USA defeats Canada in summer premiere – Men’s Olympic Basketball Tournament Paris 2024

LAS VEGAS (USA) – The wait is over. The long-anticipated debut of the star-studded Paris-bound USA team finally arrived as Steve Kerr’s squad entertained Canada in a rematch of the FIBA ​​Basketball World Cup 2023 bronze medal game in Las Vegas, Nevada.

USA’s all-time Olympic scoring leader, Kevin Durant, was sidelined for this game, but it was still a great opportunity to look at the roles of the other players within the team.

You may also want to read this:

Tracker: Preparation games for the Men’s Olympic Basketball Tournament Paris 2024

Roster Tracker: Men’s Olympic Basketball Tournament Paris 2024

USA overcame a slow start to win their first game of the summer with a score of 86-72.

The story of the game

It was only midway through the first quarter when Stephen Curry made their first field goal, following six straight misses by the team.

Meanwhile, Canada capitalized on the continuity of their roster from last year’s World Cup, leading by seven points heading into the second quarter. At this stage of the game, USA had already committed eight turnovers.

The home team had a decent size advantage over Canada, which translated into their advantage in rebounding. Jrue Holiday led their defense, and Anthony Edwards, as promised, played a large role on offense.

Curry and LeBron James are on a USA roster together for the first time ever, and they showed a glimpse of their connection with LeBron’s first field goal in the third quarter – a premier highlight of an alley-oop jam.

Edwards gave USA a 15-point lead going into the final quarter with a buzzer-beater.

Canada rested their starters halfway through the final quarter, unwilling to reveal all their cards this early in the preparation. The USA confidently led the game to an overall victory.

The player of the game

We haven’t seen Anthony Davis in a USA jersey since the 2014 FIBA ​​Basketball World Cup, and he showed us immediately what we’ve been missing. The LA Lakers center will be the cornerstone of his team’s interior defense this summer.

Davis finished this game with 10 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2 steals, and 2 assists in just 19 minutes on the court.

The stats of the game

The teams struggled with a poor 14-56 combined three-point shooting. With so many great shooters on their roster, this statistic is expected to improve as preparation for the Olympic Games progresses and at the games itself as well.

However, USA compensated for this with their physical presence, leading the battle on the boards 53-48. The hosts also combined for nine blocks.

The takeaways from the game

USA assembled just a week ago, so their chemistry is still developing, but glimpses of defensive prowess from Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis have been evident. They frequently switched all positions on their half of the court, presenting a challenge to any opponent.

Once their defense succeeded, the team eagerly transitions to push the pace and create highlight plays.

Edwards was assertive in taking charge of offense and is expected to play a significant role off the bench for the USA team, even alongside recently crowned NBA champion Jason Tatum and other bigger and most established stars.

Canada continued from where they left off last year, but there’s still room for improvement. Jamal Murray is expected to provide additional scoring opportunities. A concern for Jordi Fernandez is the significant deficit in rebounding, which they will surely aim to address as the team’s fitness improves.

Next, USA will play Australia in Abu Dhabi on July 16 for their next preparation game, while Canada will face France on July 19.