Team USA begins its defense of the FIBA World Cup today against Finland in Pool C play.
To say that Team USA is considered the overwhelming favorite is about as useful as declaring a shotgun a better weapon to bring to a knife fight. All 12 of the men on Team USA’s roster should see a good chunk of playing time today – yes, even you, Mason Plumlee!
Finland is led by Drew Gooden, who . . . wait, Gooden failed to gain eligibility in time to make the final roster. Hmmm. Well, there are two players with NBA experience on team Finland: Erik Murphy, who played 62 total minutes for the Chicago Bulls last season and scored 6 points total, and Hanno Mottola, who last suited up for the Atlanta Hawks in 2002, which was only his second year in the league.
Go Team Finland!
Meanwhile, Team USA features five All-Stars: James Harden, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, DeMar DeRozan, and Kyrie Irving. In addition, DeMarcus Cousins probably should have been an All-Star last season . . . Derrick Rose actually has an NBA MVP award under his belt . . . Klay Thompson is probably a future All-Star . . . oof.
My pick? Team USA 105, Finland 68.
For those of you looking to watch Team USA today, be prepared to stay up late: the game will be broadcast on NBA TV at the unfriendly hour of 11 p.m. Eastern time! Why, NBA TV, why? THERE IS NO OTHER BASKETBALL ON!!!!
Anyway, check back in with us, as we’ll be breaking down the action and providing highlights for those of you can’t watch the action. Enjoy!