POINT 3's Social Media specialist Sam Meyerkopf was at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. Here are his final thoughts from Spain!
by Sam Meyerkopf
Team USA captured the gold after a dominating performance throughout the tournament, including in the final against Serbia. The much-anticipated matchup between USA and Spain never materialized, but the U.S. didn’t leave anything to chance.
Why wasn’t anyone able to match Team USA on the court?
1. Energy is a Skill
Team USA won the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup by getting out on the fast break and dominating the offensive glass. The player who excelled the most in these categories was Kenneth Faried. A missed shot was merely an opportunity for a tip-in dunk, a steal was almost a guaranteed two points for the US if Faried got some momentum running the floor.
When POINT 3 asked Faried how he was able to always play with so much energy he said, “I just love to play basketball!”
2. The Emergence of the NBA’s Next Stars
Kyrie Irving – The MVP of the Tournament looked like the quickest player in the world in Spain. Not only that, but he went 6/6 from three in the Finals! LeBron’s new counterpart certainly looked like he’s ready for bigger NBA battles.
Klay Thompson – Steph Curry is supposed to be the best shooter in the world and on his team but Thompson took that title away during the World Cup. He was absolutely amazing at getting his shot off. Give him an inch and the ball has already swished through the net.
Anthony Davis – The tall forward/center with guard like skills is still only 21 years old and just percolating with so much talent, you never know when he’s about to go off! Davis had moments of brilliance in the tournament and now will look to translate that into NBA success.
DeMarcus Cousins – Cousins was physically dominant in the paint, on both offense and defense. He wasn’t rattled mentally and was a huge part of the USA’s game plan, especially when Anthony Davis got in foul trouble, like the in the championship game. After the championship game Coach K said Cousins was one of the main reasons they won they game.
3. Second-Half Dominance
The USA won every game in a second half rout. Even if a team was able to stay with them in the first half, they’d come out of the locker room ready to blow the doors off.
As Coach Kazlouskas of Lithuania put it after his team’s loss to the US:
“When you're playing US team, you cannot lose control for one minute."