With the opening games out of the way, it looks like the trend Team USA established during its exhibition games (hint: winning) has continued on into the tournament.
Over the long weekend, Team USA played its first two games of the FIBA World Cup. Against Finland on Saturday, it was a, um... it was a massacre as the Americans beat up on the hapless Finns, 114 to 55. The lone Raptor on Team USA, DeMar DeRozan, played 17 minutes and managed 5 points (on 1-5 shooting), 4 assists, and a few trips to the free throw line. I'm sure it felt nice to stretch the legs a little bit in the equivalent of a rec league drubbing.
Following that blowout win, Team USA faced a tougher challenge against Turkey. You'll recall that the USA actually played the Turks in the Finals of the previous FIBA World Cup (spoiler: the Americans won that game handily). Led by everybody's favourite Turkish NBA-er Omer Asik, Turkey hung in with the US for the first half before getting left behind in a tangle of Anthony Davis' limbs. Final score: 98-77. Nice try, guys.
Sadly, DeRozan only got the shortest of runs in this game, playing five minutes yet somehow finding the time to take three shots (and only make one). He also grabbed a couple of rebounds.
It definitely appears like, win or lose, DeRozan is a little down on the depth chart for Team USA. That being said, given the structure of the tournament a deep bench for any team is required. It's a nice luxury to have an NBA All-Star in reserve. And on the bright side, at least Raptors fans can be less worried about any unfortunate injuries to the team's star swing man.
Team USA's next game in the tournament is today against New Zealand. Let's see what kind of competition they get from the Kiwis, and what kind of playing time DeRozan will get.
What do you guys think?