Anthony Davis had another strong showing in Team USA’s big over 114-55 Finland to open the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.
Davis put up 17 points on 6-8 shooting from the field, to go along with 4 rebounds in just 14 minutes of play to help USA win their first game in Group C play. Throughout the game Davis was most effective moving around and finding openings, including the baseline mid-range jumper, which looked silky smooth in tonight’s game.
Finland struggled to find any real rhythm on offense, shooting only 27.7% from the field on the night. Only one player for Finland, Shawn Huff, was able to shoot over 50% from the field against the United States. The three-point shooting was dismal for both teams, with Finland going only 4-21 from behind the arc and the US only shooting 6-19 from long distance. The big difference was the defense of the US, causing 31 turnovers on Finland throughout the game.
Davis took full advantage of the lack of size for Finland, scoring effectively and easily early in the game. The highlight for Davis was scoring seven points in a row early in the second quarter to help start a big USA run. The United States broke away from Finland, going on a 29-2 run in the quarter by forcing Finland to miss all their field goal attempts. Davis’ defense didn’t show very much in this game, since Finland seemed to stay on the perimeter after Gerald Lee, one of their starting bigs, got in foul trouble early on. Davis also didn’t play as much time as expected, only getting 14 minutes of play, mostly due to the lead the US was able to accumulate early on, including a 42 point lead at halftime.
The next matchup for the United States has quite the Pelican-themed storyline, as Anthony Davis could very well be matched up against new Pelican teammate Omer Asik. While Turkey was led by another center in their first game in Oguz Savas, Turkey might look to Asik for leadership against the highly talented and experienced United States team. With AD playing most of the minutes at Center for the United States’ smaller roster, it could be fun to watch AD try to find opening against Omer. Turkey has much more talent in their front court than Finland, and will impose a different challenge for the United States, which means they may lean more on their powerful bigs in Drummond and Cousins than their game against Finland.
Davis has been seen as one of the centerpieces of this United States National Team, and he showed it against Finland. His size and athleticism all night caused problems for the inexperienced Finland team. While you have to love the support of the Finland faithful in the crowd tonight, the US were the better team and overpowered Finland on both sides of the ball. Anthony will look to repeat his performance tomorrow at 3:30 EST on ESPN.