Need your basketball fix? Well, Team USA is giving us the hook-up … you addict.
The FIBA World Cup is currently underway in China and the drama for Team USA is already high. With a number of NBA stars choosing not to participate in the event, the US was left with a rather depleted roster heading into the preliminary round this past weekend.
While things went according to plan during Game 1 against the Czech Republic (other than new Bulls point guard Tomas Satoransky going off), Game 2 showed us why this Team USA squad comes with its fair share of skepticism.
Matching up against Turkey, Team USA struggled to gain a real substantial lead from the start. The ship appeared to be riding smoothly in the midst of the second quarter when the US was able to grab a 15-point lead, but that would be the team’s largest of the night, and Turkey would eventually battle back.
By the time halftime hit, Turkey brought Team USA’s lead down to five. Long story short, the second half was a dogfight and Turkey took the lead 81-79 with 12 seconds to go in the 4th quarter thanks to a tip-in bucket by Irsan Ilyasova.
ERSAN ILYASOVA 😱
— Basketball World Cup (@FIBAWC) September 3, 2019
Now, let the choking commence!
Turkey fouled Jayson Tatum on a last-second three-point shot attempt and the young NBA star nailed two of three from the charity stripe. The two teams headed into overtime and, once again, Turkey found themselves up with only seconds remaining.
Team USA sent Turkish player Dogus Balbay to line with nine seconds to go and he bricked both free throws. Then, the Cleveland Cavaliers Cedi Osman drew a foul of his own and went to the line for Turkey … again bricking both free throws.
Team USA grabs the rebound, Kris Middleton draws a foul and he makes both at the line with two seconds left in the game to win it 93-92 for the US. Wow, now that’s an impressive choke job, right?
Khris Middleton's free throws lift the United States over Turkey in the group stage of the FIBA Basketball World Cup! pic.twitter.com/eU5sAHlUwC
— ESPN (@espn) September 3, 2019
Hey, good for Team USA, but all I’m saying is if Zach LaVine was on this team, the team would have probably won that game 101-0. Easy.