Team USA had their best shooting performance as they beat Mexico to head into the quarterfinals against Slovenia.
They faced each other during group play. It was a 30 point win for team USA against the Dragic brothers. Anthony Davis played a very good game, while Steph Curry and Klay Thompson struggled. Steph fouled out in the fourth quarter. Curry and Thompson combined to shoot 9-18 from three against Mexico. These are three things to watch for when team USA takes on Slovenia on Tuesday.
1. Steph Curry’s Encore
Stephen Curry has been shooting the ball a lot better recently. Curry hit 3 three pointers in the 1st half against Mexico then he quickly hit three more in the 3rd quarter. He had a personal 11-0 run in the 3rd before sitting the rest of the game. Team USA finally hit over 10 threes in a game as they went 13-29. Curry was 6-9 from downtown and he seems to be in a groove. I expect him to keep shooting and if he gets hot again the game will be over quickly.
2. Team USA start
Team USA started strong against Mexico quickly jumping out to an 11-2 lead. Mexico responded with a 7-0 run. The ball movement was good which led to open three pointers for Steph Curry. The defense was also impressive as they held Mexico to 13 points in the 1st quarter, followed by 14 in the 2nd quarter. They need to jump on teams early and keep the pressure on throughout the game. We know they can beat Slovenia but the defensive effort has to be there from the start. A strong start allows the team to play with more confidence.
3. Balance Attack
In group play Anthony Davis and Kenneth Faried led the team. In the game against Mexico they were quiet because the guards got it going. Faried and Davis had a combined 12 points and 14 rebounds. DeMarcus Cousins had the best game among the big men on the team, adding 11 points and 7 rebounds off the bench. I want to see this team have a balanced attack where the guards and big men both have an impact. Davis was only 2-9 in the game and he missed shots he normally makes. Faried had good energy grabbing 6 offensive rebounds but he missed 4 shots in the game which is the most he has missed in any game. He shoots 74.5% from the field. Davis and Faried need to have a balanced attack with Curry and Harden.