In the 2023 FIBA World Cup competition, it’s nearly impossible to read highlights or even to catch video clips from the games and not be impressed with the performances of Minnesota Timberwolves players.
It was a very eventful group stage and Round 1 of seeding games for the 2023 FIBA WC. Some national teams were eliminated, and those that survived must now compete in Round 2 of the World Cup competition. After all, the first set of games did not disappoint.
Starting us off, Team Italy defeated Team Serbia by a score of 78-76. Serbian star player Bogdan Bogdanović went ice cold from beyond the arc, going just 1 of 13 at three-point range. He ended the game with a total of 18 points for the Serbian squad.
Our 2022 draftee, Team Italy PG Matteo Spagnolo didn’t play, due to a coaching decision. Utah Jazz’s Simone Fontecchio took care of business, as usual, scoring 30 points along with seven rebounds to get this very important win. The Italians will now play against Team Puerto Rico, on Sunday, September 3, in a must-win game to qualify to the quarter-finals.
Ant-Man or Captain America?
Following this eventful game, Team USA and Anthony Edwards faced off against former All-Star Nikola Vučević and Team Montenegro in what ended up being a very close matchup. In fact, it was only decided near the end of the match. One deciding factor? You guessed it, Ant-Man struck again with 17 second-half points to help lead the Team USA squad to a very big win. He proved once again that he only gets better on bigger stages and that he deserves the spot on Bleacher Reports’ top 100 list.
Next up? Here comes Jonas Valančiūnas and his Lithuanian team, on Sunday, in a game to decide who advances in the group’s first place toward the next phase of the World Cup.
Big KAT puts up Big Time Numbers
Up next is the Carribean duel between Team Puerto Rico and Team Dominican Republic. This slugfest saw a historic performance from Minnesota Timberwolves own, Karl-Anthony Towns, who had a dominant showing, both defensively and offensively, scoring a tournament-high 39 points alongside 10 rebounds. Unfortunately, though, a couple of bad team decisions down the stretch lost the game for Team DR by a score of 97-102.
They will now face off against Team Serbia, in what should be their toughest test yet Despite losing to Team Italy, Team Serbia could give Team Dominican Republic another tough match. It will be up to KAT to lead his team to victory if they wish to advance to the following round.
Can he continue to compete at an elite level?
Finally, last but certainly not least, let’s discuss the most consistently unstoppable team in the whole tournament, Team Canada. Canada is led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and his cousin, Minnesota Timberwolves forward, Nickeil Alexander-Walker. Unfortunately, Team Canada lost for their very first time too, against Team Brazil. Brazil was led by Yago dos Santos, albeit the final score of 65-68 was surprisingly low.
Out of these 65 points, NAW scored only 3 of them, alongside two rebounds and three assists. It was a rare off-night for the Canadian, as he shot only 11 percent from the field. Team Canada will next face Team Spain, who had registered a loss to Team Latvia,
As for averages for these four games played, Karl-Anthony Towns leads the way with 24.5 points and 8.3 rebounds, Anthony Edwards follows closely with 16.5 points and five rebounds, Nickeil Alexander-Walker with 10.3 points and 3.5 assists, and finally, Matteo Spagnolo, who’s had the least amount of playing time, has been averaging two points, in only two appearances for the Italian national team.
As competition continues, we will continue to update you. Stay tuned . . .