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Donovan Mitchell and Team USA take on the Czech Republic

The world is about to see just how good Donovan Mitchell can be

2019 USA Basketball Men’s National Team Practice - Shanghai Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

The Fiba World Cup begins with a relatively easy matchup for Team USA. The Czech Republic is not filled with a lot of NBA talent with their only NBA player being Tomas Satoransky.

However, this is an opportunity for Donovan Mitchell, Kemba Walker and Khris Middleton to find more chemistry. Getting a big win against an opponent lacking high end talent is a chance for the team to get more reps together as they look to build momentum.

Game Info:

When: Sunday, September 1st, 2019. 6:30 AM MDT

Where: Shanghai, China

TV: Livestream on ESPN+

What to watch for

Who takes over in crunch time?

The Czech Republic shouldn’t be a challenge for Team USA. If they are, then there are much bigger problems than who you want running the show at the end of games.

But this is something worth thinking about. In the loss against Australia, a blueprint was created on how to beat Team USA. Stop the ball from moving.

As a whole Team USA has more talent than any team in the tournament. Australia showed that if you don’t give up easy transition points and force the USA to beat you in isolation, you can beat them. It also took monster games from Patty Mills and Joe Ingles but it showed that the United States does have weaknesses.

The good news is that loss is behind them and it gives them something to improve on. Playing against the Czech Republic should give Team USA chances to work on making sure the upset doesn’t happen again. That might mean at the end of the game, if Donovan Mitchell and Kemba Walker are still on the floor, whoever is holding the ball might be THE guy for crunch time.

France and Australia play as well

Joe Ingles and the Boomers of Australia will play at 1:30 AM EDT against Canada. It’s a chance to see just how good the Australians will be in the tournament and if they can go far. Even with the lack of talent playing for Canada, the Boomers found a way to split their games in exhibition play. Will the team that upset the United States show up or will they stumble from the beginning?

Rudy Gobert and France will take on Germany at 6:30 AM MDT. Of the three games Jazz fans watch, this may be the most interesting with NBA talent on both teams. Germany will roll out lineups including Dennis Schroder, Maxi Kleber and Daniel Theis. To counter that France has the Stifle Tower Rudy Gobert who will dominate the paint and show why he is such a dominating force.

Gobert has also shown a jumpshot in practice and exhibition play. Will Gobert evolve into the stifle shower?

I’m not sure I like that nickname but we’re just going to let it fly, just like I hope Rudy Gobert does with his jump shot this tournament.

Mandatory Highlight

Ground Rules

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Dunkers know how this thing works, but for you lurkers ready to make the jump to Dunker, we have a few guidelines. Remember to follow our community guidelines (no swearing, trolling, excessive use of Jerry Sloan’s name in vain, no personal attacks, no debates about Utah liquor laws, etc.). Remember to have fun. Anyone who dare blasphemes that Tim Duncan was a Power Forward (this means you, Pounding the Rock), Ben Simmons can hit threes, Gordon Haywardshould not be booed, Exum Island isn’t a 5-Star resort, Donovan Mitchell is Monta Ellis 2.0, men should never cry or John Stockton is not the best point guard of all-time will receive an automatic ban. Just kidding. But seriously.