FIBA World Cup 2019: 3 Talking Points from USA vs Japan
With Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart unavailable for the final matchup of the first group stage round, the remaining players in Blue and White managed just fine.
In the backdrop of an eyebrow-raising OT tussle with Turkey, Team USA made sure they erased any doubts regarding their skill level when they unleashed all hell on Japan for a 53-point blowout. The 98-45 victory was as effortless as one could imagine.
Team USA advance to the next round as the clear leaders of Group E and will clash with Giannis Antetokounmpo's Greece and an undefeated Brazil as they look to punch a ticket to the knockouts that follow.
Here are some key takeaways from Team USA's rout of Japan.
#1 Japan were poor, but USA made them look absolutely miserable
This was a comprehensive beating that was long overdue by the USA in this tournament and Japan were just unlucky to have been at the receiving end. After what happened with Turkey, Team USA couldn't have found a better way to right the ship before moving on to tougher tests that await them.
Even though Jaylen Brown starred with his 20 points and high-flying dunks, four other Americans finished in double-digit scoring. After starting the game with a blistering 13-0 run, the overmatched Japanese side were on the receiving end of an absolute hiding.
All available players played at least 17 minutes while eight of the 10 players who took the floor scored at least seven points. Kemba Walker finished with a decent 15-point performance of his own while Harrison Barnes contributed 14 on 47% shooting from the field.
Japan were outrebounded 58-33 and restricted to a meager 27% shooting night. The Americans obliterated them in almost every category with surgical precision, from points in the paint to fastbreak points to three-pointers. At one point in time, they led by as many as 62 points.