Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell admits Australia made Team USA realize that FIBA basketball is a ‘dog fight’
Team USA won their first two exhibition matches before suffering a stunning defeat at the hands of Australia on Saturday, and according to Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, it made them realize that the upcoming FIBA World Cup is going to be really tough.
“The main thing we learned is that this is a dogfight” Mitchell said, per John Karalis of MassLive. It’s a little bit different than NBA basketball. I think that’s one thing we’re getting used to. These teams have played with each other since they were much younger. We have about three or four weeks under our belt. So, we have to be able to match that chemistry, match that intensity as quickly as we possibly can.”
The Americans were unable to put away the Australians in the second of their back-to-back exhibition games in Melbourne. Moreover, they had no answer for Boomers guard Patty Mills who scored 30 points — including 13 of the team’s 20 points in the fourth quarter.
Inexperience could doom Team USA come the FIBA World Cup where they will be facing opponents that have been playing together for a long time. USA Basketball is filled with talent, but they have to gel and play as a cohesive unit as soon as possible if they want any chance of defending their title in China.
The loss against the Boomers is certainly a wake-up call for Team USA. Now, they need to respond and open their eyes to the reality they are facing.