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The United States entered the tournament with the reserve team and lost to the Germans in the semi-finals
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The United States entered the tournament with the reserve team and lost to the Germans in the semi-finals


German Daniel Theis (by the way, he plays in the NBA, for the Indiana Pacers) with the ball, Josh Hart (No. 12, his club is the New York Knicks) is trying to set it up.

Photograph: Jam Sta Rosa/AFP

The match between Serbia and Germany will be the final match of the FIBA ​​World Cup to be held in three Asian locations (Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines) after Serbia beat Canada on Friday afternoon, and in the afternoon Germany surprisingly beat the always likely USA.

Thus, the two biggest competitors in the tournament were eliminated from the semi-finals. The Canadians’ defeat was no less surprising than the Americans’ defeat, as they sided almost exclusively with NBA players, although the highest-rated Canadian professional, Jamal Murray (player for NBA champion Denver), did not participate. The opponent, Serbia, was also without Nikola Jokic (also Denver Nuggets), who is perhaps the best basketball player in the world currently.

Serbia is not ranked among the contenders at this stage, mainly due to Jokic’s absence, but the player available does not look exceptionally strong anyway, Bogdan Bogdanovic (national team’s best player, Atlanta Hawks defender). The super-talented, barely twenty-year-old Nikola Jovic (he got a few minutes this year with the Miami Heat), was never considered a true global superstar or the hope of a global superstar. However, the Serbian national team was much more of a team than the North American national teams, which were made up of players with better individual skills. (Just as Latvia and Lithuania also showed great, polished team play this weekend, but both advanced to the quarter-finals. The Germans beat Latvia to the punch, by two points, and the Serbs easily beat the Lithuanians.)

In the morning, Serbia simply outscored Canada (with a field goal average of over 62 percent, which is quite exceptional in a stakes match), which seemed to have forgotten about defense. It was especially embarrassing after one of Canada’s key players, Dillion Brooks, the Houston Rockets’ pro, announced two days ago that he now considers himself the best defensive player in the NBA. (Because in the quarterfinals they managed to defeat Slovenia, which was not very strong, and Brooks defended the king of the tournament Luka Doncic. By the way, Doncic scored 26 points in that match).

The United States was the biggest competitor in this competition, as always, although this team is not even a “B” team, but a “C” or “D” team, so the United States is able to field two or three stronger national teams. . But now somehow I didn’t want to take care of anyone. Any basketball fan with average knowledge could list off the top of his head twenty better American basketball players than those who ended up on the list. But even these upper-average players in the NBA can easily conquer the world if they can focus and play disciplined defense.

All could have easily given Friday afternoon’s German-American semifinal to the Americans, and there may be a couple of players on the German national team who could compete with the Americans based on their individual skills. But as a team they also worked better than their most likely opponent.

The Germans shot 58 percent (extremely high in a situation like this), scored 113 points and led almost all the way, eventually managing to maintain a two-point lead. The United States also received a score of 58 percent, which indicates that the teams did not care much about defense.

Perhaps the United States was not embarrassed MuchThis also happened in the last tournament when it only finished seventh after losing to the Serbian and French teams. It seems that the Basketball World Cup is not motivating enough for NBA stars, but it is still possible to talk about what is best for the Olympics. (The US national team has won the last four Olympics, and the last time they stumbled in Athens in 2004, compared to the current national team, which is brutally strong, with young LeBron James, Tim Duncan, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Allen Iverson, the US lost to Argentina, and only won the bronze medal.)

The Americans have two losses now, as they already lost to the Lithuanians – in a group match without any stakes – so they will play for the bronze medal against Canada on Sunday morning (Hungarian time) in Manila, and in the afternoon. This will be followed by the German-Serbian final.

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