The 2010 FIBA World Championships continued on Wednesday as the United States beat Iran. At the 2010 FIBA World Championships, Team USA is now 4-0 in group play, lining them up to be the No. 1 seed in the knockout rounds if they can beat Tunisia on Thursday.
First it was time to take care of business against Iran, and the United States really needed a strong performance from their bench players after a game against Brazil on Monday that almost ended horribly. Wednesday would also be a great opportunity for the United States bench players to prove they could be counted on.
The United States offense was much more concise against Iran, ending the game with a field goal shooting-percentage of 57.8. The turnovers were still there, though, and, by the end of the night, six United States players had two or more turnovers to end with 16 as a team. It shows that there is still room for improvement when it comes to handling the ball, and that the young point guards trying to run this team have still got to get under control. What could happen is veteran Chauncey Billups playing extended minutes in the knockout round if they don’t get it together.
The United States is simply a much better team than Iran; at the end of the night, the final score was 88-51 in favor of Team USA. Iran only has one win in the tournament so far, and next the United States will play winless Tunisia on Thursday. Iran will play Slovakia on Thursday, and, barring an upset, the teams advancing from Group D will be the United States, Croatia, Brazil, and Slovakia. The United States already has the tie-breakers by beating both Brazil and Slovakia in earlier play, so they will be the No. 1 seed coming out of Group B no matter what.
There are certainly going to be some worries for Team USA as they progress at the 2010 FIBA World Championships, but they should also end up with an easy match in the first knockout game. It’s when they progress to the quarterfinals and the semifinals that things could get worrisome, especially with some of the players on this roster looking like deer in headlights at the tournament. This is an extremely young version of Team USA, with several players who have never played in games of this importance. Some of these players have never even been to the NBA Playoffs, so hopefully they don’t bend under the pressure at the World’s over the next week.