Team USA beat Greece 69-53 at the FIBA World Championships today and will play against Brazil in their next game at the FIBA World Championships.
Team USA beat Greece with Defense
In what was a great defensive performance, Team USA beat Greece by a score of 69-53. Greece whose best player is NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo were no match for the Americans. They put Marcus Smart on Giannis and even though he much smaller, Smart might be the most versatile defender in the world. He usually guards much bigger opponents and he is a player that takes great pride in playing defense. Giannis only managed 15 points in the game.
As for Team USA, this was their first game without Jason Tatum who is one of their best players. It was encouraging to see the team perform well in his absence. Although they only had two players in double figures, they did have two more with at least nine points. In Tatum’s absence, it will take a group effort which is exactly how Team USA beat Greece in this contest.
The Greek Freak Had No Help
The obvious problem for Greece is their lack of secondary scoring. While Giannis only scored 15 points, he did shoot well (7-11 FG’s) in the game. The problem is the rest of his squad shot 14-55 from the field which translates to 25%. Forget about beating Team USA, this Greece team who are now 2-2 in the tournament aren’t beating anyone with shooting like that.
For Bucks fans, it must also be a little bit worrying to see Giannis get locked down by Marcus Smart. After the Toronto Raptors were able to neutralize The Greek Freak in the playoffs, a lot of questions were raised about his lack of outside shooting. Even though Smart is one of the best defenders in the league, he should not stand a chance against Giannis. Add that to the fact that the Celtics and Bucks are direct rivals and it makes this an all around bad look for the reigning NBA MVP. It’s not Giannis’ fault Team USA beat Greece after the way his teammates performed. That being said, a lot more is expected of him than what he showed today.
Team USA Keep on Rolling
The victory against Greece takes Team USA’s record in the tournament to 4-0 and they will play Brazil in their next game. This Brazil team has played well and will be a tough test for this team. After that game, they will face the winner of the France vs. Australia game in the quarterfinals. Moving forward, Team USA will have to play much better than they did today against the Greeks.
While their defensive effort was very good, the Greece team is not very talented. All of their opponents from here on will be much more skilled.
There was an small altercation involving Giannis and Jaylen Brown at the end of the game. Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Giannis’ brother, fouled Harrison Banes really hard on a breakaway dunk. Greg Popovich made sure to keep his team on the court after the final whistle to avoid any possible altercations as Greece made their way to the dressing room.