The United States Men’s National Team took the court for the first time in a Team USA scrimmage against the Men’s Select Team (as USA White), leaving little doubt as USA Blue against the younger Select players, winning 97-78. As a team, USA Blue shot 56.7% from the field, including 40.7% night from beyond the arc.
Myles Turner contributed to both as the starting center for USA Blue, finishing with five points and two rebounds on 2-2 shooting in 13 minutes of action. Having yet to trim down the Team USA roster, Turner’s playing time was limited to stretches opening the first and third quarters.
In Turner’s first run, he played very active around the rim, but struggled to pull in rebounds or make much of an impact on the game overall. The general lack of structure in the game didn’t help that much as it proved difficult for Turner to make a name for himself on the defensive end especially. His would-be lone block was instead whistled as a foul.
Turner emerged in the second half as Ponytail Myles and in doing so, made the most of his offensive opportunities, stepping into a three from the top of the arc with no hesitation. Again, it proved difficult for Turner to become a big part of the game due to its style, which lends Turner’s need to create for himself off of rebounds, something that he and Brook Lopez are not known for, creating an interesting gap in the final roster should either or both make the 12-man roster.
Within the offense, it was also hard to involve Turner simply because there wasn’t much in the way of ball movement. USA Blue shot exceptionally well, but finished with just 10 assists on 38 field goals. That may have to improve, but if Team USA’s starting backcourt is, for example, Kemba Walker and Donovan Mitchell, it’s hard to see how if they’re also expected to be the scoring load for Team USA.
Beyond Turner, Thaddeus Young had a nice showing, scoring five himself, even logging minutes at the center position. In terms of aesthetically pleasing basketball in general, De’Aaron Fox ran away with the accolades, especially early, playing huge on both ends of the floor to help push USA Blue to a comfortable victory.
Team USA will shift their training schedule from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, playing next on August 16 against Spain.