Team USA has officially qualified for the 2020 Olympics Games in Tokyo following their 89-73 win over Brazil.
Myles Turner put together his best since the start of FIBA World Cup play with 16 points (72.7% FG), 8 rebounds, and 2 steals. His performance was good enough to earn Player of the Game honors.
The defensive strategy that Brazil deployed allowed Myles to receive his largest offensive role from any of his FIBA World Cup performances so far. He took full advantage of the opportunities and ultimately left the opposition without the chance to adjust.
The top objective for Brazil’s defense was to favor protecting the paint over getting out to close out on the center. This allowed for Myles to have more than enough time to comfortably get his shot off on numerous possessions, whether it was after slipping a ball screen or spotting up.
Showing the rest of the remaining FIBA competition that overhelping and sending extra ball pressure will result in open jumpers for a reliable shooter should only help Team USA’s offense going forward. If teams were to stay home more on Myles, it would open up the paint and alleviate ball pressure for the team’s talented guards.
Brazil tried to use their big defender to provide additional pressure to the ball handler in the pick-and-roll at times. Myles took advantage of this to create finishes at the basket on numerous occasions. The big defender had too much ground to cover to be able to recover and the floor spacing of the unit neutralized the help defense.
Even when Brazil tried to use a more neutral approach in the pick-and-roll, Myles found success. After making the catch, he read that the defender was trying to cut him off before getting to the block. Myles countered that approach with a spin move going towards the paint and capped off the sequence with a left-hand jump hook.
Myles provided his usual on defense and on the boards as the anchor of the unit in addition to tying Kemba Walker as Team USA’s leading scorer in the game. They were able to routinely force the opposition into taking less than ideal shots through protecting the paint and Brazil was unable to overcome that through perimeter shooting.
It is safe to say that Team USA has been strong defensively as a whole and now it appears that their offense is progressing as well. Becoming comfortable with the style of play in FIBA along with adjusting to new teammates takes time but they appear to be on schedule.
Team USA is back in action on Wednesday when they face France with a tipoff time of 7 PM EDT at the Dongfeng Nissan Cultural and Sports Centre. That game can be streamed via the ESPN+ app.