The US Basketball Men’s National Team dominated its matchup with Slovenia who was without Luka Doncic.
It was much of the same for Team USA who played much of the same lineups they did in their last game against Puerto Rico. Anthony Edwards led the team in scoring with 15 points once again with his impressive combination of size, athleticism, and skill. Edwards is a dominant force on the floor in these games and it’s clear that a lot of these foreign national teams are going to struggle to contain him.
That athleticism and size is the biggest advantage for this USA team, and it’s clear that Steve Kerr is leaning into that advantage by trying to open the floor up as much as possible. With Jaren Jackson Jr. on the floor, it allows a five-out option that allows the US to have a ton of open space to work with. With that space, players like Brandon Ingram, Mikal Bridges, and Paolo Banchero can dominate their matchups, and it has led to a spread scoring attack for the US that is near impossible to stop.
There was an interesting change in this one. In the second quarter, Steve Kerr went to Bobby Portis as the backup center once again, but it was a mixed bag. Portis made some plays on the offensive end but gave up baskets on the other, and Kerr switched things to a non-center lineup that worked pretty well. It does not appear that Walker Kessler is going to get a lot of minutes outside of garbage time in this tournament. Perhaps there’s a moment when they need size and defense, but outside of spot minutes, it doesn’t look like it’ll happen.
Slovenia was without Luka Doncic, and it was clear they weren’t anywhere near able to compete with this team. Tomorrow, Team USA takes on Spain, and it will be a much bigger test for the US than they’ve had so far.