The United States suffers a loss to Lithuania.
The United States fell 104-110 to Lithuania in Group J of the second round of the FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup 2023 on Wednesday (March 3) at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines. Despite the loss, the Americans finished second in Group J and advanced to the quarterfinals.토토사이트
The USA’s performance was disastrous. After a low-scoring first quarter and poor defense that left them down 12-31, the Americans played catch-up in the second and third quarters. Some of the NBA’s biggest names, including Jaylen Brunson, Mikal Bridges, and Anthony Edwards, stepped up to the plate.
But it was Lithuania who came out on top. The USA’s perimeter defense collapsed throughout the game, allowing Lithuania to keep hitting threes, and every time they tried to make a comeback, they were met with a three-pointer. Lithuania made 14 three-pointers on the night, a whopping 56 percent. It felt like it was going in.
It wasn’t just the outside shot that was problematic, but also the height. The starting center for Team USA is Jaren Jackson Jr. Jackson Jr. is one of the best defenders in the game, having been named Defensive Player of the Year in the 2022-2023 season. The problem is that he’s not very good at managing fouls and has a weakness for rebounding. In the game against Lithuania, Jackson Jr. had one of his worst performances in 15 minutes of action: 3 points, 1 rebound, and 5 fouls.
In the wake of the USA’s shocking defeat, head coach Steve Kerr has been criticized. Kerr is considered one of the greatest coaches in the NBA. Kerr is a living legend who has led the Golden State Warriors to four championships and two runner-up finishes. Kerr has proven himself in the NBA with his innovative tactics and leadership.
The problem is, Kerr’s strengths have not been on full display with Team USA. In this tournament, the U.S. hasn’t been able to overwhelm their opponents with a cool head. Of course, it’s true that this team doesn’t have the usual superstars. Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Damian Lillard, Devin Booker, Jayson Tatum, and other S-list players are missing. The U.S. is loaded with stars like Brunson, Edwards, Tyrese Halliburton, Bridges, and Paolo Banquero.
Kerr hasn’t utilized them at all. The U.S. seems to have no promising plays on offense. Most of their offense is based on isolation through individual players. Without the three-second defender rule in FIBA, it’s not as easy to create space as it is in the NBA.
To make matters worse, Kerr has been embroiled in a feud with his star player, Jackson Jr. Kerr criticized Jackson Jr. for his foul management. “He has the talent to block any shot,” Kerr said. But he fouls a lot. In some situations, it’s better to leave him in. He’s an important player for us.” Jackson Jr. publicly expressed his displeasure with Kerr’s interview.
The overwhelmingly dominant USA suffered a shock loss. Kerr’s leadership has been called into question. Can Kerr and the U.S. turn this around? The U.S. will face Italy in the quarterfinals on Friday.