Knicks Duo Benched in Closing Minutes of Team USA’s KO Loss

Jalen Brunson, Knicks, Team USA

Getty USA's Jalen Brunson (R) drives past Germany's Andreas Obst (L) during the FIBA Basketball World Cup Semi-Finals match.

The New York Knicks duo of Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart showed up, but their numbers were not called down the stretch as Team USA bowed out of gold medal contention in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

Team USA coach Steve Kerr turned to Tyrese Haliburton and Austin Reeves again to close out the game like he did in their tuneup win against Germany. But this time, it did not yield the same result as Germany stunned Team USA with a 113-111 victory on Friday that arranged an all-European gold medal match against Serbia.

Brunson finished with 15 points and seven assists but was a team-worst minus-19. He had a hand in Team USA’s first 10 points in the fourth quarter — scoring six points and issuing two assists — but they still trailed by 10, 104-94, before he was pulled out with 5:55 left.

Team USA went on a run led by Anthony Edwards but ultimately fell short as Andreas Obst shot the lights out with 24 points to lead Germany. The 27-year-old Bundesliga sharpshooter was 4-of-8 from the 3-point range, including the wide-open step-back dagger 3 with 1:14 left after Haliburton slipped.

Hart added nine points on a perfect 4-of-4 shooting with five rebounds and three steals. His five-point binge kept Team USA within striking distance, 79-73, before he was taken out for good with still 3:42 left in the third quarter.

Dennis Schroder added 17 points and nine assists as the German backcourt obliterated Team USA’s porous perimeter defense.

Germany countered Team USA’s switching defense by exploiting matchups, especially Reeves, who got punished on pick and rolls and post-ups again as he did in their loss to Lithuania.

Their second loss relegated Team USA to the bronze medal game against Canada.

RJ Barrett Aims to Finish World Cup Run With Medal

Knicks starting wing RJ Barrett led Canada with 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting, but it was not enough to lift them to the gold medal match. While they have fallen short of its gold medal bid, Barrett looks forward to finishing on a high note after their 95-86 loss to Serbia in the semifinals.

“It was a fun game to be a part of, even though we lost. [To] Just been able to gain this experience. Like my coach said, we have one more [game]. We gotta go win this one and leave here with a medal.”

Standing on their way to get their first-ever medal finish in the World Cup history are his teammates Brunson and Hart.

Ronnie 2K Weighs in on Carmelo Anthony Debate

Will Carmelo Anthony be remembered more as a Knick or a Nugget?

NBA 2K’s digital marketing director Ronnie Singh, known as “Ronnie 2K,” believes it should be the former.

“I’ve gotta say he’s more of a Knick … only because it was his prime,” Singh said on the September 6 episode of The Hoop Chat with Emily Austin. “When you think of the greatest Knicks players of all time, you think of him.”

“I think when you think of Denver, I don’t know. By the end of his career, it probably will be [Nikola Jokic]. I’ve got to think of [Anthony] as a Knick because New York is the biggest [NBA market], it’s the basketball Mecca of the world, and he is probably the greatest player in Knicks history outside of maybe Bernard King or a couple of people like Allan Houston.”

Read More
Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments