USA Basketball routs Dominican Republic by 35 in 2014 FIBA World Cup
Once again, it was the bigs that carried USA Basketball to victory in the 2014 FIBA World Cup. Against a team playing without its best player, Kenneth Faried and DeMarcus Cousins combined to score 29 points in USA’s 106-71 blowout of the Dominican Republic on Wednesday.
The Americans carried a 15-point lead going into halftime, finding their footing after the intermission. They blew through the Dominicans in the third period, outscoring the opposition 25 to 11 in the quarter after halftime.
Notes and Analysis
- The Sacramento Kings’ two stars both had solid offensive performances in the victory. Cousins finished as Team USA’s second-leading scorer with 13 points on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting. Meanwhile, Gay chipped in all nine of his points before halftime.
- In addition to scoring, Cousins was also an expert thief in the win. The Sacramento Kings big man recorded a game-high six steals for Team USA. In comparison, the Dominicans as a whole finished with just five steals.
- Cousins’ size was too much for the Dominican Republic. The Sacramento Kings’ starting center had no difficulty attacking the Dominicans straight up and down in the low post. The Dominicans lost some much-needed size after 7-foot, Kentucky freshmen Karl-Anthony Towns left the team right before the tournament.
- Anthony Davis might be Team USA’s MVP, but Faried is their x-factor. The Denver Nuggets power forward led the Americans with 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting and six rebounds.
- What’s most impressive about Faried is that he’s rarely getting a play called for him on the offensive side of the floor. The 24-year-old big man is getting the majority of his scoring opportunities by either running the court or cleaning up the offensive glass. Today was much of the same for the Denver Nuggets forward.
- Team USA has won their first four-games handedly, but there are still areas of concern they need to address. Their 3-point shooting continues to be problematic and today, they shot an inefficient 6-of-21 from distance.
- James Harden has been one of USA’s guards that’s struggled from deep. He went just 1-of-4 from 3-point range against the Dominican Republic. He still managed to score a solid 10 points largely due to his ability to attack the basket and draw fouls. He tied the Sacramento Kings’ duo of Cousins and Gay with a team-high five free throw attempts.
- Through four games, Team USA still has the look of a squad that can be beat. They are at their best when they’re creating turnovers and scoring in the open court. However, they are at their worst when forced to operate in the half court.
- Coming into Wednesday’s game, Francisco Garcia was averaging 21 points per contest and ranked as one of the tournament’s top-five scorers. However, head coach Orlando Antigua opted to rest the former Sacramento Kings swingman, who was suffering from a sore ankle, in preparation for the Dominicans’ match-up against Turkey on Thursday.
Tweet of the Game
Cousins had 6 steals? Wow. He is one of the best stealing big men in the league thanks to his quick hands.
— Akis Yerocostas (@Aykis16) September 3, 2014