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Jaylen Brown drives to the basket for Team USA in their scrimmage against Canada earlier this summer. Photo via Mark Kolbe
Early this morning, Team USA faced off against Japan in their final game of the first round of the FIBA World Cup in China. After their very close call in overtime against Turkey many questioned how legit of a lock it was for Team USA in this years' tournament. After this game I'm sure those questions will continue to swirl even more.

In their third game out, Team USA looked a lot like Team USA normally does in worldwide basketball competition. They ended up winning the game by a whopping 53 points with a final score of 98-45, and once again the Celtics representatives showed up big despite only half of them playing. 

Jayson Tatum sat out of today's game as he is still recovering from the ankle sprain he suffered in overtime against Turkey. He has already been ruled out for at least the next outing for Team USA and will move forward from there. While it is disappointing that he got hurt at all, I certainly sighed a breath of relief hearing that it was only ankle sprain that would cause him to miss a very limited amount of time.

The other member of Team Shamrock to sit out for USA was Marcus Smart, who is now day-to-day as he is taking precautions with a left quad strain that he has dealt within the last few months.
Once again, this is something relatively minor that Celtics' fans shouldn't worry too much about in the long run although it is disappointing that both him and Tatum are forced to miss time doing something they were very much passionate about doing.

That being said, the lack of Tatum and Smart meant the other half of Team Shamrock had to step up, and they certainly did. Boston Celtics' guard Jaylen Brown had his first massive game for Team USA this summer and it was definitely one to remember. In a very much balanced effort from America, Brown led the team in scoring with 20 points on 60% shooting (9/15) in 22 minutes of play. He also had 7 rebounds, 2 steals, and an electrifying highlight reel to showcase all of it.
With a fresh pair of flashy dunks added to his resume, Brown did have one of the more impressive outings of his career as of late. Along with him for the ride was his newest Celtic teammate and the leader of Team USA Kemba Walker. Perhaps the most consistent player for America in their games this summer, Walker continued with his impressive play by putting up a solid 15 points and 8 assists on 45% shooting (5/11). The rest of Team USA had a very balanced night both on the scoreboard and the stat sheet, as Donovan Mitchell had the highest amount of minutes at just under 23 in total.

It was a team win against Japan and America will need to continue that type of play if they want to succeed at the highest level by the time this whole tournament is all said and done. If you want to check out the full box score of America's game vs Japan you can see it here.

Moving forward, the undefeated USA team will play their next few games in the second round with their first being against Giannis Atetokounmpo and Greece this Saturday.

 You can follow Thomas Desmond on Twitter @td_654.

Thomas Desmond 9/05/2019 07:31:00 PM Edit
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