The United States Men’s National Basketball Team took down Canada 84-68 in their final World Cup warmup at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia. Their victory also happened to come at the same site where Team USA won gold at the 2000 Olympic Games.
Despite a historic loss to the Australian Boomers that put their 78-game winning streak to an end, the U.S. came out looking sharp, focused and ready to bounce back. The Americans took a commanding 20-9 lead after a quarter of play and never trailed for the remainder of the contest.
Derrick White took a head-first spill requiring concussion testing and stitches above his left eye in Saturday’s exhibition, but the third-year guard was medically cleared and ultimately promoted to the senior team following Kyle Kuzma’s departure.
Bummer couldn’t finish my time with @usabasketball but that team will be just fine! Excited to get healthy & back to LA and get ready for the real show get ready‼️ LA— kuz (@kylekuzma) August 25, 2019
Although San Antonio’s rising star played next to no role in building the United States’ 15-point halftime cushion, the young Spur put together a solid outing.
White finished the night with 6 points, 1 rebound and a single assist in 13 minutes of action. He also got involved on the defensive end chipping in a pair of blocks and a steal.
Check out this sequence from Derrick White during the U.S. Canada scrimmage today.— Noah Magaro-George (@N_Magaro) August 27, 2019
The lob to Plumlee on one end and the quick hands to come up with a steal on the other.
White played well following a hard fall that took him out of the game on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/IaVexhOh3Q
The United States outscored Canada in all but the fourth frame and executed better as a cohesive unit. Jaylen Brown led Team USA in scoring with 19 points, and Myles Turner’s 15 rebounds helped the Americans win the battle of the boards 55-37 over their northern neighbors.
Canada didn’t exactly have the same kind of NBA pedigree the Australians possessed and it progressively showed as the clock ticked on. Former Houston Rocket Kyle Wiltjer and Khem Birch of the Orlando Magic combined for 34 of the Canadians 68 total points, but the duo just couldn’t provide enough firepower to give their team a competitive advantage.
Team USA will have three days to rest before they head out to Shanghai, China for their final training camp leading into the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Between chemistry issues and a plethora of superstar withdrawals the United States will have their work cut out for them if they want to go for Gold.
Luckily, head coach Gregg Popovich is the man at the helm, and if anyone can make a group of misfits work, it’s him.