On Tuesday, the USA men emerged victorious against their Turkish opponents by just 1 point.
That’s right, the final score was just 93 – 92, making it a win by the cat’s whiskers. It seems that the Turkish side was tough, and proved a tougher competition than Sunday’s opponents Czech Republic.
Tuesday’s game just goes to show that the USA side is in for a challenge in this year’s FIBA World Cup. It’s either the USA team is not in their best form, or they have greatly underrated their opponents and are in for a surprise. But it is too early to conclude just yet, and we would just have to watch coming games to see if the USA is set to retain its title.
The game, which went into overtime, saw the Turkey side leading 92 – 91 making USA’s win a mere stroke of luck.
Turkey’s inability to make a few shots, plus two lucky throws from the USA side decided the final fate of the game. Today’s game brings to mind USA’s loss to Australia last month, and has got people wondering if indeed the team is ready for this year’s tournament.
True, the USA squad is not made up of some of the biggest names in the NBA, but these boys would still have to prove themselves as they are good in their own right. Khris Middleton of the Milwaukee Bucks was the one whose two last free throws helped bring the US from 91 to 93, securing their win.
An interesting thing to note is that both sides headed into overtime at 81-81, and that was also by mere luck because if free throws had not been awarded to Jayson Tatum, the Turkish team would have won the game 81 – 79.
The Turkish side proved their worth as even in OT, their lead was clear. It was only after Tatum went down due to an ankle injury that USA had the opportunity to win – and that’s thanks to the free throws by Middleton.
That goes to show that there is only one way to describe Tuesday’s game – luck. And the USA men would need more than that in the long run when they face fiercer opponents. There was a lot of air ball, especially the one by Kemba Walker, missing a whopping three points.
The USA men would face Japan on Friday, September 5th, and maybe then, they can show just exactly the stuff they are made of.
Written by: Leon Osamor