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Team USA coach Gregg Popovich encouraged by Myles Turner, Jaylen Brown’s performances

Gregg Popovich, Myles Turner, Jaylen Brown, Spurs, Pacers, Celtics, Team USA

For the first time in a good while, Team USA will not be coming into the FIBA World Cup as heavy favorites. The lack of notable superstars on the roster puts their chances of winning the competition in question. Gregg Popovich and players such as Myles Turner and Jaylen Brown have work to do.

However, while the task will be tough due to the composition of his lineup, Gregg Popovich is encouraged by the fantastic display showcased by those two young players.

In an interview with the official USA Basketball website, the longtime San Antonio Spurs coach showered Indiana Pacers big man Myles Turner and Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown with praise.

Here are Pop’s words on Turner:

“He’s been really consistent for us under the bucket, defensively, rebounding-wise. [He] understands his role really well, and he fits with everybody else. So, he’s done a good job.”

His tone remained consistent with Brown:

“Jaylen, he’s just a hard-nose player. He understands what has to be done. He doesn’t care about anything, except playing with his teammates, winning, playing aggressively all the time, and he’s consistent in that regard. He does it all the time. He’s confident in his shot. He’s tough underneath. So, he’s been one of our more consistent players, along with Myles.”

The amount of praise Pop gave the two young stars is encouraging for USA basketball and the two players’ career trajectories. Turner scored 10 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in 20 minutes of play. Brown came off the bench to score 19 points on a 72% shooting clip.

Team USA cruised past the competition in tune-up games, but tripped when they played Australia. This shows how talented the team is despite the clear absence of an NBA star… but also that it can’t take nights off. The margin for error is not large.

With Gregg Popovich leading the charge, we can expect good team play from this bunch of talented players. It will be interesting to see how they will perform in China once the FIBA World Cup tips off.