Team USA will face Mexico in the Round of 16 at the 2014 FIBA World Cup on Saturday. You might have some questions about this, and we’re here to answer them.
10:00a.m. ET on ESPN2. You can also stream it on WatchESPN.
Even with the slow starts in so many of their games, they’ve still managed to be the best team in the tournament through group play. They swept Group C with five convincing wins, even though Turkey and Ukraine gave them a bit of a scare. Other than the game against Finland in which Team USA jumped out to a 31-16 advantage after one quarter, the rest of the games have been tight after 10 minutes. They were tied with Turkey, led New Zealand by just seven, were up on Dominican Republic by three, and were losing to Ukraine by five after those respective first quarters.
And yet, Team USA has rolled to five comfortable wins. Mexico will be the true test of whether or not this team is capable of shaking the habit of lackluster, low energy starts against opponents they should roll. Mexico can be tough and were able to battle in their losses, but Team USA has an extreme advantage at every aspect of the game. The only question is whether or not their heart will be in it when the opening tip happens. The energy can’t just come from and . , and either or have to bring the effort right away, especially on defense. Maybe it’s time to start , someone who hasn’t had any trouble being an energizer on defense when he steps on the court?
It’s not the best talent the world has to offer up against Team USA, but this is still a pain in the neck if the energy isn’t there right away. Mexico finished with a 2-3 record in Group D, placing fourth and squeaking into the elimination rounds. Mexico is ranked 24th in FIBA, but has used a nice attack, both inside and out, to be hyper competitive in group play. They had a point differential of minus-two, even though they had a losing record.
Their only real bad game was against Slovenia, in which the Dragic brothers completely dominated them. Lithuania used an advantage in the second and third quarters to win by 13. They answered back by taking care of business in a blowout victory over Angola, but couldn’t rally from a poor third quarter against Australia and ended up losing by eight. They hammered Korea in the final game and ensured they’d advance in the tournament. If this team can avoid a horrendous third quarter (USA is plus-35 in third quarters), they can possibly remain competitive.
There are a couple of players on the roster, and they have a couple of guys who have stepped up in Spain. You may be most familiar with and . Ayon worked his way from being an undrafted big man to playing for four different teams over the last three seasons. He was at his best as a rookie in New Orleans in 2011-12, and then when he was traded to Milwaukee in the 2012-13 season. Gutierrez was also undrafted but found his way onto the ‘ roster in 2013-14 and earned himself a contract.
Ayon and Gutierrez have been complemented nicely by Francisco Cruz, a playmaking shooting guard, and Héctor Hernández, a stretch-4 that has shot lights out from 3-point range through the first five games. Mexico isn’t deep after those four guys, but they can be a handful for stretches on the court.
How does USA Basketball balan has been raised at Juve as PSG express interest in Emre Can, says Tuttosport.Juve are seeking a buyer for Can and after offering him to Barcelona, the Germany international has attracted an approach from PSG.And the Parisiens’ interest has raised thce out their attack against a far inferior opponent? Despite having Harden, Curry, Thompson, and Irving on the team, Team USA really hasn’t had much of an outside attack. The majority of their success is coming at the rim, which is fine but not something you want to totally rely on when it comes to facing director Fredi Bobic admits they face losing Luka Jovic this summer.Having bought Jovic outright from Benfica, Eintracht Frankfurt now expect a €60m offer from Real Madrid to sell.”We don’t need to sell anyone for financial reasons,” Bobic said. ” some of the better teams with bigger frontcourts. In a game like this against Mexico, they should be able to get whatever shots they desire. Most of those are likely to come at the rim, but it’s time for this team to start annihilating teams with 3-point shooting as well.
Team USA has shot just 34.4 percent from 3-point range through the first five games. Curry finally got on track in the fifth game and Thompson has been great from downtown. But Rose, , , and Harden have all brought the percentage wor says Rojo could complete a season-long loan move to Fenerbahce.The Turkish Super Lig club are closing in on a loan deal for the defender, with sporting director Damien Comolli having reached an initial agreement with the Red Devils. The 29-year-olay down. This teams need to leave their opponents’ heads spinning from the start. Dunks at the rim and successful outside shots are the recipe for strolling to success. It all starts on defense and turns into transition decisions for the opposing defense. Protect the rim and give up the 3-pointer, which leads to worrying about the transition 3’s and giving up highlight lobs.
There are 20 teams with more 3-pointers made than Team USA and 12 teams have shot with more accuracy. Nine of those more accurate teams advanced to the elimination rounds. You can’t get caught without ammunition in a long-distance battle.
Absolutely. It’s a great way to wake up Saturday morning. You can prepare your competitive nature for by cheering on USA Basketball, if that’s your allegiance. There is still a lot for Team USA to learn about themselves, and every learning experience is a good viewing experience.