It has been seven weeks since Jordan Bell’s two-minute return to the NBA as a hardship signee and three years since he last started a game for the Golden State Warriors. However, the former second-round sensation continues to make waves with his moves on the hardwood.
Most recently, he was showing out for USA Basketball as the Americans continue their efforts to lock down a spot in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
And while he shared the court with the likes of Joe Johnson — a seven-time All-Star and potential Hall of Famer — the old Warriors fave and 2018 champion was still arguably his country’s most impactful two-way player.
Thanks in large part to Bell’s efforts, the Americans went 2-0 during the latest wave of qualifiers, punching their ticket to the next round of games in the process. Along the way, he likely raised some eyebrows in the Association.
Bell’s All-Around Game Shines
Over his two-game run with the national team, Bell averaged 8.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 3.0 steals and 2.0 blocks in just 22.5 minutes per contest. Along the way, he connected on 72.7% of his field-goal attempts.
However, his most impressive number just might be this — in the 45 total minutes that Bell was on the floor versus Puerto Rico and Mexico, Team USA outscored the opposition by a whopping 43 points. That was the best plus/minus mark on the team this week.
Of course, anyone who has been following Bell’s exploits in the G League this season probably isn’t surprised by what he did during FIBA play. More and more, he’s looking like someone who could find himself on an NBA roster as postseason play approaches.
“Bell is a guy who has the experience, he has the talent, you can put him on the floor in any situation and you will pretty much know you are going to get athleticism and shot-blocking, rebounding,” a league exec told Heavy.com. “He is going to be as good an option as anyone if things do not change much.”
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The Americans Are Moving Closer to Locking up Their Spot
By winning both of their games during the current leg of qualifiers, the Americans’ record improved to 3-1 in Group D for Round 1. They have two more games left to play in July.
In total, 12 teams from the Americas region — which includes North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean — will move on to Round 2. Qualifying teams will be divided into two groups with each team playing against the three new teams in its group.
Group A will be combined with Group C while Group B and Group D will pair up. All of the results from the first round will be carried over.
The second round of qualifiers will begin in August of this year. Additional games will be played in November 2022 and February 2023.