5 takeaways from Canada's win over USA in FIBA World Cup

USA v Canada: 3rd Place Game - FIBA Basketball World Cup
5 takeaways from Canada's win over USA

Canada's 127-118 OT win over USA during the FIBA World Cup 2023 bronze medal game was undoubtedly one of the most exciting games of the tournament.

Many expected both the North American teams to battle it out in the finals. But because of a few upsets, USA and Canada played for third place.

The bronze medal game had plenty of tense moments, from the opening tip to the final buzzer. Both teams played their hearts out, but it was Canada who triumphed.

Dillon Brooks' bigtime performance, USA's bigmen woes, and three other takeaways from Canada's win over USA

Team Canada's win over USA might have been a nine-point victory, but up until the final one-minute mark, Team USA had a chance to snatch the win.

Here are five things that we learnt from the game:

#1 Steve Kerr's preferred playstyle does not synergize with the roster

Coach Steve Kerr, Team USA's head coach, brought his small-ball style of play to the international stage. Unfortunately, it was not good enough for a medal. Perhaps it was because USA's roster does not have the same kind of chemistry that Kerr's Golden State Warriors possess.

The Warriors employ a system where players are rewarded for moving actively away from the ball. Meanwhile, Team USA's main offensive tools were at their most dominant when they had the ball in their hands.

#2 Team USA did not have an answer for Dillon Brooks

Dillon Brooks scored 39 points during the bronze medal game. He was very efficient, as he went 12-for-18 from the field, including 7-for-8 from downtown.

It seemed like Team USA had no answer for him, as no matter what adjustments it made, Brooks was unfazed. His incredible scoring performance might have been the biggest contributing factor to Canada's win over USA.

#3 Jaren Jackson Jr.'s absence raises some questions

Two of Team USA's big men were notably absent from the game, as both Paulo Banchero and Jaren Jackson Jr. did not play in the game. However, their absence was almost a positive for the team as it was actually able to address its rebounding woes.

Team USA outrebounded its opponents by three rebounds (43-40). Despite the marginal advantage, it was still a massive improvement compared to its rebounding performance during the semifinals. This begs the question, would USA have performed better against Germany if it relied on Bobby Portis Jr. instead of Jackson Jr.?

#4 The lack of commitment from a true superstar hurt Team USA

During several moments in the game against Canada and even in the previous games of the tournament, one thing was clear, Team USA did not have a clear go-to guy on offense. Sometimes it looked like it was Anthony Edwards, other times it was Austin Reaves and in some moments it was Mikal Bridges.


Having several weapons is great, but it becomes a problem when the team is unsure of who the main go-to guy is supposed to be. A commitment from at least one true superstar could have changed this for the Americans.

#5 Defense is still king in international basketball

For many years now, the NBA rules have favored the offense. This has resulted in some exciting high-scoring games, but this is not the case when it comes to international basketball. The defensive statistics during Canada's win over USA do not tell the entire story.

Even though USA shot well in-terms of percentage, the Canadians were very quick on close-outs. They were more physical on defense and did better with forcing crucial errors and misses during overtime. Canada's win over USA is also because it showed up on defense when it mattered the most.

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