provided a different look for an American squad that got a second straight victory in group play.


The New York Knicks guard came off the bench to grab 11 rebounds for the Americans, prompting Kerr to bring up a point stressed by Team USA assistant Erik Spoelstra.


“At one point, Spo turned to me and said to me ‘Some people get 50-50 balls, he gets the 30-70 balls.’ And I thought that was well said. He just makes his plays with his effort, physicality and his toughness, but also his skill.

“He pushes the ball well in transition, moves it, gets off of it. That’s one of the dominoes fall, defensively, and that’s when you see the two or three passes, Josh is one of the first guys to create. He just has a unique game, and what he does translates to winning.”

The 6-foot-4 cager somewhat downplayed his integral role in the lopsided contest, though acknowledging that having some talented guys on the squad has allowed him to focus on what he does best.

“When you play at this level, with so many good players, I mean, you got to adapt,” said Hart. “That’s my biggest thing and that’s my role.”

American media outlets reported that Hart was the last player to commit for the World Cup, and there were thoughts about how he’ll be used by Kerr during the course of the tournament.

But on Monday, that question may have been resolved by Hart himself, something to look forward to, especially during the business end of the campaign.

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TAGS: Fiba World Cup, Josh Hart, Team USA

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