Team USA handed brutal reality check
Team USA have been losing players left right and centre over the past few weeks and it appears those pulling out of the upcoming FIBA World Cup has taken its toll.
As the star power opts to remain home and focus on the 2019-20 NBA season, those still in the squad were dealt a brutal reality check.
The squad, which doesn't contain any of the superstars Team USA normally roll out with, took on a Select Team featuring "G-League and players from overseas".
Here's the LA Select Team roster USA Basketball assembled, mostly from the FIBA World Cup qualifiers, currently scrimmaging in LA tonight versus the 15 NBA players vying to make the World Cup Team. Cool to see USA Basketball reward some of the guys that helped get them to China. pic.twitter.com/5kni54gRd0— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) August 14, 2019
What unfolded wasn't what anybody expected.
Team USA were comprehensively swept off the floor by the Select Team 36-17 in a 10 minute session that was unfortunately open to the media. It wasn't a fluke either with Team USA going down twice to their lesser opponents.
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It's not as if Team USA were holding back, they finished the game with a line-up featuring All-Star Kemba Walker, Donovan Mitchell, Harrison Barnes, P.J Tucker and Brook Lopez.
Team USA coaches Gregg Popovich and Steve Kerr will be left with plenty of question marks over their squad which will be trimmed from 15 down to 12 in the coming days.
A scrappy squad of players featuring some who played in @FIBAWC qualifying for @usabasketball and are being coached again this week by Jeff Van Gundy just took it to the USAB senior national team in a scrimmage open at the end to the media. Final score: 36-17— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 14, 2019
Team USA kick start their campaign to the FIBA World Cup in China with an exhibition game against Spain on Saturday.
They've continually been struck down by big name players pulling out with the list seemingly growing every day. NBA stars including perennial Anthony Davis, James Harden, Damien Lillard and DeMar DeRozan have all opted out.
The humiliating display against the Select Team doesn't bode well for the perennial powerhouse before they head Down Under to take on the Australian Boomers.
Along with Team USA, Canada and New Zealand will also land in Australia for seven games to take place across the country.
The seven game series kicks off on Friday, August 16 when the Boomers take on Canada in two games in Perth.
PRE-WORLD CUP GAMES IN AUSTRALIA (AEST)
August 16: Australia vs Canada in Perth - 7:30pm on SBS Viceland and SBS on Demand
August 17: Australia vs Canada in Perth - 7:30pm on SBS Viceland and SBS on Demand
August 20: Canada vs New Zealand in Sydney - 7:30pm on SBS on Demand
August 21: Canada vs New Zealand in Sydney - 7:30pm on SBS on Demand
August 22: USA v Australia in Melbourne - 7:30pm on SBS Viceland and SBS on Demand
August 24: USA v Australia in Melbourne - 2pm on SBS Viceland and SBS on Demand
August 26: USA v Canada in Sydney - 7:30pm on SBS Viceland and SBS on Demand
WHEN DOES THE WORLD CUP BEGIN
The 2019 FIBA World Cup will kick off in China on August 31 and will run until September 15 when the winner will be decided.
Eight groups consisting of four nations per group will fight for the ultimate glory with each nation playing three group stage games with the top two in each group advancing to the second stage.
From there the top two from each second stage group will advance into the quarterfinals where the games will become knockout style games.
BOOMERS' WORLD CUP GROUP GAMES
September 1: Australia vs Canada @ 7:30pm
September 3: Australia vs Senegal @ 7:30pm
September 5: Australia vs Lithuania @ 7:30pm
As if the Team USA drubbing vs. the Select Team wasn’t bad enough, sources tell @TheAthletic that it was their second loss to the Select Team on the day (the first one was by three, with the game going just 10 minutes). Not a great way to go into Friday’s exhibition v. Spain.— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) August 14, 2019
A collection of G-League/overseas players beat Team USA (closing line up of K. Walker, D. Mitchell, H. Barnes, PJ Tucker and B. Lopez handily in a scrimmage just now to close USA practice. Great effort from the unheralded group.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) August 14, 2019