“The United States is arguably the best basketball nation in the world. But they were embarrassed at the last Olympics. It’s time for a generational change. Anthony Edwards, Tyreese Halliburton,메이저놀이터 Jaylen Brunson, Cam Johnson, Mikal Bridges, Paulo Vanquero, and other young players have joined the U.S. national team. Brunson captained the rejuvenated U.S. team.
From the get-go, the Americans dominated their opponents. There were ups and downs, but the team went on a winning streak, led by Edwards, who became the new ace of the team. They were in great shape for the World Cup.
And so the World Cup began. The team faced New Zealand, Greece, and Jordan in the first round of qualifying and won all three. The smallest margin of victory in those three games was 27 points. In their first game of the second round, they beat Montenegro for their fourth straight win.
However, they were stunned by Lithuania, led by Jonas Valensnas. The Americans were down early in the game. They gave up 31 points in the first quarter alone. In contrast, the Americans only scored 12 points. They tried to make a comeback in the third and fourth quarters, but gave up big shots at key moments.
Rebounding was the biggest issue. We gave up 18 offensive rebounds to Lithuania. Lithuania grabbed 43 offensive rebounds. Conversely, the USA only managed to grab 27 rebounds.
The perimeter defense also collapsed. Lithuania attempted 25 three-pointers and made 14 of them. They shot a whopping 56% from three-point range.
In response, USA captain Brunson spoke out. “The loss to Lithuania was shocking,” Brunson told Yahoo Sports. We were down from the start of the game, and we tried to fight back, but we couldn’t. I was disappointed with the team’s focus,” Brunson said of the loss.
“The biggest responsibility lies with me. I have to be ready. I have to be ready, and the other teammates have to be ready. But I wasn’t,” he said, adding, “The next game will be different. This loss will be medicine for us,” he said.
After the loss to Lithuania, the U.S. will face Italy in the final game of the second round of the preliminary round on Friday. It will be interesting to see if the Americans can rebound with a win over the Italians.