Team USA Takeaways: Anthony Edwards, Anthony Davis Lead Americans to 86-72 Win Over Canada

Team USA Takeaways: Anthony Edwards, Anthony Davis Lead Americans to 86-72 Win Over Canada
Image Credit: Anthony Edwards

The last major outing for Team USA resulted in a 127-118 loss to Canada for the bronze medal at the FIBA World Cup. This defeat spurred many of the top basketball talents, including LeBron James and Stephen Curry, to commit to the 2024 Olympics. Team USA began its journey to gold with an exhibition game against Canada on Wednesday, this time securing an 86-72 victory.

Anthony Edwards Key Takeaways from the Game:

1. Anthony Edwards Emergence as a Key Player

  • Edwards’ Confidence: Anthony Edwards has asserted himself as the No. 1 option for Team USA, despite initially coming off the bench. His performance against Canada, where he led with 13 points, validated his claim.
  • Impact on the Game: Edwards shifted the game’s momentum when he entered, helping Team USA regain control and setting the tone with his scoring and defense. His ability to rise to the occasion might earn him a more prominent role despite the presence of seasoned stars.

2. The Role of Joel Embiid

  • Embiid’s Mixed Debut: Joel Embiid’s first game as Team USA’s starting center was underwhelming, with just two field goals and one free throw in 12 minutes. He struggled defensively and fouled out by the third quarter.
  • Anthony Davis’ Stellar Play: Conversely, Anthony Davis excelled with 10 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks, and two steals. Team USA performed better with Davis on the court, highlighting his defensive versatility and mobility.
  • Strategic Implications: While Embiid’s size and power will be crucial in certain matchups, particularly against teams like Serbia featuring Nikola Jokic, Davis might be preferred in scenarios requiring more agility and defensive coverage against dynamic guards.

3. Team USA’s Cohesion and Selflessness

  • Defensive Excellence: Team USA’s defense was a standout, limiting Canada to 33.8% shooting. The collective effort showcased the team’s commitment to defensive pressure and discipline.
  • Team Play: With 25 assists on 37 field goals (a 67.6% assist rate), Team USA demonstrated exceptional ball movement and unselfish play. This indicates a strong team ethos, essential for success in international competitions.
  • Elder Statesmen’s Role: The veteran presence of players like James, Curry, and Durant has not hindered the team’s willingness to engage in the smaller, crucial aspects of the game such as screening and defending.


Team USA’s 86-72 victory over Canada highlights the squad’s potential and depth. Anthony Edwards’ assertive play and Anthony Davis’ defensive prowess provide a strong foundation, while the team’s overall selfless play and defensive intensity bode well for their Olympic campaign. With more time to gel, Team USA looks poised for a successful run in Paris.


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