Team USA Falters to Germany in FIBA World Cup Despite Being Massive Favorites
Picture by Getty Images.
A nerfed, Frankenstein version of the American basketball team lost to Germany 113-111 this morning as heavy -700 favorites in the FIBA World Cup.
Team USA can't obtain the gold medal anymore, but can take a consolation prize by beating Canada on Sunday and winning bronze. It was a tumultuous tournament for the Americans, who also suffered an embarrassing loss to Lithuania 110-104.
The 113 points given up to the German team led by Dennis Schroder, Franz Wagner and Daniel Theis on Friday morning are the most points an American team has ever allowed in the World Cup or Olympics.
The previous record? Set four days ago during that loss to Lithuania.
Size, strength and subtle rule changes were the culprits for an American team that looked, at times, outmatched and outnumbered.
A roster toting a starting lineup of Anthony Edwards, Mikal Bridges, Josh Hart, Jalen Brunson and Jaren Jackson Jr. isn't anything to spit at. But it pales in comparison to the rosters America puts up for the sport's most important international tournament — the Olympics.
Regardless, it takes some getting used to FIBA rules — especially for younger, less physical guards. There is no defensive three-second rule, so opposing big men can camp in the paint all they want. And the courts are smaller, which further exacrebates that issue by compressing the floor — and therefore spacing.
On top of that, there's no goaltending rule. Forces down low like Rudy Gobert are menaces on the international stage, blocking shots at will that would be illegal and camping in the middle without really having to stretch.
Despite these limitations, Team USA had been -145 favorites to win the tournament before it started in August.
Germany had been +1800 underdogs, good for seventh-best. They will face Serbia (+1700, sixth-best preseason favorites) in the Final.