The United States men's national basketball team cruised through play in the group stage of the FIBA Basketball World Cup. They won decisively in all of their games, going 3-0 against New Zealand, Greece, and Jordan. Their most recent victory, over Jordan, was their biggest yet, winning 110-62. While Jordan may not be the best competition, the dominant performance proved that Team USA is rolling and ready to take on the second round with a full head of steam.
As the Americans look forward to the next round of play, here is everything you need to know on how to watch the next Team USA basketball game, a matchup that will be against Montenegro.
Team USA vs. Montenegro: When and where?
The second stage of the tournament will see the top two teams from each group form new groups where they will have two games. After going undefeated in Group C play, Team USA is now in Group J.
Team USA (3-0) will start off their second-round action against Montenegro, a team that went 2-1 in group play. The game is scheduled to tip off at 4:40 a.m. ET (20:40 local time) on Sept. 1.
The game will be played at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines. The Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia are co-hosting the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
This will be their first game of two in the second round, as the Americans will face Lithuania in their following game.
Team USA vs. Montenegro: How to Watch?
The basketball game between USA and Montenegro will be available on ESPN platforms. It can be streamed on ESPN+.
Storylines for the game
Team USA has some momentum going into the second round. After their blowout victory over Jordan, the team finished the first round of group play with the second-most points in the entire tournament.
Anthony Edwards has continued his hot streak. The best player on the team, He had 26 points in his last outing and is now up to 16.3 points per game in the tournament. The Timberwolves star is in a league of his own when it comes to scoring ability and athleticism.
Eight players on the Team USA roster scored in the double figures against Jordan. With a few games under their belts, things are really starting to click for the Americans, and their chemistry looks to be close to equalling their talent.
Head coach Steve Kerr made an adjustment to the starting lineup before the game against Jordan, putting in Josh Hart and subbing out Brandon Ingram. Ingram, while super talented, has struggled so far in the tournament. Hart, on the other hand, is the perfect role player who can complement the other starters. He demonstrated this by securing 12 rebounds against Jordan, a crazy number for a wing.
Hart won an NCAA Championship with Team USA teammates Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges at Villanova. All three players are now starting for Kerr's team, and it seems unlikely that Kerr will go back to the old lineup. The trio's history together in college may be part of the reason the squad's chemistry seems to be improving. When on the floor together, Hart, Brunson, and Bridges formed a cohesive unit that operated smoothly on the offensive end. The players know how to play together, and none of them are super needy for touches.
Before losing their third game in group play, Montenegro looked like one of the most surprisingly impressive teams in FIBA. The team won games against Mexico and Egypt before being blown out by Lithuania.
Montenegro doesn't have the depth of Team USA; in fact, they are kind of a one-man wrecking crew. That one man, Nikola Vucevic, has been on a tear in FIBA play.
Vucevic is leading his team in points (20.7), rebounds (7), and blocked shots (2). He has carried the scoring burden for Montenegro, being efficient from both inside (59.4%) and outside (50%) of the three-point arc. The big man has given the team a legitimate interior threat that can deter shots at the rim.
Vucevic is a center who plays in the NBA for the Chicago Bulls. He has played for 11 seasons, going to two All-Star games. Vucevic was an animal for Montenegro long before 2023. Before being drafted in the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft, Vucevic was a Montenegrin League champion.
The star center is the only Montenegrin player in the NBA, and while the team wouldn't be where they are without him, he isn't the only one on the team with basketball skills.
Kendrick Perry and Nikola Ivanovic have both impressed in the scoring department, averaging 13.3 and 10 points per game, respectively.
Marko Simonovic is also on the team. The seven-footer is averaging 7.7 points in FIBA play. He is no longer in the NBA, but he spent two seasons on the Chicago Bulls, where he was teammates with Vucevic. The two have come together again to form a two-headed monster at the center position.
Team USA is favored to beat Montenegro, but the energy gets amped up in the later rounds of the tournament, meaning the Americans will have to come out hot again like they did against Jordan.