The U.S. Men’s Basketball team is struggling in the World Cup. This year, they are not expected to make it past the group stage. The team has never struggled this much before, and there are a few reasons why.
The first reason is that this year’s roster was built around players who were in their prime years 10-12 years ago, but have since declined in ability. These older players need more time on the court than younger ones with less experience, which means that they will tire out faster and be unable to play at peak performance when it really matters.
Another problem for the U.S. team is that most of its members do not have any international basketball experience outside of playing for the United States National Team or U-19 teams, and therefore, lack a general feel for how to play well on the big stage. Instead of relying on experience and playing without fear, they had had to come together hastily to practice as a team only a few weeks before the tournament started. This means that their strengths in quickness and athleticism are not being exploited as much as if they were more experienced.
The U.S. team did not just fail because it is inexperienced and playing a game that the players are not used to. It was also partly due to injury: Blake Griffin tore his meniscus in practice and cannot play in this year’s Olympics. The fact that one of its best players can no longer compete is really hurting the team, as they have lost a large portion of their offense.
The team’s defense has also been sub-par, and the team has committed too many turnovers. When the team is missing all of its best players and still struggling this much, it is clear that the US Men’s Basketball team has endured an awful lot of problems in the short time period since they were assembled.
These factors have led to the U.S. Men’s Basketball team having their worst Olympic outing in a long time, and were ranked 15th globally.