USA-Canada FIBA World Cup bronze game could be start of rivalry

    Image : "By [contributor] via Pixabay

In a long-anticipated matchup, Team USA and Team Canada are finally set to compete for a basketball medal, although it wasn't initially supposed to be a bronze medal they were vying for. Both North American teams experienced unexpected losses in the FIBA World Cup semifinals on Friday. However, this situation has given rise to the potential for a budding rivalry.

Tyrese Haliburton expressed his thoughts on the situation, saying, "They haven't secured a medal since the 1930s, so they're coming after us. I believe our two countries will likely cross paths in the years to come, so it appears that this is just the beginning.

Canada has never earned a medal in the World Cup, with their sole basketball Olympic medal dating back to 1936 in Berlin, where they secured a silver. Nevertheless, the past decade has seen a steady influx of Canadian talent into the NBA, spearheaded by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who was named to the All-NBA First Team.

Canada's qualification for the Paris Olympics was based on their performance in Manila, marking the first time they qualified since 2000. The United States, with four consecutive Olympic gold medals under their belt, may cross paths with Canada next summer in France. With the expansion of the Canadian basketball pipeline, this meeting could occur numerous times in the future.

While the bronze game might be at risk of a letdown, especially given the high expectations for these two teams, it presents a new challenge for the current Team USA. Although the U.S. has won its past two bronze-medal games (at the 2004 Olympics and the 2006 World Cup), this is a different scenario.

    Image : "By [contributor] via Pixabay

Austin Reaves, who has been performing exceptionally well in the World Cup with an average of 12.4 points and a 59% shooting percentage off the bench, shared his perspective, saying, "I can't speak for everyone else, but for me, I approach every game with the same intensity and focus to win, whether it's a practice session or a championship game.

Interestingly, despite Canada boasting the second-highest number of NBA players in the tournament after the U.S., including seven current players and collegiate player of the year Zach Edey from Purdue, it may be a more favorable matchup for the Americans. There's a sense of familiarity with their Canadian opponents, and both teams lack significant size. After facing four consecutive formidable European teams, Team USA is relieved to go up against a roster more aligned with the NBA style of play.

Team USA struggled on the offensive boards against Montenegro, Lithuania, and Germany, conceding a total of 63 second-chance points in those games. This could change against Canada, as they are 19th in total rebounds at the World Cup and 11th in offensive rebounding.

Beyond the on-court dynamics, Team USA is well-acquainted with the personalities of their NBA peers on the Canadian squad. Jaren Jackson Jr. mentioned his former Memphis Grizzlies teammate, Canada's Dillon Brooks, saying, "I hope Dillon talks trash because that's just him. It wouldn't be genuine otherwise.

Both Team USA and Canada have suffered two losses in the World Cup, but Canada has a stronger overall record, having defeated Olympic silver medalist France, defending world champion Spain, and Slovenia led by Luka Doncic before losing to Serbia in a game marred by fouls.

Team Canada coach and Sacramento Kings associate head coach Jordi Fernandez expressed his excitement about the future, saying, "I'm looking forward to what lies ahead. Right now, our focus is on bouncing back and embracing the upcoming game, which I'm already incredibly enthusiastic about.

In a much-anticipated showdown that has been years in the making, Team USA and Team Canada are finally set to face off for a basketball medal. However, the expectation was not initially for a bronze medal, which is what these two North American powerhouses will be competing for on Sunday at 4:45 a.m. ET on ESPN+

     Image : "By [contributor] via Pixabay

Both teams suffered surprising losses in the FIBA World Cup semifinals on Friday, but this unexpected turn of events has sparked the potential for a burgeoning rivalry between the two nations. Tyrese Haliburton reflected on this by saying, "They haven't clinched a medal since the 1930s, so they're coming after us. I believe both our countries will anticipate facing each other in the years ahead. It seems like this is just the beginning.

Canada has never secured a medal in the World Cup, and their lone basketball Olympic medal was a silver in 1936 in Berlin. Nevertheless, over the past decade, a steady stream of Canadian talent has made its way into the NBA, led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who earned All-NBA First Team honors.

Canada's qualification for the Paris Olympics was secured through their performance in Manila, marking their first Olympic qualification since 2000. The United States, with four consecutive Olympic gold medals to their name, may once again cross paths with Canada next summer in France, and potentially in many future encounters as the Canadian basketball talent pool continues to expand.

While the bronze medal game may lack the same level of excitement as a gold medal match, especially considering the high expectations for these two teams, it presents a fresh challenge for the current Team USA. Despite winning their last two bronze-medal games (at the 2004 Olympics and the 2006 World Cup), this is a different scenario.

Austin Reaves, who has been a standout performer in the World Cup with an average of 12.4 points and an impressive 59% shooting percentage coming off the bench, shared his perspective: "I can't speak for everyone else, but for me, I approach every game with the same intensity and focus to win, whether it's a practice session or a championship game.

Interestingly, despite Canada boasting the second-highest number of NBA players in the tournament after the U.S., including seven current players and collegiate player of the year Zach Edey from Purdue, it may actually be a more favorable matchup for the Americans. There's a sense of familiarity with their Canadian opponents, and both teams lack significant size. After facing four consecutive formidable European teams, Team USA is relieved to go up against a roster that aligns more with the NBA style of play.

    Image : "By [contributor] via Pixabay

Team USA struggled on the offensive boards against Montenegro, Lithuania, and Germany, conceding a total of 63 second-chance points in those games. This could potentially change against Canada, which currently ranks 19th in total rebounds at the World Cup and 11th in offensive rebounding.

Beyond the on-court dynamics, Team USA is well-acquainted with the personalities of their NBA peers on the Canadian squad. Jaren Jackson Jr. mentioned his former Memphis Grizzlies teammate, Canada's Dillon Brooks, saying, "I hope Dillon talks trash because that's just him. It wouldn't be genuine otherwise.

Both Team USA and Canada have experienced two losses in the World Cup, but Canada boasts a stronger overall record, having defeated Olympic silver medalist France, defending world champion Spain, and Slovenia led by Luka Doncic before falling to Serbia in a game marked by fouls.

Team Canada's coach and Sacramento Kings associate head coach, Jordi Fernandez, expressed his excitement about the future, stating, "I'm looking forward to what lies ahead. Right now, our focus is on bouncing back and embracing the upcoming game, which I'm already incredibly enthusiastic about." This marks the beginning of an exciting chapter in the rivalry between these two basketball powerhouses.






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