Germany Knocked Out USA Basketball In The FIBA World Cup Semifinals

The highly anticipated USA-Canada matchup will indeed be happening on Sunday in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, but it will not be in the gold medal game as expected. Instead, the two North American squads will be playing for the bronze after Serbia dominated Canada early on Friday morning and then Germany took down Team USA in a thriller.

The two teams went back and forth throughout the first half, with Germany leading by two after the first quarter and the Americans leading by one at halftime. The offenses shined early for both sides, with the two teams attacking each other and putting on quite the shot-making display. Mikal Bridges had 15 points at the half (but just two in the second half), while Franz Wagner and Anthony Edwards would score 22 and 23 points respectively on the game showing off their varied offensive skillsets.

However, in the third quarter the German side took control, as Dennis Schröder orchestrated the offense, Andreas Obst became a flamethrower from deep, Wagner continued to be a problem with his size on the wing, and Daniel Theis and Isaac Bonga gave the Americans fits inside.

In the fourth quarter, it was Edward once again leading the charge to get Team USA back in the ball game, as he threw down a vicious dunk (and tried another shortly after that led to free throws) and buried a huge three to cut the deficit to one possession.

However, while Germany’s offense got a bit muddled late, the USA squad was unable to ever reclaim the lead, getting the deficit down to as few as one point before Obst again buried a three off a baseline inbounds play, shaking Tyrese Haliburton and sending him to the floor before knocking down a huge shot.

That was followed by an early dagger from Schröder, who hit a stepback from the midrange over Austin Reaves (who they hunted relentlessly on defense late) to put Germany up six with 40 seconds to play.

Reaves would redeem himself with a quick two on an outlet and then drew an offensive foul to give Team USA a chance at again cutting the deficit to one score, but they couldn’t make it happen and by the time they did get another bucket, time had all but run out. All Germany had to do was get the ball in with half of a second on the clock and the celebration was on for a massive moment for German basketball and heartbreak for Team USA.

Obst finished with 24 points and six assists to lead all scorers, while Schröder had 17 points and nine rebounds to continue his stellar tournament. Franz Wagner had 22 points and five boards and his brother Mo chipped in 10 off of the bench. As a team, Germany had 30 assists on 41 made baskets, as they carved up the USA defense all night with their activity and size.

Edwards finished the night with 23 points and eight rebounds, doing all he could to get Team USA through to the gold medal game. Once again he found himself needing more help than he got down the stretch, but really the story of this game was Team USA’s inability to get stops. Germany had 100 points in the first 32 minutes of the game and piled up 113 overall, as their size and strength (coupled with a good shooting night) proved too much for the Americans. However, it can’t even be chalked up to hot shooting, as Team USA actually shot more efficiently from three (12-of-25) than Germany (13-of-30), they just couldn’t handle the Germans at any level defensively. Jaren Jackson Jr., for all his immense abilities on defense, is not the anchor inside against big teams the Americans need and there are too many weak points to attack on the perimeter when Team USA puts out their best offensive lineup — as Haliburton and Reaves were repeatedly targeted.

The Americans will now face Canada for the bronze in a highly anticipated matchup that loses a good bit of its luster now that it’s not for gold, but still features a ton of NBA talent and will be fascinating to see how both teams get up for that game considering the stakes aren’t what they expected. Germany will take on Serbia in a gold medal game few predicted, but it’s one that should be highly entertaining as Serbia has been a buzzsaw in this tournament, led by Bogdan Bogdanovic, while Germany is coming off one of the their biggest wins and will be riding high.