Tied at 29 to Australia at the end of the first quarter, the U.S. Men’s National team would find themselves down 54-49 at halftime. In the second half the Americans opened up with a 9-0 run but Australia would fight back and make the game close. The U.S. would ultimately grind it out and get the win with a final score of 98-88 with Carmelo Anthony leading all scorers with 31 points .
The U.S. didn’t seem as aggressive as they have been, they didn’t have many trips to the free throw line. They also didn’t execute on defensive as well as they should and there was a lot of miscommunications. On the bright side Carmelo Anthony was hot and went 9/15 beyond the three point line. Kyrie Irving also took over in the fourth quarter and hit some big shots to help the U.S. take the W.
Ball Movement. Australia’s ball movement was great and they capitalized whenever the U.S. made a mistake. Former Warrior Andrew Bogut made a living off delivering passes out of the high post to cutting teammates.
Defensive struggles. The U.S. switches on nearly every single screen. That allowed for some easy back door cuts for the Aussies, as well as open looks from three point land.
Winning Time. In the fourth quarter, Kyrie and Melo scored nearly every point for their team. They scored the first 23 points of the quarter, coming up big when it mattered most. Anthony is a tough cover in the NBA and even tougher in the international game.
Physicality. The Aussies played the Americans tough, one of the key factors being their size and physicality. It bothered the U.S. all game, but the mismatch of Melo was just a bit too much to overcome.
Second Chances. The U.S. won the battle on the offensive glass which led to some second chance points. It was a big reason as to how they stayed in the game during their rough shooting stretches.