Team USA is without one of their stars in the FIBA World Cup against Germany in the semifinals. Brandon Ingram, the New Orleans Pelicans' All-Star forward, was ruled out for their game. With a Finals berth on the line, US fans are wondering why the star forward is not playing.

Well, as it turns out, Brandon Ingram is out due to an upper respiratory illness, per the official Team USA X account. This is an unfortunate blow to the Americans, as they were already short on frontcourt players against Germany.

“🚨 Brandon Ingram is OUT for the semi-final match against Germany due to an upper respiratory illness, per

Ingram was initially part of Team USA's starting lineup for the FIBA World Cup. However, in the middle of the tournament, the Pelicans forward was moved to the bench. Head coach Steve Kerr cited a need for rebounding on the starting roster as the reason why Ingram was demoted in favor of Josh Hart. Ingram is currently averaging just under 6 points per game in the tourney.

Team USA is looking to return to the FIBA World Cup Finals after a disastrous 2019 stint. They failed to defend their 2014 title after finishing seventh in the 2019 edition of the tournament. At the time, the loss was seen as a massive disappointment. They have now exceeded that finish (a fourth-place finish at best), but that isn't enough. It's championship or bust for Team USA, as usual.

Can they overcome the Germans and advance to the FIBA World Cup finals against Serbia?