On Monday, Team USA cruised past Greece with a comfortable 109-81 victory at the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Having beaten Greece, the US team will now advance to the second group phase of the tournament. On Wednesday, the US team is set to conclude their group stage matches as they face off against Jordan.
Similarly, Greece is scheduled to play against New Zealand on the same day. Following their close victory in overtime against Jordan on Monday, the outcome of the Greece vs. New Zealand match will be pivotal in deciding the second position in Group C. This game holds significance since the top two teams from the group will progress to the next phase of the tournament.
— FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 🏆 (@FIBAWC) August 28, 2023
Greece vs. USA at the FIBA Basketball World Cup
In contrast to their victory over New Zealand on Saturday, where Paolo Banchero led with 25 points, the Americans did not rely on a single dominant player in this match. Austin Reaves took the lead with 15 points, yet all 12 members of the team contributed with at least four points each.
The triumph stemmed from cohesive team dynamics, coupled with impressive shooting accuracy from both beyond the arc (9-of-22) and, notably, the free-throw line (30-of-34). Adding to their prowess, a commanding 40-25 rebounding performance ensured Team USA’s control across nearly every facet of the game.
Greece’s lineup faced significant limitations, boasting solely one NBA player in Thanasis Antetokounmpo. Notably absent due to knee surgery was his more renowned brother, Giannis Antetokounmpo, who might have participated in the tournament otherwise. With Giannis sidelined, Greece lacked substantial firepower and failed to pose a significant challenge to Team USA.
— Court Side Heat (@courtsideheat) August 28, 2023
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s absence from the Greek team
Earlier in August, NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo revealed his official decision not to participate in the FIBA World Cup. He emphasized his intention to focus on the 2024 Olympic Games.
Antetokounmpo expressed regrets over his decision to miss out on the World Cup on social media. He revealed that this choice was predominantly influenced by the advice of his medical team, which had carefully considered his health and overall well-being.
Everyone knows my passion and love for my National Team has and never will change. Since the conclusion of my NBA season I have been pushing my body to the limits to be the player I need to be to help our team achieve the goals we set.
But after months of work and multiple… pic.twitter.com/1uhTlfNZVE
— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) August 11, 2023
He added that a demanding NBA season and his unwavering dedication prompted him to strive for peak physical form in preparation for the World Championship. However, according to Antetokounmpo, it has become evident that he has not fully recovered the required level necessary for competition at the World Cup.
The NBA star acknowledged that surpassing these limitations would pose a risk to his health.
Antetokounmpo concluded his message by looking toward the future. He emphasized that both on a personal level and for the national team, the collective goal is to secure a spot in the 2024 Olympic Games.