Team Canada is the favorite to win the FIBA World Olympic Qualifying tournament and Nickeil Alexander-Walker of the New Orleans Pelicans is helping to lead the way.
Team Canada has a strong roster of NBA talent, with guys like Luguentz Dort, Dwight Powell, RJ Barrett and Andrew Wiggins joining NAW on the Canadian squad.
I thought playing on Team Canada could help elevate NAW’s overall game, as he is one of the go-to players on the team and a guy who is getting a chance to thrive in an expanded role.
Alexander-Walker has shown a lot of promise for the Pelicans, but has yet to put it all together consistently, something he hopes this experience will change.
NAW could end up being a star like his cousin Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and these reps against some of the top international talent should help.
Pelicans: Nickeil Alexander-Walker’s statistics with Team Canada
Canada is 2-0 in the tournament so far with a close 97-91 victory over Greece in which Nickeil Alexander-Walker was a big part.
NAW was efficient and contributed in a lot of different ways:
The second game was a runaway blowout over China, and NAW led the team in minutes and was the primary ball handler for much of the game as Canada routed the Chinese team 109-79 with Andrew Wiggins leading the team in scoring.
NAW wasn’t as efficient in this one, scoring just 11 points on 4-of-10 shooting, but he did add eight rebounds and five assists while only turning the ball over once.
Turnovers have been a problem for NAW early in his career, so it is good to see him taking care of the ball while getting a lot of run as the point guard for Team Canada.
This experience should be great for NAW and could help vault him into the starting lineup when the Pelicans come back next season.