Marcus Smart

Getty Images

Marcus Smart only Team USA member to not play vs. Australia

Nick Friar
August 22, 2019 - 8:29 am
Categories: 

Derrick White didn’t exactly play much for Team USA in Thursday’s game against Australia, and the game was essentially over when he entered in the fourth quarter. But the Spurs guard still played.

Listen to your team news NOW.

The same cannot be said for Marcus Smart, who was the only member of Team USA who didn’t get in the game. Now, Smart is behind everyone else in the process, having missed some time due to calf tightness. That could be the reason he didn’t play. Still, there are currently 13 players on the roster and teams can only carry 12 for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Smart not receiving any minutes isn’t exactly the greatest sign for those who want Team Shamrock to stay together in its entirety.

The other Celtics, however, had more luck against Australia in Team USA’s 102-86 win.

 

Kemba Walker caught fire

It took a little while for Walker to get going. Once he did, though, Australia struggled to stop him, particularly in the paint. He had a tough time from outside, only going 2-for-7 from three, but he made adjustments as the game progressed and attacked the rim more frequently.

Walker finished with a team-high 22 shot attempts (nine makes) and was only one of two members of Team USA to register double-digit shot-attempts. (Donovan Mitchell had 15.) He led the team with 23 points and was also tied for second in rebounds with six.

 

Jayson Tatum did a bit of everything

Gregg Popovich continues to mess around with Team USA’s starting lineup, yet Jayson Tatum continues to come off the bench. So far, it’s work out well, and Tatum is still logging major minutes, finishing fourth on the team against Australia.

Tatum didn’t seem quite as aggressive on Thursday as he was against Spain, but he still went 4-for-7 (2 of 3 from deep) and scored 11. One thing that jumped out most was his passing. He only had four assists (team-high), but there were other instances where he found the right teammate to get the ball to the open man.

Of course, there’s only one pass Celtics fans will really care about:

Defensively, however, Tatum didn’t seem to be at his best. He fouled Australia’s Chris Goulding on a three-point attempt and may have gotten away with another one on a previous long-range look by Goulding.

 

Jaylen Brown on the glass

Much like Walker, Brown was a little slow at the beginning (both started). He was stagnant off the ball on offense. Brown seemed to pick up the pace once he grabbed his first rebound. Brown tied Walker with six boards, but he had to work a little harder than his Celtics teammate, who seemed to sneak his way through the Australian team each time he grabbed a rebound. Brown, on the other hand, had to outmuscle his opponents on multiple occasions.

Brown did not take one three-pointer on the night and finished with 11 points on 5 of 9 shooting (1-for-2 from the free-throw line). He took a few mid-range shots, but mostly looked to generate offense in the paint.