Suns’ Aron Baynes expects Team USA to have a chip on their shoulder after looming doubts
Phoenix Suns big man Aron Baynes is expecting a battle in the upcoming two games the Australian national team will endure against a younger rendition of Team USA, one that has been doubted and counted out after a wave of dropouts from this 2019 FIBA World Cup opportunity.
Baynes noted the Americans won’t be an easy task due to their talent, indicating this squad USA Basketball has trotted out could show up motivated with a lot to prove:
“The team the US is bringing in, there’s All Stars, future All Stars… they’re pretty good basketball players – I’ve played with a few of them,” Baynes told ESPN. “They’re going to come down here, they’re the reigning champs and we have to dethrone them… it might even put a bit of a chip on their shoulders, everyone talking about them not being as good as they could be.”
Australia will take on Team USA in back-to-back affairs, first on Thursday, Aug. 22 and then again on Saturday, Aug. 24 before the Americans finish their exhibition schedule against Canada on Monday, Aug. 26.
Baynes is plenty familiar with three of the players in Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart — all Boston Celtics players whom he shared at least two seasons with during his time with the team. While not stars, they have potential to be big contributors for this team, which now only has one cut to make after De’Aaron Fox dropped out this weekend, choosing to focus on the upcoming NBA season.