For all the talk of the risks of international play for NBA athletes, the converse is true as well, as Kenneth Faried is rapidly proving.
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A good but not hugely regarded NBA player, Faried is taking the World Cup as an opportunity to make his mark.
And he's doing it without getting plays called for him, too.
Against Turkey, Faried had 22 points and eight rebounds. And on Tuesday, against New Zealand, he had 15 points and 11 boards. For the World Cup to date, he's shooting 80.8% .
That's insanely good for any level of basketball.
Anthony Davis had 21 points and nine boards, while James Harden finished with 13.
The U.S. won by a score of 98-71, but it's not as if the Kiwis played awful. In fact, their performance was much better than we might have expected.
The Tall Blacks had 21 turnovers - best so far vs. the Americans - and shot 40.8% overall.
But only BJ Anthony made it to double figures for New Zealand, while the U.S. placed six in that neighborhood.
Not Derrick Rose, though: Chicago's star guard was just 1-6.
One real area for concern: the U.S. is not shooting foul shots well.
Against New Zealand, the U.S. left 12 points on the line (22-34/64.7%).
Against the Turks, the U.S., in a game which was tight until the last few minutes, shot just 12-19 (63.2%).
Against Finland, the team was 22-25, but everything came easy in that game.