Team USA overcame their first minor hiccup in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, trailing by one point at halftime to Montenegro. Thanks in part to Anthony Edwards scoring all 17 of his points in the second half, the Americans finished strong for the 85-73 victory over Nikola Vucevic and company.
Now, they go up against Lithuania, who is also a perfect 4-0 in the group stage. Technically, the stakes are a bit low this morning, as both teams are already guaranteed to advance to the quarterfinals. However, the winner will get ostensibly an easier path moving forward, getting to play the second place team from Group I next, as opposed to the winner of that group. You also want to see how you stack up against a side better than either country has faced thus far.
Lithuania is led by New Orleans Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas, averaging 14.0 points and 9.8 rebounds per game in this competition. NBA fans might also recognize Ignas Brazdeikis, who last played for Orlando during the 2021-22 season, and Donatas Motiejunas, who played a few years for the Houston Rockets and last played for San Antonio in 2018-19. 2019 second-round pick Deividas Sirvydis played some games for Detroit from 2020 to 2022 and Arnoldas Kulboka had a quick cup of coffee with Charlotte two years ago.
We’ll see if Team USA can stay undefeated as we follow the action overseas.
Who: United States of America vs. Lithuania
When: 8:40am ET
Where: Mall of Asia Arena, Manila, Philippines