Team USA is out of the running for a medal at the 2019 FIBA World Cup after losing to France in the quarterfinals on Tuesday. Their journey in China is not over, though, as they’ll continue play in the consolation bracket, which will ultimately determine fifth through eighth place.
Up first, they’ll take on Serbia, who also suffered a surprising loss in the quarters. The Serbian squad dropped their game to Argentina, which is led by former NBA forward Luis Scola. With Team USA looking vulnerable entering the tournament, Nikola Jokic and Serbia were seen as a potential threat to take them out.
Instead, both teams underperformed, and though we’ll still get the matchup we were all looking forward to, it won’t mean anywhere near as much. In fact, it will be interesting to see just how seriously each side takes this matchup, considering there’s not much to play for besides pride at this point.
How to watch Team USA vs. Serbia
- Date: Thursday, Sept. 12
- Time: 7 a.m. ET
- Location: Dongguan Basketball Center — Dongguan, China
- Streaming: ESPN+
- Live stats: GameTracker
- Odds: Team USA -3.5
USA: The Americans were attempting to become the first country to ever three-peat at the World Cup, but came up well short with their quarterfinal loss to France. As it turned out, the concerns over their lack of star power were valid, and this is the first time they’ll go without a medal at the Olympics or World Cup since 2006. It will be interesting to see how they fare over the rest of the tournament; will they pack things in with nothing to play for, or will their pride kick in after the disappointing loss?
Serbia: Led by Denver Nuggets All-Star big man Nikola Jokic, Serbia had high hopes entering the tournament, especially with the U.S. bringing what could generously be called their “B” team. After cruising to a dominant 4-0 start, it was looking like they might even have a shot at winning it all. Instead, they dropped their final second-round game to Spain before falling again to Argentina in the quarters in one of the most surprising results of the tournament. Much like Team USA, it will be interesting to see their intensity for this game. Even with a medal out of the question, it would still be a big win for them to take down the Americans.
Game prediction, pick
This is a tricky game to predict because you don’t know the mindset each team will have in a consolation bracket game. That being said, Serbia should have more motivation to prove themselves and Nikola Jokic will be a big problem against a thin American frontcourt.
Pick: Serbia 86, United States 78