Until this point, Team USA has been getting ready for the FIBA World Cup by playing against other Americans. Tonight, Greg Popovich and the young assortment of talent that makes up the American squad take on international competition for the first time. That’s right, Donovan Mitchell and former Jazz point guard Ricky Rubio will face each other for the first time not in Jazz and Suns jerseys, but in U.S. and Spanish kit. The team is on the young side, and they’ve looked a little disjointed in their previous exhibitions, although they won handily in the Blue vs. White game. It will be interesting to see how they respond to the challenge of facing an experienced Spanish team.
What to Watch For:
A Utah Jazz reunion
Most SLC Dunkers will undoubtedly be watching Donovan Mitchell and former Jazz hearthrob Ricky Rubio. The two seem to be on excellent terms, as you can see Ricky rocking a pair of Donovan’s Issue #1s on the court:
Ricky Rubio highlights from Spain’s friendly vs Côte d’Ivoire. Making nice reads as always. pic.twitter.com/iHfikejcHB— Mike Vigil (@ImPatBurke) August 10, 2019
Other Spanish NBA talent:
One interesting note about team USA is the center position. Mason Plumlee, Myles Turner, and Brook Lopez are all fine basketball players, but they’re no Tim Duncan (who was a center, by the way). Toronto Raptors star Marc Gasol will match up just fine against all three. Juancho Hernangomez currently rides the Denver Nuggets’ bench. Victor Claver and Rudy Fernandez are NBA vets as well, but both currently play professionally in Spain.
When: Friday, August 16th, 2019. 8:00 MDT
Where: Honda Center, Anaheim, CA
TV: NBA TV, Twitch
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