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Team USA’s Key Lessons from FIBA World Cup Defeat Against Lithuania

Team USA has encountered various challenges in the 2023 FIBA World Cup. A loss to Lithuania may have raised concerns, but it helps to put the result in context. 

This setback highlights the team’s ongoing issue: its lack of importance compared to its international competitors.

Team USA’s Size Challenge: Pursuing Gold

Lack of size is one of the American team’s most evident disadvantages. 

This has been a reoccurring challenge for Team USA in international competitions and may continue to be so. 

However, the team has devised strategies to counteract this disadvantage effectively.

Coach Steve Kerr and the USA Basketball leadership have embraced their swift guards and versatile wings rather than attempting to find taller players to compete with more elevated opponents. 

The team depends primarily on guards and forwards who can defend larger opponents, with only one true center, Walker Kessler, in the rotation.

Kerr stresses the significance of weighing trade-offs when determining a game plan. 

The team compensates for its lack of large amounts with speed and defensive flexibility, a proven effective strategy.

Lithuania, one of the competition’s largest and most potent teams, presented an overwhelming challenge. 

They utilized their height advantage and showed extraordinary three-point shooting ability. Astonishingly, Lithuania made its first nine 3-point attempts in the contest. 

The team’s ability to fire from beyond the arc has been a defining characteristic throughout the tournament.

The loss to Lithuania may evoke memories of the United States’ failure to Greece in 2006. 

Greece, like Lithuania, was a formidable adversary, and they made improbable goals to secure the victory. 

It is important to note that Team USA’s ultimate objective remains to obtain the gold medal despite this recent defeat.

The breadth and substance of Lithuania pose a genuine challenge for Team USA. 

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Team USA’s Quest for Gold Amid Rebounding Challenges

Team USA has encountered various challenges in the 2023 FIBA World Cup. A loss to Lithuania may have raised concerns, but it helps to put the result in context.

Lithuania would undoubtedly dominate the battle for offensive rebounds if the two teams met multiple times. 

In the second half of the match against Lithuania, the United States’ ability to outscore their opponents was evident.

As the tournament progresses, Team USA would be prudent to advocate for any team competing against Lithuania. 

The team’s marksmanship prowess makes them a formidable World Cup contender

On the other hand, Team USA must resolve its rebounding issues, as they could hinder their medal hopes.

Why does the United States roster lack more prominent players? The NBA rosters reveal the availability of American centers at the center position. 

In the 2019 World Cup, the United States utilized three traditional large centers, but they could have been more effective. 

In contrast, the United States introduced more petite, more versatile centers to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, and they won gold.

While efforts have been made to recruit Joel Embiid, his compatibility with the team’s style of play is still being determined. 

Moreover, his national team availability is pending.  Anthony Davis is a second possibility, and he has expressed interest in returning, but his participation is uncertain.

Team USA confronts Italy in the quarterfinals, a match that presents its challenges. Italy’s powerful offensive rebounding and three-point marksmanship make them a formidable opponent. 

Team USA must concentrate on overcoming obstacles and pursuing gold, as each match is crucial. 

Nothing can be taken for granted in the competitive arena of international basketball.

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