CAN CANADA DO IT?

2023-08-30 · 2 min read · FIBA World Cup/Basketball
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and team Canada

DeFodi Images/Getty Images | CBC.ca

While the 2023 Fiba World Cup has shown a display of talent that spreads far beyond the United States, including the likes of Luka Doncic, and Josh Giddey to name a few, the stand-out team thus far has been none other than Team Canada.
Sitting with a perfect 3-0 record heading, winning their group and moving on into the knockout stage, Canada looks poised to compete for the program first ever medal in basketball.  And while the big bad USA still stands in their way, this team is quickly becoming “that team nobody wants to play” in this tournament.
Now, this shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, after, Canada boasts the second most amount of NBA talent other than the USA, including an NBA MVP Candidate in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Who we’ll get too shortly)
It isn’t just their record either, it's HOW they’re winning.  So far, they’ve been destroying teams, and their three wins include a 30-point blow out of France, a perennial international powerhouse.
So how are they doing it? Well, the simple answer is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.  The first-team all-NBA-er has been arguably the best player so far this tournament.  With averages of 22 ppg, 8 rpg and 5.7 apg, he’s been doing everything for this Canadian team.
Another big reason for their success has been the defence, which has been particularly stingy. Canada has only given up over 75 points thus far in a game, a credit to the likes of Dillon Brooks, Lu Dort and Dwight Powell among others.
RJ Barrett has been a solid source of secondary offence as well.
It’s as good a start to the tournament as Canada could have hoped for, and while things don’t get any easier as we move toward the group stage, they’ve proven that not only can they play with some of the best countries in the world, they’re ready to beat them all.
Sports Tree Profile

By: Eddie Huband

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