It’s not always pretty but a win is a win. After beating Giannis and Greece, Brazil—especially their coach—has been pounding their chest with superiority. They were ready to shock the world. Unfortunately, they ran into the best defense at the FIBA World Cup and sputtered. Team USA held Brazil to 43% shooting from the field and forced them into 15 turnovers as the Americans got another W (89-73).
Leading the Americans in scoring was Myles Turner and Kemba Walker. Both players had 16 points each as they helped the Americans now on brand anemic offense score points. Donovan Mitchell will not have proven any doubters wrong who say he’s not a great scorer with today’s performance (6 points and 6 rebounds on 2 of 6 shooting), but his defense once again was masterful. What really shined today was his playmaking. He had a game high 7 assists as he put his teammates in great positions to score. He only had one turnover as well. Donovan Mitchell probably would have had more shots had he not found himself in foul trouble early in the game.
The amazing thing about Donovan Mitchell is he accepts the role that is needed from him and does what is needed to win. More than just scoring, Team USA needed a steady hand leading their offense. While we have wanted to see Donovan Mitchell take over offensively, he has found other ways to positively impact his team and put his mark on the game. Against Turkey, he came away with huge rebound after huge rebound as Team USA’s big men had trouble securing key possessions. Tonight, he took over point guard responsibilities and allowed Kemba Walker to focus on scoring. Those who have been disappointed might once again be disappointed in his offense, but Popovich has been loving Donovan Mitchell’s utility as a scorer, facilitator, and defender in this tournament.
Brazil was led by Leandro Barbosa and Anderson Varejao. Both had 14 points. Varejao—who is trying to get back in the league—added 8 rebounds and 3 assists. With the loss, Brazil is now eliminated from the tournament.
With the win, Team USA is now set to match up with Rudy Gobert and France. France was JINGLED by the Aussies on the same day. The game will take place at 5:00AM on Wednesday. Get your alarms ready.
Our man Jake Lee continues to put out the hits with highlights. He’s doing god’s work.
Donovan Mitchell : vs. .— Jake Lee (@jacobrexlee) September 9, 2019
DM with 6 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, & a team high +22. pic.twitter.com/cbscJwyvkY
Popovich continues to be Pop. Complimentary of every team and cryptic with his praise.
“We played a very good second half. In the first half, Brazil was outstanding with their execution and passion, and they played very well. We picked it up in the second half, and that’s what changed it for us. We are happy with the win and glad to be moving on.”