The United States World Cup team delivered a convincing performance in their exhibition game against Slovenia, destroying the Luka-less contingent and beating them 92-62 in sunny Spain before they face the country homeboys on Sunday.
With All-NBA guard Luka Doncic out resting, it was a walk in the park for the Americans on Saturday on the first leg of the back-to-back games they have scheduled for the weekend against Slovenia and Spain.
Anthony Edwards was the true leader of the USA squad on Saturday hitting 15 points on the day, but your New York Knickerbocker point guard Jalen Brunson was the main factor for the Americans to rout the Eastern Europe country.
Brunson hit 11 pops and fell just a couple of dimes short of dub-dubbing on Saturday, putting together an 11-8 outing in just 25 minutes of play. JB added four boards and a couple of steals to round up a pretty smooth outing.
The last time we watched him last Monday, Brunson dropped 11 pops on Puerto Rico and added 12 boards and three dimes to that tally. He didn’t reach those heights on Saturday, but it’s not that he wasn’t this close to doing it.
Fellow Knick Josh Hart missed the game against the South American nation while finishing his four-year extension with New York but finally made his pre-World Cup debut on Saturday coming off the pine and playing nearly 15 minutes against Slovenia on his way to getting a couple of points, five boards, a couple of assists, one theft.
The upcoming matchup against Spain promises to be a significant test... unless nobody plays real minutes/roles or puts on any effort.
Don’t rule that out because this USA vs. Spain friendly could be the final game of the World Cup in a few weeks' time, and none of these two will want to show all of their cards to their opponent in a meaningless matchup staged in the middle of August.
Again: Team USA will be facing off against Spain, the no. 1 team in the FIBA ranks as things stand, on Saturday, August 13th, at 3:30 PM EDT. It might be an explosive game, or it might turn into a snoozefest.
Pay attention, watch along, and enjoy your couple of Knickerbockers. If only because of the long-time rivalry and hatred between both nations in the basketball context, this should be a good one.