After a somewhat dramatic game last Sunday for USA Basketball in the team’s performance ahead of the World Cup, the Americans left no doubt in the air when they beat Greece 108-86 in Abu Dhabi on Friday night. Steve Kerr’s side never trailed in a win, going 4-0 on their tour, with the final set against Germany on Sunday (Noon ET on Fox and the Fox Sports app).

The Greeks made it interesting, but only for a moment. With a 12–0 run to regain some momentum to cut the USA’s lead to 37–31, the Americans needed someone to answer. The same man who was presenting these kinds of plays did exactly that, and was just beginning his masterful display over the Greeks.

Anthony Edwards hit a jumper from the foul to re-establish control. While Greece were within 11 runs at the interval Minnesota Timberwolves The superstar scored 12 of his game-high 21 points in the first four minutes of the third quarter to put the Greeks to bed.

[Fanta: USA tested, but Jalen Brunson, Anthony Edwards power Americans past Spain]

With six players scoring in double digits and 11 players recording double-digit minutes in the matchup, Friday’s game showcased the depth of this team, assembled by first-year USA Managing Director Grant Hill. Here are the takeaways from the victory.

Anthony Edwards deserves a spot on the Olympic roster next summer

It is not even hot at this time. Edwards is looking to become one of the best players in the NBA. In my opinion, he is already a superstar at the age of 22, having demonstrated his arsenal in the playoffs last April nuggets And this showcase of the United States is just adding to it. In four games, he is averaging 15.5 points on 27 of 53 from the floor.

Anthony Edwards steals in and

As Hill and his group decide on their Olympic roster for next summer in Paris, getting Edwards onto that team will be no easy task. He has made the game look easy in international competition and could be a major reason for the United States team’s claim to the World Cup title.

Bobby Portis Gives experience and strength to this team

This United States team is one of the youngest groups ever assembled in the country’s international tournament history, with an average age of 25.2. None of the players in the team have experience of a single game of international tournament at the senior level.

With this in mind, this showcase has been helpful in not only helping Americans fall into a rhythm, but also develop an identity. When it comes to showing great play on the defensive end or adding intensity and attitude on the field, Bobby Portis has played that role to perfection. With less than four minutes left in the third quarter on Friday, the 2021 world champion milwaukee bucks flew over the rim for a play of the game.

Bobby Portis hits one-handed slam to increase Team USA’s lead against Greece

Not only does Portis provide that kind of explosiveness, but the fact that he can step in as Team USA’s center and look equally comfortable shows just how much versatility Steve Kerr has to work with. starting point sal jackson jr, Only played 10 minutes on Friday. The United States did not require him to play any major role as Kerr chose to give utah jazz All-NBA Rookie Team selection Walker Kessler scored a few more runs with 16 minutes.

In 11 minutes, Portis provided 10 points, seven rebounds, and his plus/minus was +14. When the veteran is on the court, good things usually happen for the Americans.

the extraordinary performance of the lakers Austin Reeves continues to shine

Has anyone’s stock gone up more than Reeves over the past six months? The man who became the third option during Los Angeles Lakers‘ Playoff run, very happy Lebron Jamesgot its due in July with a four-year, $56 million early bird maximum contract extension.

Earlier this week, reports emerged that Reeves has really impressed Kerr and his staff in this early run of the World Cup. In 15 minutes on Friday, the 25-year-old sharpshooter had 11 points while shooting 2-3 from downtown.

In international competition, it’s clearly important to identify your leader in clutch situations, and this USA team features Edwards as well as Jalen Brunson. But complementary shot-making will be crucial for this group to win the World Cup title. After a 10-of-18 performance from downtown in Sunday’s win over Spain, the US went 11 of 26 from 3-point range on Friday. This is a huge change from only 25% shooting in his first two showcase games. What’s impressive about Reeves is that he’s shown his ability to attack the rim and finish with plays like these:

Austin Reeves completes layup with foul to extend Team USA’s lead over Greece

Reeves has proven to be a really nice tool in Kerr’s box off the bench. His basketball IQ is excellent and he doesn’t try to do much.

Brooklyn Nets Bridges, Johnson pairing has been productive

While the Nets restructured their organization last season, they continue to find great assets for their future and find that they’ve got quite the rising duo in the form of Mickael Bridges and Cam Johnson.

After the pair were included in the Kevin Durant blockbuster deal last February, they played some of the best basketball of their respective careers in Brooklyn. led Johnson will get a four-year deal worth $108 million as he and Bridges would continue to team for years to come.

After combining for 21 points in Sunday’s win over Spain, the duo had 23 and six assists on Friday, with Johnson hitting three triples off the bench. Bringing in tall wings who could play defensively and also shoot was a priority for Hill in building his team. Having found a pair of teammates who are comfortable playing off each other and who understand their roles well has made them a really good fit for this team.

Team USA vs Greece Highlights

Got some work to do against Germany this Sunday

turnover. Whether or not the USA blew an 18-point lead early in the second quarter, the Americans played a somewhat sloppy role in Friday’s victory.

For the second game in a row, Team USA turned the ball over 20 times Tyrese Halliburton And Johnson is contributing four of those gifts. It didn’t become an issue in Friday’s defeat, but it will be important for this team to avoid complacency heading into the Games to win the World Cup.

The Americans allowed Greece two possessions at the half of the second quarter on Friday, simply because they took their foot off the gas pedal. Being clean with the basketball is something Kerr and the staff will likely look to improve upon as they prepare for Sunday.

Apart from that, Friday went according to plan against Greece. A final tune-up will come this weekend before the team heads to the Philippines, where it will begin its World Cup opening round action on August 26.

John Fanta is a national college basketball broadcaster and writer for Fox Sports. He covers sports in various capacities, ranging from calling games on FS1 to serving as lead host on the Big East Digital Network to providing on-field commentary for the 68 Media Network. Follow him on Twitter @john_fanta,

to follow Follow your Favorites to personalize your FOX Sports experience

National Basketball Association

Minnesota Timberwolves

Anthony Edwards

National Basketball Association

Get more from the National Basketball Association Follow your favorites to stay up to date on games, news and more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *