Following Team USA’s first-ever loss to the Australian national team, USA Basketball has announced its official roster for the 2019 FIBA World Cup. In the end, Kyle Kuzma was the odd man out, not San Antonio’s Derrick White. Though, it wasn’t a performance-based decision. The Lakers forward didn’t make the final cut due to an ankle injury.
This means Team Shamrock — Marcus Smart, Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum — will all represent the U.S. in the upcoming event in China.
Smart finally saw some action in Team USA’s 98-94 loss early Saturday morning. Here a few things of note from the game:
Kemba Walker tried to take control
Team USA made Patty Mills look like he was Kawhi Leonard on Saturday. He’s a solid player, but 30 points? That shouldn’t happen. Walker is one of the players who needs to help slow Mills down.
Offensively, Walker did everything he could to combat Mills. He led Team USA with 22 points on 7 of 15 shooting. He was slightly better from three (2-for-6), still not great though.
Most important thing from Walker’s performance, from the Celtics’ perspective: his ability to create contact on offense. In 27 minutes of play, Walker earned six free-throw attempts, which is right around his 2018-19 average (5.5). Only White got to the line more times (seven) for the U.S. (As a point of reference, Kyrie Irving led the Celtics with 3.7 free-throw attempts per game in 2018-19.)
Brown did a bit of everything
Brown was a perfect 3-for-3 from the floor on Saturday and made the one three he took. He blocked a shot, had two steals and grabbed a couple rebounds in 16 minutes.
Brown looked good defensively, too. He didn’t get the chance to play Mills they were on the floor in the fourth quarter. The Australian guard only got two shots off against Brown late and made one.
The only real knock on Brown this game is he didn’t shoot more.
Smart eased in
As much as he started over Walker, Smart only played nine minutes against Australia. He was solid offensively, finishing 2-for-3 from the floor and 1-for-1 from three. He also finished with three assists after finding Harrison Barnes a few times early.
With Smart being named captain, it’s clear Gregg Popovich feels Smart brings something to the table. But from this performance alone, it’s hard to tell what he’s going to do for Team USA on the offensive end.
Tatum’s worst showing of the summer
If we’re ranking the performances between the four Celtics in Saturday’s game, Tatum is probably the low man on the totem pole. He was third on the team in minutes and played the majority of the fourth quarter, but could not help Team USA regain momentum.
Tatum scored five points on 2 of 8 shooting. He went 0-for-3 from deep and 1-for-2 from the line. He had a couple of big dunks, but there were a few two-point attempts Tatum didn’t knock down that he needs to — especially the ones where he beats his defender and gets a great look at the rim. Also, Tatum is getting some solid looks from three. He needs to start knocking more of those down.
— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) August 24, 2019
Full article @ All four Celtics make Team USA’s final roster
Source: GreenStreet Blog