Embarrassing. I don't know how else to say it. It's not as if Germany stinks, they were the only undefeated team in the tournament and completely outplayed Team USA from start to finish in this game. But still, Team USA should never lose given the fact that their entire roster is NBA talent. In no world should something like this happen
Look I love Daniel Theis and everything but I'd say it's a big time issue if he's the best big on the floor.
More than anything, Team USA couldn't find a way to stop playing some of the dumbest basketball these eyes have ever seen, and it ranged from Steve Kerr down. I think it's fair to say Kerr was easily exposed in this loss, his lineup choices made no sense. Never playing another big with JJJ but playing Paolo/Portis together? Being in love with small ball lineups when it was VERY CLEAR to everyone watching that size was an issue and Team USA looked their best when they played big?
One of the biggest reasons Team USA lost this game was once again their inability to rebound. It was an issue against Montenegro, it was the reason they lost to Lithuania, and then today we saw Germany dominate the offensive glass to the tune of 25-6 2nd chance points. I'm not a huge math guy, but that seems significant in a game you lost by 2 points. No Team USA big had more than 3 rebounds! That's embarrassing as hell.
Then you had the defense. Or should I say the lack of defense? This was another area that plagued Team USA this tournament. Against anyone good, they could not get a stop to save their life. Allowing 96 points through 30 minutes (3 quarters) seems impossible. They came out of half and allowed a 35 point quarter! On one end Germany was getting everything they wanted because they played connected team basketball, and then on the other end, Team USA did nothing but 1 on 1 shit which obviously didn't work. I'm not sure what Kerr's approach was but it was mostly dogshit.
Just like in their tune up game matchup, Team USA did make a 4th quarter run behind Anthony Edwards
but it was the little things that did Team USA in. Having two separate occasions where they are unable to secure a rebound and then allow Germany to score with under 4 seconds on the shot clock is losing basketball. Having a mental mistake defensively in big spots is losing basketball. So it should come as no surprise that something like this happened to ultimately seal the loss
How many times did we see Team USA foul a 3 point shooter coming off a screen? Pretty sure Brunson did it twice (and was a -19 in this game). Then you had dumb goaltends by JJJ, and eventually all that shit adds up. This is partly what's so embarrassing for Team USA, they played like assholes. As we know, when you do that, you almost always get embarrassed.
I think most people wanted to see a Team USA vs Canada showdown, but I'm not sure we expected it to be for the Bronze medal. Granted if Team USA were to win it would certainly be better than the 2019 FIBA showing, but that's not the point. The expectation is Gold when you're the only team in the field with nothing but NBA talent. I don't really care if it was the B or C team, this was a good enough roster to win the whole thing as long as they played the right way. Looking ahead to the Olympics I feel like only Edwards and Haliburton have a shot to make that roster, but don't make excuses for this current group. They played some of the dumbest basketball you'll ever see and they paid the price for it.
As you can imagine, Team USA is going to be dragged for this result and they deserve every bit of it. You can't just decide to lock in for a quarter in these FIBA tournaments. You have to play for a full 40, and Germany came out swinging both to start the game and then again in the 3rd quarter and that was the difference.
Just like in 2019, this was yet another reminder that Team USA cannot simply show up and think they're going to win just because they're Team USA. It doesn't work like that anymore, especially in the tournaments when the A team isn't being sent out. If this is the type of performance we see against Canada, there's a world where Team USA doesn't even medal at the World Cup, which for my money would be just as big of a disaster as the 2019 team's failures.
Now if you'll excuse me, it's time to turn the page and focus on the one man who can save this team and this country