USA and Montenegro meet each other for their respective first game in the second round of the 2023 FIBA World Cup. The Americans are undefeated, looking every bit the favorite to win it all in Manila. Will Montenegro show some fight and make USA sweat, at least?
Catch this game live on Friday, September 1, at 4:40 PM, Manila time
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Jalen Brunson
- SG: Mikal Bridges
- SF: Anthony Edwards
- PF: Brandon Ingram
- C: Jaren Jackson, Jr.
The Americans are beating teams in their sleep. It’s just been too easy for USA who probably are having more trouble with adjusting to the heat of Manila than with anything their opponents are throwing at them on the court. They just annihilated Jordan in a 110-62 victory, somehow still managing to cover despite a massive spread.
Team USA is being powered by an offense that’s averaging 106.0 points per game on 54.5 percent shooting from the field.
USA are sinking 36.3 field goals per game on 26.0 assists per contest. With a plethora of offensive weapons, it’s just close to impossible to silence the Americans for an entire game. Their depth is simply superior, as further evidenced by the fact their relievers are averaging 56.3 points per game. Montenegro, on the other hand, are getting only 28.3 points per game from their bench.
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Kendrick Perry
- SG: Petar Popovic
- SF: Dino Radoncic
- PF: Nikola Vucevic
- C: Marko Simonovic
Montenegro are coming off a bitter 91-71 loss at the hands of the Lithuanians in their last game in the group stage. That game was expected by many to be a lot closer than what it turned out to be, but at least Montenegro made it to the next round with two wins. Their two victims thus far are Mexico (91-71) and Egypt (89-74). Although they are clearly the underdogs versus Team USA, Montenegro have some guys who can hang with the guys on the other side.
Of course, among them is Chicago Bulls center Nikola Vucevic, who is leading Montenegro in the tournament with 20.7 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. He is also shooting 57.9 percent from the field. Vooch can be the best big man on the floor in this meeting with the Americans on Friday evening, and it’s fair to expect that. After all, he is a four-time NBA All-Star. The hope also for Montenegro is that their outside shooting will click after tossing a ton of bricks (5/31 FGA/M) in the loss to Lithuania. In the Mexico game, Montenegro drained 14 of their 31 attempts from deep.
Spread: USA (-25.5) cover the spread.
Over/Under: The total (181) hits the Over.