Quinn Rooney/Getty Images In their second of four exhibition tuneup games prior to the FIBA World Cup, the United States men's national basketball team defeated Australia 102-86 at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia, on Thursday.
While Team USA's lack of star power has been talked about ad nauseam as several top players withdrew their names from consideration for the FIBA World Cup, the United States' balance was on full display during Thursday's win.
Australia was without Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons, who pulled out of the FIBA World Cup, but it still combated Team USA with its fair share of NBA players.
Kuzma knocked down four of his five attempts from deep, including this make during a close first quarter: The triples were going down fast and furious in the Americans' high-scoring third quarter as well, and Mitchell made his only trifecta of the game during that stretch: Also, despite the fact that Australia has some experienced bigs in Bogut and Baynes, they were victimized in the paint from a scoring and rebounding perspective.
That versatility promises to make him Team USA's top big during the FIBA World Cup: The Americans also had a significant advantage over the Aussies in speed and athleticism, which allowed them to score some easy buckets in transition.
None was more dazzling than the alley-oop connection between Celtics teammates Tatum and Brown in the fourth quarter: Team USA went to Australia with 13 players battling for 12 roster spots, and there may have been some clues from Thursday's game regarding who could get cut.
Team USA has two more exhibition games in Australia to sort out its roster situation, and the next comes against Australia once again at midnight ET on Saturday.