All three New Orleans Pelicans players representing their national teams at the 2023 FIBA World Cup have advanced to the second round. Here’s how they can meet up in Manila.
All three New Orleans Pelicans players representing their national teams at the 2023 FIBA World Cup have advanced to the second round. Meanwhile, Jose Alvarado’s Puerto Rico squad (which he isn’t participating in due to injuries) still has a chance to clinch a 2024 Paris Olympics spot. Here’s how they can meet up in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia hosted affair.
Lithuania gets Brandon Ingram and Team USA on Sunday, but that’s after they face off against whoever emerges from the Greece versus New Zealand win-or-go-home game.
Jonas Valanciunas posted averages of 13.7 points and 10.0 rebounds in Group D pool play, with double-doubles against Egypt and Mexico. He never played more than 21 minutes either, dominating early and often before resting down the stretch.
The Lithuanians could be looking at elimination against Team USA if they don’t beat the Greece/New Zealand winner. Valanciunas has shot 61 percent from the field and snatched eight offensive rebounds. Can Valanciunas, who recently mentioned being open to a contract extension, power Lithuania through Team USA’s small-ball lineups with David Griffin and Willie Green watching?
Ingram will try to get back on track with Team USA on Wednesday at 3:40 a.m. versus Jordan before the second-round games against Lithuania and Montenegro. Ingram versus Valanciunas probably won’t be much of a thing. But Valanciunas meeting Ingram at the rim will have David Griffin and Willie Green clinched up and praying everyone comes out of the FIBA chaos unscathed.
If you’re only watching the FIBA World Cup for Pelicans content, keep cruising past these games. Australia had a 22-point lead at halftime of a must-win pool play game against Japan. Dyson Daniels spent just 75 seconds on the court and missed his only shot.
Daniels will have to mostly wait to see any of his NBA teammates. Australia is not lined up on the right side of the bracket, so the earliest possible meeting is the semi-finals unless there are multiple upsets. Then, the high-profile game would be relegated to the consolation bracket. That’s just too many permutations, so we’re focused only on those still in line to win a medal.
Jose Alvarado is not playing this summer but will more than likely be convinced to participate in the 2024 Paris Olympics. Puerto Rico has to win their final pool play game (versus China on August 30th) to advance out of the first round. They would then play either Italy or the Dominican Republic to open the second stage of the tournament. They could meet either Valanciunas or Ingram in the quarterfinals.