Team USA Vs. Germany Preview: One Win Away From FIBA World Cup Finals
Austin Reaves, Tyrese Haliburton, Team USA, Lakers
(Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images)

The final game of Team USA’s exhibition slate was their most inspiring performance as Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Haliburton and Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves led a comeback from 16 points down in the second half to defeat Germany. Now, they’ll take on their familiar foes again with a spot in the 2023 FIBA World Cup final on the line.

In that first contest, Reaves and Haliburton sparked a third quarter comeback and Edwards brought it home with some clutch shots in the fourth, finishing with 34 points in a 99-91 win. While there were some positives to take away from that victory, it also exposed some weaknesses that Germany will undoubtedly look to take advantage of again.

The most important thing for Team USA will be containing former Lakers point guard Dennis Schroder, who continues to be one of the best international point guards. He is averaging 18 points and 6.3 assists in the World Cup so far and he absolutely carved the Americans up in that exhibition.

Team USA must figure out a way to hold their own on the glass which has been an issue throughout the tournament. They were outrebounded by 11 in that exhibition and Germany has the size that can give Team USA problems with Daniel Theis, former Lakers first-round pick Mo Wagner and 7-footer Johannes Voigtmann. The Germans also got back Franz Wagner, their second best player, from injury in their quarterfinal win over Latvia.

Jaren Jackson Jr. will be crucial for the Americans. He had six blocks in that first game as he continually erased the mistakes of his teammates and Team USA will need that version of him to show up, not the player who has struggled with fouls throughout most of the tournament.

To counteract that size, Team USA has relied on their speed, athleticism and defensive pressure. That is what turned the first meeting with these teams around and it will be key once again. As will the 3-point shooting as both teams are capable of hot shooting nights that change the tide of the game.

It will take a team effort and Team USA’s depth has served them well with Mikal Bridges and Jalen Brunson coming up huge recently as well. Their speed and tenacity will have to overrule the size and experience the Germans bring to the table.

Team USA (5-1) vs. Germany (6-0)

5:40 a.m. PT, September 7, 2023
Mall of Asia Arena, Manila, Phillipines

Projected Team USA Starting Lineup:

PG: Jalen Brunson
SG: Anthony Edwards
SF: Mikal Bridges
PG: Josh Hart
C: Jaren Jackson Jr.

Key Reserves: Tyrese Haliburton, Austin Reaves, Paolo Banchero, Brandon Ingram

Projected Germany Starting Lineup:

PG: Dennis Schroder
SG: Andreas Obst
SF: Franz Wagner
PF: Daniel Theis
C: Johannes Voigtmann

Key Reserves: Mo Wagner, Isaac Bonga, Johannes Theimann, Maodo Lo

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