It’s still probably not time to panic for Team USA ahead of the FIBA World Cup in China, but the team is not exactly inspiring confidence right now.
After a month of losing NBA stars left and right, Team USA broke training camp in Las Vegas and headed to Los Angeles. There, they faced off in a tune-up scrimmage at the Los Angeles Lakers’ UCLA Health Training Center.
On the opposing Select Team were a collection of marginal NBA and G League talents. The most accomplished player might have been John Jenkins, a former Vanderbilt sharpshooter who averaged 5.0 points per game in five career NBA season with five different teams.
Apparently, the Select Team ran Team USA out of the gym.
This team just defeated the USA Basketball squad headed to China 36-17 in a scrimmage. Are we sure we’re sending the right team? https://t.co/PhB2KakEpb
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) August 14, 2019
Either ESPN commentator Jeff Van Gundy has found the magic coaching touch, or Team USA might have some issues to work out before its scrimmage against Spain on Friday.
The Select Team was mostly made up of players that helped the U.S. qualify for the FIBA World Cup last summer. The group has played together before, but that’s no excuse for losing like Team USA did.
Anthony Davis and James Harden are no longer onboard, but all 17 of Team USA’s roster finalists are legitimate NBA players coached by a Hall of Famer in Gregg Popovich. Per the Lakers’ Mike Trudell, a closing lineup of Kemba Walker, Donovan Mitchell, Harrison Barnes, P.J. Tucker and Brook Lopez were used against the Select Team, while other standouts like De’Aaron Fox, Khris Middleton and Jayson Tatum were on the bench.
A collection of G-League/overseas players beat Team USA (closing line up of K. Walker, D. Mitchell, H. Barnes, PJ Tucker and B. Lopez handily in a scrimmage just now to close USA practice. Great effort from the unheralded group.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) August 14, 2019
Just two and a half weeks until the World Cup opener against the Czech Republic on Sept. 1.
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