Well, no New York Knicks will be winning a gold medal in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
Both Team USA and Canada suffered semifinal losses Friday morning, dashing the hopes of RJ Barrett, Jalen Brunson, and Josh Hart winning gold.
RJ & Canada:
In the early game on Friday, Canada would fall behind 23-15 to Serbia after the first quarter. A 29-24 Serbian advantage in the second quarter, gave them a 52-39 halftime lead. RJ Barrett had a solid first half, scoring ten points and picking up two rebounds and assists. Serbia would keep their foot down in the second half and the closest Canada would cut it was to seven. RJ Barrett finished with a team-high 23 points on 8/14 shooting.
Barrett has had an encouraging 2023 FIBA World Cup tournament and aside from two poor games against France and Brazil, he’s averaged 20.4 points on 52.7 percent shooting. He’s been Team Canada’s second most impactful player outside of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Hopefully, Barrett can finish strong against Team USA in the bronze medal game and carry that momentum into what should be a big fifth year for the Knicks forward.
Serbia won by a final score of 95-86 behind 23 points from Atlanta Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic:
Bogdan Bogdanovic continued his hot streak on offense to push Serbia to the Final and earn TCL Player of the Game honors— FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 (@FIBAWC) September 8, 2023
23 PTS | 4 REB | 3 AST | 3 STL | 67% FG | 28 EFF#FIBAWC x #WinForSrbija | #InspireGreatness pic.twitter.com/TRPgo1tFmu
Brunson/Hart & Team USA:
After watching one Knick go down in the first game, two more got dropped in the second.
Team USA would lose a tightly contested game to Germany by a score of 113-111.
Germany had six players score at least 10+ points. Andreas Obst of Bayern Munich led them in scoring with 24 points. Indiana Pacers big man Daniel Theis dominated USA inside, scoring 21 points and grabbing seven rebounds. Orlando Magic forward Franz Wagner was a problem for USA, scoring 22. New Toronto Raptors guard Dennis Schroder guard bounced back from his horrific 4/26 shooting performance in the quarterfinals and stepped up huge today, scoring 17 points and adding nine assists.
Andreas Obst torched USA to help Germany advance to the Final and earn TCL Player of the Game honors!— FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 (@FIBAWC) September 8, 2023
24 PTS | 6 AST | 4 3PM | 24 EFF#FIBAWC x #WinForDeutschland | #InspireGreatness pic.twitter.com/eosGITNAlb
Team USA was led by Anthony Edwards (23 points), Austin Reaves (21 points), and Mikal Bridges (17 points).
Jalen Brunson would finish this game with 15 points and seven assists on 4/9 shooting. It sounds like just another solid Brunson performance until you see he was a -19 on the floor. That number is glaring considering Mikal Bridges was second behind Brunson as a -8. Brunson has had his shortcomings in his career on defense and unfortunately, it was highlighted in this game. Tyrese Haliburton played 19:48 against Germany and scored seven points with eight assists. He was also a +14 on the floor, making Brunsons’ -19 in 20:22 look even worse.
Teammate Josh Hart played 19:44, scoring nine points on 4/4 shooting and finished second in rebounds with five. Hart joined Brunson as an overall minus, finishing as a -6.
Josh Hart with a CRAZY spin move pic.twitter.com/C3WWmJOGA4— DunkLeague (@DunkLeagueNBA) September 8, 2023
Brunson was not pleased with himself when asked about his performance:
“Terrible. Plain and simple.”— New York Basketball (@NBA_NewYork) September 8, 2023
— Jalen Brunson on his performance (15p 7a) as Team USA loses to Germany in the World Cup semifinals pic.twitter.com/7a2uB7uacW
Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart will get to lace it up one more time when they take on fellow Knicks teammate RJ Barrett and Team Canada in what should be an exciting bronze medal game on Sunday morning at 4:30 a.m. EST.
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