Kerr laments USA’s poor defense

Head coach Steve Kerr said the United States “didn’t defend well enough” at the Basketball World Cup after losing to Canada in Sunday’s bronze-medal game to go home empty-handed.

The United States went down 127-118 in overtime to miss out on a medal for the second straight World Cup, after finishing seventh in China in 2019.

USA’s Austin Reaves (left) and Anthony Edwards AFP PHOTO

It was the Americans’ third defeat of the tournament, having lost to Lithuania in the second round and Germany in the semi-finals.

Kerr said his team “tried everything” to stop Canada, who finished on the World Cup podium for the first time.

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“When it comes down to it for us in this tournament, we put ourselves in a great position, we got to the semi-finals, we were right there, we just didn’t get enough stops,” said Kerr.

“We didn’t defend well enough against Germany or Canada. That’s the bottom line.”

Kerr was without Paolo Banchero, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Ingram, who all fell ill after a bug swept through the US camp.

The Americans fell behind in the first and third quarters but took the game into overtime when Mikal Bridges hit a game-tying three-pointer with 0.2sec remaining.

Canada retook control as soon as the extra period got underway, scoring the first five points of overtime.

“They did what they had to do,” said Anthony Edwards, who finished as the Americans’ top scorer with 24 points.

“They finished the game.”

Germany were set to face Serbia in the final later on Sunday.

The United States have not won the World Cup since 2014, when they beat Serbia in the final.

“It’s hard,” said Kerr.

“These teams are really good, they’re well coached, they’ve got continuity and they play together for a long time.

“It’s difficult, and it’s been difficult already.”

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Author : Agence France-Presse

Publish date : 2023-09-10 15:11:00

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