NBA rumors: Kerr explains loss
After coming home empty-handed from the FIBA World Cup for the second straight year, Team USA is forced to reflect. In a tough battle for third place, the US lost to Canada in overtime 127-118. It's worth noting that the USA was without Brandon Ingram, Paolo Banchero and Jaren Jackson. For the US, Anthony Edwards led the way with 24 points. Austin Reaves finished with 23 off the bench. Mikal Bridges had 19, including this jaw-dropping 3-pointer that tied the game at 111 in the final seconds.
After the game, Coach Kerr said:
"Congrats to Canada, they played a great game. I feel bad for my guys. They are an amazing group, tough to try to hang in there without three guys, but we did everything possible. Mikal had an amazing shot but we didn’t have more gas. And with Canada shooting like this we couldn’t win"- Steve Kerr after USA's loss to Canada
As Kerr pointed out, Canada was awesome from deep. Dillon Brooks put up video game numbers, shooting 7-of-8 from 3 and finishing with 39 points. This is quite the redemption arc for a player who was booed every time he touched the ball a month ago. Thanks to Dillon Brooks' 39 points and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's 31, Canada was in the driver's seat for most of the game.
Kerr spoke about the lack of continuity for Team USA and the problems that come along with so many changes. "It’s hard to build continuity because we have so much turnover from year to year," Kerr said. "We have to focus on what’s winning a FIBA game. The NBA is very different from FIBA and some things will be good and vice versa. There’s a lot to learn for sure."
All Team USA can do now is dust themselves off and prepare to settle the score at the upcoming Olympics (and LeBron James is reportedly already recruiting). If it's any consolation, both of Team USA's previous World Cup failures in 2006 and 2019 led to Olympic gold medals. In other words, see you in Paris, Canada.