In a clash that could only be described as a cinematic prelude to the impending FIBA World Cup, Team USA displayed their dominance with a high-octane 99-91 win against a strong German side. For a friendly, the energy in the room was electric, and the performance has set the stage for what promises to be a compelling World Cup tournament.
Edwards Shines as Team USA's Beacon of Hope
Anthony Edwards, a beacon of brilliance, has been a revelation over the past three weeks, stamping his mark as Team USA's go-to star. With an impressive 34 points from 11-of-20 shooting against Germany, Edwards showcased not just his offensive prowess but also his commitment to defense.
His determination in the late-game defensive hustle played a pivotal role in clinching the victory. Team USA's coach, Steve Kerr, was effusive in his praise for the young prodigy. "He's unquestionably the guy," remarked Kerr.
"You can see he knows it. But now the team knows it, and I think the fans see it. ... He genuinely believes he's the best player in the gym every single night. And he's such a dynamic young player. I think he's taking a leap." The stats back up Kerr's sentiment.
Over five exhibition matches, Edwards averaged 19.2 points per game, with a commendable 51% shooting accuracy. Fresh off signing a jaw-dropping $260 million deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Edwards expressed his exhilaration, stating, "Man, this was fun.
I ain't have fun like this in a minute. We were down 15, so that was adversity."
Unsung Heroes and Future Hopes
While Edwards grabbed the headlines, players like Austin Reaves showcased the depth and breadth of talent within the squad.
Clocking in 16 points as a reserve, Reaves won admiration from both teammates and the coaching staff. His optimism and fighting spirit are evident when he says, "I don't think that we can really ever feel like we're out of a game. They have a really talented team that has got a lot of guys that play in the NBA. This one felt good."