Kemba Walker, Donovan Mitchell on Team USA’s FIBA World Cup matchup vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Greece
Team USA will be heading into the second round of the FIBA World Cup undefeated, but as they move on to the next phase of the tournament, their opponents can no longer be taken lightly. Their first test will be against Greece this Saturday, a team that is by 2018-19 NBA MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The anticipation surrounding the USA versus Greece matchup is constantly growing, but the Americans refuse to treat it as more than just a regular game.
Donovan Mitchell said that he and his teammates acknowledge the fact that the Greeks will be a tough team to beat, so they will keep their focus on finding ways to win rather than deal with all the unnecessary hype, per NBA.com’s John Schuhmann.
“You’re excited about a challenge. Every matchup is great. But if we start to look at it as a bigger game than what it is, you lose sight of what we’re focusing on. So we’ll just approach it like a regular game and do what we do.”
Team USA big man Brook Lopez has already said that Antetokounmpo will be going all out against them this weekend, but team captain Kemba Walker believes that aside from finding a way to stop Giannis, their mindset for the game should remain the same.
“We know the MVP’s on that team, of course. But we’re just going to treat it as another game. We know it’s going to be tough. We know how good of a player he is.”
Team USA could head into Saturday’s game without two of their key players, as Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart are still dealing with injuries.
Still, they remain confident in what they can do when they step onto the court, and whether it’s against Greece or any other team, the Americans will be 100 percent ready.