Team USA at Team World
|Date & Time||Friday February 15, 2019, 9:00 PM (EST)|
Charlotte, North Carolina
The Line: Team USA -3.5 -- Over/Under: 283.5
Team World and Team USA meet Friday in the NBA Rising Stars Challenge at the Spectrum Center.
Team World will be coached by the Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki, and they’ve won three of the four meetings since going to this format. Team World doesn’t have as many household names as past years, but a four-headed monster in Ben Simmons, Luka Doncic, DeAndre Ayton and OG Anunoby is certainly nothing to sneeze at. Team World has a lot of size to its roster and should be looking to do a lot of its damage inside, while players such as Bogdan Bogdanovic and Cedi Osman can get hot from deep. However, we all know most of the focus will be on rookie Doncic, as he’s really taken the NBA by storm and this is type of game where he could put on an absolute clinic. If Team World is going to continue its dominance, it starts with its top-two players in Doncic and Simmons leading the way and having the rest of their team follow their lead.
Team USA will be coached by the Boston Celtics Kyrie Irving, and they have their best chance in quite some time to get a victory in this exhibition game. The US has a lot of established players on its roster, including Jayson Tatum, Donovan Mitchell, Kyle Kuzma, De'Aaron Fox and Jarrett Allen, guys who play key roles in their regular teams success. Team USA also has two talented rookies from the Atlanta Hawks who have started to put things together the last month or so in Trae Young and John Collins. Lonzo Ball has been replaced by New York Knicks Kevin Knox due to an ankle injury, and Marvin Bagley III is the third member of the surprising Kings who will participate in this contest. Team USA probably has its best and deepest roster its ever had since switching to this format, so expectations should be high for this club.
In all-star games and meaningless exhibitions, I usually take the points and call it a day. There’s not many angles you can attack these type of games with other than expecting a trillion points and hoping its your side that gets an extra stop or two to close the deal. Defense will be optional. However, Team USA is head and shoulders the better roster this time around and they should be eager to get a win based on the way the past few meetings have gone. Just last year, Team World had the game finished by half-time and ended up winning by 31 points.
It’s Team USA that has the experience and a handful of guys who are borderline all-stars already. Anything short of a double-digit victory for the Americans would be a disappointment.