Team USA lost Serbia 94-89 after a historically bad first quarter that sees the Americans lose back to back games for the first time since 2002.
Team USA lose to Serbia After Slow Start
It’s wasn’t surprising to see Team USA lose to Serbia after the way they started out this game. A historically bad first quarter saw them down 32-7 after the first quarter.
At one point Serbia was up 23-5 and Nikola Jokic had not yet attempted a shot. This U.S team lost back to back games for the first time since 2002. In this 94-89 loss to Serbia. The U.S never even tied the game at any point after that first quarter. In some way these last two loses were not that surprising. This team almost lost to Turkey earlier in the tournament. They also lost in an exhibition game to Australia so the signs were there. Once Jason Tatum went down injured it was too much to overcome.
All of that being said, this is still the most talented team in the tournament man for man. The lack of urgency in their play at times is very alarming. It’s hard to see anyone from this squad making the Olympic team in Japan.
Serbia Gets a Bitter Sweet Win
This is very much a consolation prize for Serbia. The fact that the Serbians didn’t even celebrate the win tells its own story. They weren’t surprised to have won this game but will be disappointed to have been playing in it to begin with. They know they should be competing for a gold medal but at least they were able to get a win over a team that doesn’t lose too often. Regardless of who’s wearing the uniform, they still beat the best team in the world with ease.
Although Nikola Jokic didn’t play his best during the tournament, Bogdan Bogdanovic has played like a star. The Sacramento Kings guard has been on fire during the tournament and it was no different against the U.S. His skill set is perfect for international competition and the Kings will hope he can bring that hot shooting with him into the regular season. He led Serbia with 28 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds.
Team USA Still Has Another Game
The tournament is still not over for the U.S unfortunately for them. At this point they must just want to go home but they still have one more left to play against the Czech Republic. They’ve already beat them once before in this tournament but at this point no game appears to be a formality for this group.
Looking Ahead to The Olympics
The U.S will go into the Olympics with a much stronger squad and will be overwhelming favorites. That being said this setback is embarrassing and some of the players that skipped out on this FIBA World Cup will probably end up regretting it. The first 5-7 spots are probably set in stone the rest of the places could be up for grabs over the next few years.
There no way that USA Basketball Managing Director Jerry Colangelo is not going to hold a grudge with some of the guys who chose not to play for no reason whatsoever. There are a ton of guys that dropped out that certainly would have helped the team. The veteran players whose teams have made deep playoffs runs have an excuse to be around. A lot of the young player who chose to skip out will likely see their future chances severely impacted by this showing.