Published: Wed, September 11, 2019
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Gregg Popovich Roasts Reporter After Team USA's Upset Loss To France

Gregg Popovich Roasts Reporter After Team USA's Upset Loss To France

Before the third quarter, the Americans struggled to score easy buckets. On defense, Gobert affected Team USA's ability to drive the lane with his rim protection.

France was far from overmatched down the stretch; one could argue they held the athletic edge. The Utah Jazz guard came out focused and determined for the United States, and he did all that he could to keep the team afloat over the course of the contest, despite the lack of other consistent offensive contributors. Walker is one of the NBA's leading pick-and-roll players, but neither he nor the rest of Team USA could put Gobert on skates a la Steph Curry. France switched at almost every opportunity from its point guard to power forward.

As the duo began to tire, Team USA hit back thanks to a one-man show from Donovan Mitchell, who netted 14 of his 29 points in the third quarter to give the 2014 champions a 66-63 lead ahead of the final 10 minutes. Mitchell's willingness to attack the tin with abandon sets him apart from much of Team USA. Walker is diminutive. Harrison Barnes and Jaylen Brown are complementary players. Celtics forward Jayson Tatum missed the game with an ankle injury. The Americans had more space on offense in the halfcourt because of the quicker pace.

After the game, head coach Gregg Popovich was tasked with answering for his team's performance. The Jazz star didn't take a shot in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter.

Team USA had taken gold at the previous two world championships. But, it's clear that major changes are going to need to be made to the roster if the Americans plan to avoid another early elimination next summer.

Mitchell finished the contest with 29 points, six rebounds and four assists, and he had 14 points in the third quarter alone to help the US bounce back after it fell behind by double digits for the first time. Instead, the gold medal will now go overseas.

The loss also ended Team USA's impressive winning streak when National Basketball Association players comprise its roster.

But Wednesday's loss should still leave a bitter taste in the mouths of American basketball fans.

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