Team USA fell to Germany in FIBA play Friday, 113-111. Some of the links call it shocking, but it’s really not. The US had some exploitable weaknesses and the Germans are a good team and exploited those weaknesses.
Germany shot 58 percent from the floor and killed the US in the paint. Grant Hill and Steve Kerr bet that speed could beat size and, in this case, the bet failed.
But it’s not entirely a bad bet.
It’s very reminiscent of how Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski built earlier teams, but with a key difference: this team was put together in short order, where Coach K asked for a multi-year commitment from his players.
Hill has said that that model will no longer work, and we’re sure he’s realistic. But even that’s not the key thing here.
The key thing is the level of talent the US brought. Well, that and experience.
As we said previously, Team USA is quite young and look at who is not on the roster: Jayson Tatum, Bam Adebayo, Kyrie Irving, Zion Williamson, Jrue Holiday, Donovan Mitchell, Chet Holmgren, Jimmy Butler...we could go on.
The point is that the US didn’t take the A team to this event. Holmgren is still painfully skinny, but he would have changed things defensively.
For Americans, the focus is always on the Olympics and we’ll see what transpires for Paris. For now, though the US will face off against RJ Barrett and the Canadians for bronze on Sunday. Not what anyone wanted, but there it is.
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