Are you tired of worrying about what people are leaking to reporters or posting on social media and just want to watch some basketball? Well, the FIBA World Cup is here to provide a temporary salve for what ails you. The tournament began play yesterday, but Team USA will begin its journey for World Cup glory this morning, as the stars and stripes take on New Zealand.
In case you’re just checking in on the international scene, Team USA is in Group C, joining Greece, Jordan, and New Zealand. The top two teams from the group will advance to the next stage of the 32-team tournament. It’s not a particularly formidable group, particularly with Giannis Antetokounmpo not participating for Greece after undergoing left knee surgery earlier this summer. On DraftKings, USA is minus-2500 to win the group and not even listed with odds to qualify and advance out of group play.
As for this morning’s opponent, New Zealand is just 26th in FIBA rankings. The Kiwis’ only NBA player, Steven Adams, is out due to the knee injury he suffered earlier this year. USA is a 37-point favorite over New Zealand as of this writing, per DraftKings, so don’t expect this morning’s contest to be overly competitive.
Instead, let’s keep watching how this USA roster coalesces. In exhibition play, 22-year-old Anthony Edwards emerged as the squad’s alpha and seems poised to receive the biggest bump in overall perception from the general public based upon play in this tournament. Here’s the full Team USA roster:
Team USA's roster is SET for the FIBA World Cup this summer pic.twitter.com/ikpk99E7GE— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) July 2, 2023
While Philadelphia fans will wait on the day Tyrese Maxey joins this group, it is very cool to have three Villanova products on the roster. (Do you see that, various Sixers front offices that could have kept these guys in the City of Brotherly Love???)
It might be a week or so before we see a real challenge for Team USA, but who cares, let’s watch some hoops.
Who: United States of America vs. New Zealand
When: 8:40am ET
Where: Mall of Asia Arena, Manila, Philippines