- Spain: Ricky's golden obsession
It was France the executioner, the executor of a fiasco announced to spare. You can not despise the world in this way, fall into the past mistakes, go to a World Cup with a template full of patches , 'pass' a tournament as easily as American stars have done. As it had not happened since 2006, the United States will not be gold. This time the derision is even greater, he won't even fight for the medals in China. [79-89: Narration and statistics]
He fell in quarters as had only happened once in his history including Games and World Cups (Indianapolis 2002, eliminated by Yugoslavia). He hit bottom when he ran into the first demanding team in the entire championship, as Antetokounmpo Greece proved that it was not and that of Turkey was a miracle in both directions. He ran into a France ready for the feast, with a huge Gobert in both rings (21 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks). France smiled again in a quarter of the World Cup, like five years ago in Madrid. As for the rest of the semifinalists, there is now a unique occasion, without a trace of the two main favorites.
13 years later, the reign is over. The 'Redeem Team' will now return, the purposes of amendment, the stars to the rescue. It happened in Japan and this 11S in China. An improper US goes through the back door. Now he will fight with Serbia , which was intuited as the final, for the crumbs of fifth place. Not even Donovan Mitchell's exhibition rescued Popovich's ones this time, without any reaction on the finish line while life was going between their fingers.
Fournier vs Mitchell
The most NBA game that can be seen in the World Cup was subjected to the FIBA basketball corsets. They raised a tactical battle, since the Gauls are the only rival that can physically look the United States in the eye. Even surpassing them in the painting, where Rudy Gobert commands, that giant that obscures the area. The pivot of the Jazz marked everything, although it was hard for France to let go of shyness. He soon realized that he was facing a historic opportunity.
The carelessness of Evan Fournier emerged, a guy who averages without disheveled 20 points with the Magic. And the USA Team began to suffer, not finding ways of scoring beyond Donovan Mitchell, who took it personally. Without Tatum , who was still low, he seemed the only one capable of trying something different before the very concentrated rival defense. At the break, for the first time in the entire tournament, Gregg Popovich went down on the scoreboard (39-45), with a comfortable opponent also in the other basket, pulling pick and roll too easily.
It happened around the locker room that jumped all the alarms. If against Turkey the USA Team had suffered a brutal hot flush, it was now 10 down (43-53), also for the first time in the World Cup, with the threat of being out. Faced with such an abyss, only a hero could shake a team that collapsed without remedy. Popovich found a radical tactical solution, five small against Gobert (with Jaylen Brown of false five) and a guy who threw an empire over. No one could stop Mitchell, who scored in all ways and returned his confidence and dominance to the team (66-63).
France, the worst rebounding team in the World Cup, had had a deadly weapon right there, mainly in offensive rejections. But it was ceasing to work and just now Fournier was able to find an oxygen path. They had had it, but the US did not get on that wave. Inexplicably, he disappeared in the final act. Where Gobert legend was made, with plugs that plunged Kemba and company into misery. Mitchell did not score again and a couple of impossible baskets of Ntilikina and the final temper of De Colo worked the big surprise of this crazy World Cup.
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