Team USA weaknesses exposed in loss to France – ESPN

Team USA weaknesses exposed in loss to France - ESPN
US mens basketball falls to France in World Cup quarterfinals, snapping impressive win streak
The United States’ winning streak in international competitions ended Wednesday with a loss to France in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

The U.S. had won 58 consecutive tournament games in FIBA and Olympic competitions, starting with the bronze-medal game at the 2006 world championships before the 89-79 loss to France in the World Cup quarterfinals. The U.S. had won two straight World Cups before the defeat.

The United States had won 58 straight tournament games with NBA players in FIBA and Olympic competition before the loss.

Video: USA vs France – Full Game Highlights | Quarter Finals | FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019

Despite the loss, the U.S. did secure a berth into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but can only finish at least fifth in the World Cup tournament.

The U.S. led by seven points in the fourth quarter after being down by as much as 10 early in the second half. However, a surge by France snapped that lead.

With 17 of their top NBA players pulling out of the roster in the build-up to the tournament in China, the U.S. lacked depth but their coach Gregg Popovich, the winner of five NBA titles with the San Antonio Spurs, refused to make excuses.

France had been 0-9 against the U.S. in major international play before Wednesday's win. Evan Fournier scored 22 points while Rudy Gobert scored 21 points and recorded 16 rebounds in the win.

The United States, favourites to win their third successive and sixth overall world title, dropped into the 5-8th place playoffs after they failed to reach the medal rounds for the first time since the 2002 tournament in Indianapolis.

Basketball-France knock holders U.S. out of World Cup last eight

Before the World Cup even began, Gobert had a warning for Mitchell if the two so happened to meet near the rim: Pass the ball or shoot a really high floater, he told The New York Times.

With the United States trailing by four in the closing minute, Gobert got switched onto Mitchell on the perimeter. Mitchell drove left and around Gobert, got to the rim and tried a reverse layup.

Having ground out a barely deserved 93-92 overtime win over Turkey in the preliminary group stage, there was to be no escape for the U.S. this time against an athletic French side who dominated them in every department.

Team USA hungry for challenge France seems poised to provide

Gobert had 21 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks to lead France to a shocking 89-79 win in the FIBA World Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday.

REUTERSFrance put an end to the U.S. mens basketball teams chance of taking home a gold at the FIBA World Cup, winning 89-79 in the quarterfinal round. The loss broke the U.S. teams streak of 58 consecutive wins and for the first time since the 2006 world championships, the team failed to secure gold at a major international tournament, ESPN reports. The U.S. men were bidding to become the first nation to win three consecutive basketball World Cups. The U.S. team has secured a spot in the 2020 Olympics, but the best it can do in China is finish fifth. We knew it wasnt going to be easy. A lot of people counted us out, but we got the win, said French player Rudy Gobert, an erstwhile Utah Jazz center who scored 21 points.

Video: USA v France Preview | Best Plays of each team so far | FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019

But dont expect him to be too harsh on Mitchell when the Jazz reconvene later this month for training camp.

I dont think thats the way I am, Gobert said when asked about bragging rights. I like to talk a little trash, but you know this kind of competition — I just lost to Australia a few days ago and it really hurt. I love Joe (Ingles), but I wanted to slap him. Those experiences will just make us better. This experience will make Donovan better. I have a goal for the national team, but we have a goal in Utah also and Im excited for both.

France hasn't played any zone defense at World Cup, but that doesn't mean that they won't play any zone on Wednesday. Given their size (they start five guys 6-foot-6 or taller), the French would be able to extend that zone out high. The United States struggled against the zone in its overtime win against Turkey in its second World Cup game, but has improved its execution in its three games since.

Rudy Gobert was the best player in that game.He had 21 and 16 boardsFrance was +26 in his 34 minutes on the courtOh, and he did this to his Jazz teammate in a huge momentCongrats France 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/7EKR58ca3B

"There's going to be a lot of trash talk for sure," Mitchell said Monday. "I think that makes this fun, being able to compete against your teammates in a setting outside of the NBA. For me, I've heard so much about FIBA basketball, heard so much about the last time France played the USA, when they played Spain with Ricky [Rubio], when they played against Australia.

Video: Rudy Gobert | USA v France | TCL Player of the Game – FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019

In the closing minutes, Gobert had two blocks — the one on Mitchell and one on Kemba Walker — and an emphatic two-handed slam as part of an 11-0 run by France that eliminated a five-point American lead.

Team USA Dropkicked Out Of World Cup By Rudy Gobert And … Frank Ntilikina?

Gobert was 6-for-12 from the field and was 9-for-10 from the free-throw line as he exploited the USAs lack of size in the paint. Gobert was able to remain effective after struggling a bit to start the second half when the USA went small and even using Marcus Smart to guard him.

Third-ranked France carved out a 51-41 lead early in the third quarter at the Dongguan Basketball Center, but the Americans, who were last eliminated from the medal rounds in the 2002 tournament on home soil in Indianapolis, appeared to have turned the tide when they surged ahead 72-65.

Gobert was a game-high plus-26 in 34 minutes. The plus/minus stat doesnt always ring true, but that was an accurate representation of the kind of impact Gobert had against the United States. He was considered the best player in the game before the tip and he showed why.

The French forced the final twist in the closing stages, thanks to effervescent performances by Utah Jazz centre Rudy Gobert, who finished with 21 points and 16 rebounds, and Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier who netted 22 points.

And he made what looked to be a legendary performance from his Jazz teammate nothing more than a footnote in the tournament.

In the third quarter, the Americans needed a spark badly. France was up by 10, Walker, the USAs leading scorer, was struggling and the French were on the verge of pulling away.

Mitchell scored 14 of his game-high 29 points in the third quarter to not only erase Frances lead but give the United States a three-point advantage heading into the final frame.

He made acrobatic layups, rattled home 3-pointers and had a rim-rocking one-handed dunk. It was Mitchell at his scoring best.

I could care less about the 29,” Mitchell said. “The only thing that sticks out is what I did wrong. … Whether its 29 or 0, we lost.

Through three quarters, he was 12-for-20. He missed his only three shot attempts in the fourth quarter.

France will play Argentina on Friday in the semifinals on Friday. The USA will play Serbia on Thursday in the classification bracket on Thursday.

Whats Next For USA Basketball After Its Stunning World Cup Loss to Fr

Joe Ingles beat Donovan Mitchells USA in a pre-World Cup exhibition and he beat Rudy Goberts French team during the second round of group play.

Basketball: Huge shock as France knock holders out of World Cup in last eight but US coach wont make excuses

Joe Ingles had six points, five rebounds and four assists in Australias 82-70 win over the Czech Republic to advance to the semifinals where the Boomers will play a Spain team led by former Jazz guard Ricky Rubio.

Ingles was 3-for-7 from the field (0-for-4 from the 3-point line) and played a team-high 33 minutes in a game that the Boomers led by as many as 17 points.


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