Each year, it seems the World is catching up to the USA when it comes to the basketball court. This FIBA World Cup was no different. Team USA advanced to the semi-final round just to lose to Germany. The US went on to face Canada in the Bronze medal match. They would go into overtime just to lose, thanks to Dillon Brooks and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander combining for 70 points.
Bucks’ Portis Would Have Provided Size and Energy
Head Coach Steve Kerr had a young roster built on defensive versatility. Utilizing undersized big men such as Bobby Portis, Paolo Branchero, and Jaren Jackson to be able to play the switch-off defense, which is utilized a lot in the NBA. After watching former NBA Center Daniel Theis and current Orlando Magic talent Franz Wagner combine for 43 points, it’s clear that the lack of size on this team was an issue.
— Above The Rim Podcast (@jusblaze_513) September 8, 2023
It was an interesting coaching choice to only play Portis for only 8 minutes in the game against Germany when their big men were having so much success. This was another US failure from top to bottom. Other countries are getting better at basketball, and Team USA needs to start taking it more seriously if they want to compete for Gold in the 2024 Olympics.
Jrue Holiday is a defensive staple for the Milwaukee Bucks, and he was deeply missed on this team. Players like Dillon Brooks, Dennis Schroder, and other guards in the tournament scored a lot on the US. Jrue could have brought the intensity on that end. Hopefully, he will be considered for the Olympics.
Team USA used to build their roster by holding tryouts and having a lot of players going against one another. They would have to earn their spot. It would not just be given to them. Maybe this type of change could help bring a new fire to Team USA. Hopefully, they would invite some big men with more size to compete.
Lebron James is Playing in the 2024 Olympic Games
USA fans should find some relief for the Olympics as Lebron James is expected to play. With Lebron on the roster, it would not be surprising to see other big-time stars join as well. The roster right now is young and talented, but they are missing that killer mentality we have seen in the past from former USA players like Kobe, Lebron, and Steph Curry (who have only played in FIBA tournaments, not the Olympics).
Sources: LeBron James wants to represent Team USA at 2024 Paris Olympics and is spearheading group of future Hall of Famers – including Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant – prepared to commit.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 11, 2023
If stars do decide to join, players like Bobby Portis might not make the roster. Bringing back the tryout style format could help up the competition in practice and could give opportunity to a player like Portis. A lot will be on the line in Paris in 2024, and the rest of the World just keeps getting better. Team US will have to do its best to win gold.
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