Basketball

Anthony Edwards’ star performance not enough as Germany claims semifinal win

Germany secured a momentous victory over Team USA in the 2023 FIBA World Cup Semifinal finally breaking their six-game losing streak. This captivating showdown saw Germany emerge triumphant with a final score of 113-111. This earned them a coveted spot in the World Cup Final where they will face off against Serbia. At halftime, the USA held a narrow 60-59 lead and seemed to have momentum firmly in their grasp. However, the third quarter witnessed a remarkable shift in favor of Germany.

They came out firing on all cylinders, with a blistering 11-4 run that handed them a six-point advantage. The catalyst for this surge was Andreas Obst who delivered back-to-back three-pointers propelling Germany to outscore the U.S. by a staggering 35-24 in the third period. Meanwhile, Team USA’s star players, Anthony Edwards, and Mikal Bridges who had combined for 40 points in the first half faltered in the third managing to score just a single bucket. This slump proved costly as Germany surged ahead by 10 points heading into the pivotal fourth quarter.

Andreas Obst sealed the deal for Germany

As the fourth quarter dawned, Germany stretched their lead to 12 points. However, the USA, spurred on by the heroics of Anthony Edwards mounted a thrilling comeback narrowing the deficit to a mere one point. In this critical juncture, Andreas Obst who finished with a game-high 24 points rose to the occasion.

With Germany clinging to a precarious 108-107 lead, Obst showcased his sharpshooting prowess. He received an inbounds pass in the corner, executed a perfect shot fake that left defender Tyrese Haliburton sprawling, and calmly drained a three-pointer with just 1:14 left on the clock. This clutch play swung the momentum decisively in Germany’s favor.

Germany overwhelms team USA with their size advantage

One of the defining aspects of this matchup was Germany’s clear size advantage which played a pivotal role in their victory. They dominated the offensive boards grabbing 16 rebounds which translated into 25 second-chance points. While Obst made a significant impact from beyond the arc, his teammates controlled the paint. Players like Franz Wagner and Daniel Theis capitalized on their size advantage scoring 22 and 21 points respectively. Often finding themselves uncontested against the smaller USA squad. Defensively, Germany effectively clogged the paint and contested Team USA’s shots off the dribble making it challenging for the American team to find easy baskets.

In a game where styles clashed, Germany’s sharp execution stood out. Team USA relied heavily on athleticism and one-on-one play to score while Germany opted for a more balanced and cohesive offensive approach. They capitalized on drive-and-kick opportunities and executed pick-and-roll plays with precision. Leading to higher-quality shots. Dennis Schroder orchestrated this offensive symphony, masterfully handling the defensive ball pressure exerted by the U.S. to contribute 17 points and nine assists. With three players scoring 21 points or more, Germany’s superior execution proved decisive particularly when the game was on the line.

Despite the defeat, Anthony Edwards the All-Star wing from Minnesota showcased his remarkable talents throughout the tournament. In the semifinal clash, he continued to be Team USA’s standout performer contributing 23 points on efficient 10-for-17 shooting. Edwards also displayed his versatility adding eight rebounds and three assists to his impressive stat line. When it appeared that Germany might pull away, Edwards exhibited his determination and kept the U.S. within striking distance.

With one game left in the tournament, Edwards boasts impressive averages of 18.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game, demonstrating that he is much more than just a highlight-reel dunker. While Anthony Edwards led the charge for Team USA, the supporting cast also made significant contributions. Austin Reaves had another strong showing, tallying 21 points, while Mikal Bridges and Jalen Brunson both chipped in with 17 and 15 points, respectively. Their collective efforts underscored the depth of talent on the U.S. roster.

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