It’s no secret that the United States basketball team did not come into the FIBA World Cup as favorites this year, and their performance in their second group stage match on Tuesday underlined just why that was. The Americans, taking on #17 Turkey, had to go into overtime to squeak one out in the end, winning 93-92 over the valiant underdogs.
It took a whole lot of luck, too, for them to just get in the position to have a chance to win the game, with the Turks missing four key free throws- in a row- to hand the US a chance on a golden platter. The ‘nightmare’ team finally obliged, despite a consistent misunderstanding of the rules of international basketball along the way. Kemba Walker was the standout performer in OT, scoring five of his 14 points in the extra period. Khris Middleton, who finished with 15, was the man that sealed the game up, knocking down two free throws with 2.1 seconds left to seal it away. Unfortunately, the USA lost Jayson Tatum to a sprained ankle in the victory, further diminishing the end result. Elsewhere, Giannis Antetekounmpo’s Greece team lost to Brazil 79-78 and only recorded 13 points. He was then ridiculed by the Brazilian coach for not being able to do more against a nearly 40 year-old. International basketball. Crazy, huh?