As expected, the Australian national team tweaked its lineup ahead of Tuesday’s game vs. Japan, replacing Matisse Thybulle with Mavericks wing Josh Green in the starting five, per Olgun Uluc of ESPN (Twitter link). The move paid dividends, as Green recorded 15 points (on 5-of-7 shooting) and four steals to help lead the Boomers to a 109-89 victory, securing the team a spot in the second round of the FIBA World Cup.
With the loss, the Japanese national team has been eliminated from the World Cup, though Suns fans have to be pleased with Yuta Watanabe‘s performance. The new Phoenix forward had 24 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including 4-of-8 threes, against Australia.
Here’s more on the 2023 World Cup:
- An MRI on Bucks forward Thanasis Antetokounmpo revealed a “slight stretch” of the adductor muscle in his left thigh, tweets Harris Stavrou of SPORT24. Antetokounmpo is receiving treatment and still hopes to play in Greece’s crucial Wednesday contest vs. New Zealand — the winner will advance to round two, while the loser will be out of the running.
- Having been eliminated from World Cup contention, France sat three players – including Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert – for Tuesday’s game against Lebanon, per Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops. As Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press notes (via Twitter), it’d be surprising if Gobert is active for any of the consolation games to determine the Nos. 17-32 seeding. France did defeat Lebanon on Tuesday, with Evan Fournier becoming the country’s all-time leading World Cup scorer, sneaking past teammate Nicolas Batum (285 points to 282).
- Thunder forward Luguentz Dort is missing his second consecutive game for Team Canada on Tuesday due to a minor injury. However, it sounds like Canada is just playing it safe with Dort and he’ll be available for the start of the next round, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca. Canada and Latvia are currently going head-to-head to determine the Group H winner — both teams will advance to round two, but today’s winner would have a leg up to make the knockout round.