USA Basketball tested by Turkey in second win at 2014 FIBA World Cup


Against Turkey, USA Basketball got their first real scare in this year’s FIBA World Cup. The 2010 silver medalists played Team USA tough until the Americans found their groove late in the third quarter.  The U.S. used a 10-0 run between the third and fourth periods to spark themselves to a 98-77 victory over the Turks in their second game of the FIBA World Cup.

Anthony Davis and Kenneth Faried led the way for Team USA. The Americans’ starting frontline came alive in the second half, combining to score 41 points and grab 14 rebounds.

Notes and Analysis

  • The box score may suggest that DeMarcus Cousins had a good game off the bench, but offensive stats tell only half the story. Cousins finished with an efficient 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting, but left something to be desired on the defensive end of the floor.
  • The Sacramento Kings starting center posted a plus/minus of -11 while on the court for Team USA. His struggles on the defensive end made head coach Mike Krzyzewski turn to Mason Plumlee as his first big man off the bench in the second half.
  • Like Cousins, Rudy Gay was not very effective for the Americans either. The Sacramento Kings veteran played under 10 minutes while committing four fouls and scoring no points. It was not a good outing for the two Sacramento Kings leaders on defense.
  • Turkey went into halftime with a 40-35 lead over USA. They accomplished this by playing zone defense, daring the Americans’ weaker shooters to beat them from the perimeter. It worked for most of the contest as Team USA settled for bad jump shots instead of moving the basketball.
  • To illustrate how poor the Americans’ shot selection was early in the game, here’s an example. In the first quarter, USA shot just 1-of-9 from behind the arc.
  • Stephen Curry struggled majorly to find his offensive rhythm in this game. He finished an uncharacteristic 3-of-11 from the field with nine points in the win.
  • The Turks’ methodical style of play also restricted the Americans from getting out in the open court early in the game. Turkey forced Team USA to operate in the half court, which yielded ugly results. The Americans committed nine of their 12 turnovers in the first half.

 

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About: Jonathan Santiago

Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.