Defense is Team USA’s undoing even in its last Fiba World Cup game
MANILA, Philippines—Even in its last game of the tournament, it was the defense that doomed Team USA in the Fiba World Cup.
Giving up at least 100 points for the third time this edition of the global meet, Americans lost the chance to salvage a bronze medal after losing to Canada, 127-118, in overtime.
“We can’t get no stops, I don’t know what we could’ve done, our defense was pretty bad. They did what they had to do. They finished the game,” said Team USA star Anthony Edwards after finishing with 24 points.
“What went wrong? I don’t know. Defense and rebounds, those were the two main things.”
This wasn’t the first time that someone from the team had mentioned how those two things have been their downfall. That’s the story of Team USA in Manila.
On Friday, Team USA was also barely able to contain Canada’s shooting.
Canada registered a 51.2 percent shooting clip from the field and the whole team combined for 17 triples, while Team USA only had 10.
Manila fan favorite Austin Reaves wrapped up his commendable World Cup showing 23 points, five rebounds and three steals, but couldn’t appreciate that fact in the face of a losing campaign.
“We lost. You can list down the line of things that you can do every basketball game, win or lose, critique yourself but we just didn’t do enough. That’s it,” said the Los Angeles Laker.
— INQUIRER Sports (@INQUIRERSports) September 10, 2023
For Tyrese Haliburton, meanwhile, Team USA didn’t do enough to match up against the Canadians, who made history with their first-ever medal in the World Cup.
Haliburton, who finished with an all-around game of six markers, seven assists and five boards, said they just “didn’t play the right way.”
“We just gotta be better. Gotta be better on defense to win games. Fiba’s very unforgiving, if you come out and don’t play the right way, don’t respect the game the right way, teams get hot,” he said.
“Anything can happen, you saw it with Lithuania, you saw it with Germany.”