One of the biggest games to ever hit our shores kicks off tonight when Team USA come to Melbourne to go head to head with our Boomers.
This two games series has been talked about for a long time, but unfortunately, we won’t be seeing the biggest names come to play.
Ben Simmons unfortunately withdrew, and only recently Jonah Bolden also had to go back to Philly for personal reasons. What could’ve been for this team, now has a lot of question marks going into the World Cup.
Jonah was going to be a huge part of this team, with his athletic ability off the charts, and no doubt would’ve been a matchup nightmare at the world event.
Team USA has also had their problems, with a host of players pulling out of the event before and during camp, the latest two casualties being DeAaron Fox and PJ Tucker.
With no Curry, Klay, Durant, LeBron, Harden, Davis (this list could go on), this is a very inexperienced USA team and one that is now extremely beatable.
Kemba Walker is the most experienced on this team, as well as Khris Middleton (two all-stars so it’s not the end of the world for these guys), as they’ll look to lead a very young core and put on a big show for the Melbourne crowd.
Donovan Mitchell is sure to be a fan favourite down in Melbourne and is sure to provide some highlight-reel dunks. Kyle Kuzma and Jayson Tatum can also light up the scoreboard, so the Aussies will have to be wary of the length this team now possesses.
The Boomers were not overly convincing at all in their series against Canada, dropping the first game by 20 points, team chemistry clearly an issue not playing together as much. The main issue though, being out-coached!
Nick Nurse showed that you didn’t have to have a team of stars, with this Canada team missing a wealth of talent, showing up the Aussies on their home floor.
Critics are out there for Andrej Lemanis and rightly so, with some of his selections raising some eyebrows amongst the Australian Basketball landscape.
Deng Adel, Mitch Creek (now brought in as a replacement) and Brock Motum were overlooked for the likes of Cam Gliddon, Nathan Sobey, Chris Goulding and Nick Kay. All of whom come from the NBL. Last I checked, reaching the NBA was the highest level, so the likes of Adel and Creek should never be overlooked for anyone playing below them in the first place.
With one of our favourites Jonah now pulling out so close to the tournament, you’d like to think Deng Adel is at the top of the list to come in and represent his country.
It will all depend on if he wants to though after being overlooked in the first place, potentially seeing it as a slap in the face coming in as a late replacement. Guess that remains to be seen but there’s no doubt he has to be first in line if he’s willing to take the call.
Australia will need huge games from the likes of Patty and Joe Ingles to be a chance of knocking off Team USA on our home floor. All Australian Basketball fans are waiting for Joe Ingles to light up the scoreboard from range for Australia.
For us to be any chance at the worlds, Joe has to hit from range. Given the talent we have on the sidelines, our NBA boys need to carry the load in this tournament, as the opportunity is still there to medal given who is out for other competing nations.
Should be a great showdown in Melbourne regardless of the talent that’s out, and the crowd is sure to be electric if our boys can hang around all night!