FIBA Basketball World Cup

FIBA World Cup 2014 Schedule: TV Info and Preview for USA's Group-Stage Matchups

LAS PALMAS, GRAN CANARIA, SPAIN - AUGUST 26: Kyrie Irving #10 of the USA Basketball Men's National Team shoots against the Slovenia Basketball Men's National Team on August 26, 2014 at Gran Canaria Arena in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Joe Murphy/Getty Images
Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 29, 2014

The United States national basketball team has high expectations for the 2014 FIBA World Cup, but they will have to prove themselves on the court.

After winning the 2010 tournament and dominating the past couple of summer Olympics, it is clear Team USA is the most talented squad in the field. However, injuries and declined invitations have forced the squad to play without many of the best players the nation has to offer.

While there is still plenty of skill on the roster between Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis, Stephen Curry and others, head coach Mike Krzyzewski will have a tougher job than in past tournaments.

The better opponents will come in the knockout stage, but the American must first make it through these group-stage battles in Bilbao, Spain.

 

Finland

Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

When: August 30 at 3:30 p.m. ET

Watch: ESPN, ESPN3

 

One of the big questions with this team is which player will start at point guard. Both Irving and Rose have showcased plenty of ability in the exhibitions and are capable of running the offense to perfection.

Krzyzewski explained before the latest game against Slovenia, "We'll see as [the] thing goes on. We might alternate 'em. Both of them are going to play significant minutes," via ESPN's Marc Stein.

While it is fine putting every player on the court in the exhibition games, the start of the tournament will be a chance for the coaching staff to shorten the bench and give increased minutes to the players who are really expecting to make an impact. Even though both Rose and Irving will play, one of them should clearly get the majority of playing time.

Finland has a quality backcourt with solid defensive players, which should make this first game a good test for both of these star players.

 

Turkey

Date: August 31 at 3:30 p.m. ET

Watch: ESPN, ESPN3

 

Although Turkey does not have many familiar names on the roster, this is one of the best teams in the tournament and could be the United States' toughest test in the group stage.

Turkey went all the way to the finals of the 2010 World Cup before losing to USA, and Omer Asik leads a strong frontcourt that can challenge the younger Americans. The good news is Anthony Davis is looking as good as ever, coming through with a strong all-around performance against Slovenia:

Nate Duncan of Basketball Insiders also noted how well Davis played on the defensive end:

With Davis getting help from Kenneth Faried, DeMarcus Cousins and others, the United States squad should be able to muscle their way to a victory.

 

New Zealand

LAS PALMAS, GRAN CANARIA, SPAIN - AUGUST 26:Kenneth Faried #18 and Anthony Davis #14 of the USA Men's National Team celebrates against the Slovenia National Team on August 26, 2014 at Gran Canaria Arena in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain. NOTE TO USER: Us
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

Date: September 2 at 11:30 a.m. ET

Watch: ESPN2, ESPN3

 

New Zealand does not represent a huge challenge in this tournament, but there are a few players from the college ranks capable of creating some surprises. 

With the young lineup, the biggest thing the United States has to worry about is endurance. Many of the American players have a lot of mileage on their legs already in their career and might struggle to keep up in a fast-paced game.

As a result, this might be a good opportunity for Krzyzewski to showcase his bench. Versatile players like Klay Thompson and DeMar DeRozan might become more valuable in this game to keep the starters fresh for the first of three games in a row.

 

Dominican Republic

Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Date: September 3 at 3:30 p.m. ET

Watch: ESPN2, ESPN3

 

The United States had no problem against the Dominican Republic the last time out:

Considering there is no ringer on the way, it is hard to imagine the Dominican Republic coming back with a performance any better this time around.

The one thing they have going for them is good guard play behind Edgar Sosa and Francisco Garcia. This quick duo have a chance to get into the lane against sub-par defenders like James Harden and Curry. If they can hit their shots, they can expose a weak part of the American lineup.

That being said, the United States should have more than enough offense to survive this battle.

 

Ukraine

Date: September 4 at 11:30 a.m. ET

Watch: ESPN2, ESPN3

 

The Ukraine is ranked 45th in the latest FIBA World Rankings, which does not bode well for their chances in a 24-team tournament. The only NBA player on the roster is Viacheslav Kravtsov, who has played in 45 games over the past two years.

While it is important not to overlook anyone at this level, the United States should be able to easily come through with a victory in the final group-stage match.

This game will be the last chance for the Americans to work out the kinks before the single-elimination portion of the competition. As long as they play near their ability, though, this will not be a close game.

Full Group Stage Schedule
DateMatchupTime (ET)Group
Aug 30Croatia vs. Philippines6:30 a.m.B
Aug 30Ukraine vs. Dominican Republic6:30 a.m.C
Aug 30Angola vs. South Korea7:30 a.m.D
Aug 30Egypt vs. Serbia9:30 a.m.A
Aug 30New Zealand vs. Turkey10 a.m.C
Aug 30Austria vs. Slovenia11:30 a.m.D
Aug 30Puerto Rico vs. Argentina11:30 a.m.B
Aug 30France vs. Brazil12 p.m.A
Aug 30Mexico vs. Lithuania2 p.m.D
Aug 30Greece vs. Senegal2 p.m.B
Aug 30United States vs. Finland3:30 p.m.C
Aug 30Iran vs. Spain4 p.m.A
Aug 31Dominican Republic vs. New Zealand6:30 a.m.C
Aug 31South Korea vs. Australia7:30 a.m.D
Aug 31Argentina vs. Croatia7:30 a.m.B
Aug 31Serbia vs. France9:30 a.m.A
Aug 31Finland vs. Ukraine10 a.m.C
Aug 31Slovenia vs. Mexico11:30 a.m.D
Aug 31Senegal vs. Puerto Rico11:30 a.m.B
Aug 31Brazil vs. Iran12 p.m.A
Aug 31Lithuania vs. Angola2 p.m.D
Aug 31Philippines vs. Greece2 p.m.B
Aug 31Turkey vs. United States3:30 p.m.C
Aug 31Spain vs. Egypt4 p.m.A
Sept 1Croatia vs. Senegal6:30 a.m.B
Sept 1Iran vs. Serbia9:30 a.m.A
Sept 1Argentina vs. Philippines11:30 a.m.B
Sept 1France vs. Egypt12 p.m.A
Sept 1Puerto Rico vs. Greece2 p.m.B
Sept 1Brazil vs. Spain4 p.m.A
Sept 2Angola vs. Mexico7:30 a.m.D
Sept 2Ukraine vs. Turkey9 a.m.C
Sept 2Australia vs. Lithuania11:30 a.m.D
Sept 2United States vs. New Zealand11:30 a.m.C
Sept 2South Korea vs. Slovenia2 p.m.D
Sept 2Finland vs. Dominican Republic3:30 p.m.C
Sept 3Mexico vs. Australia7:30 a.m.D
Sept 3Philippines vs. Puerto Rico7:30 a.m.B
Sept 3New Zealand vs. Ukraine9 a.m.C
Sept 3Egypt vs. Iran9:30 a.m.A
Sept 3Slovenia vs. Angola11:30 a.m.D
Sept 3Senegal vs. Argentina11:30 a.m.B
Sept 3Turkey vs. Finland11:30 a.m.C
Sept 3Serbia vs. Brazil12 p.m.A
Sept 3Lithuania vs. South Korea2 p.m.D
Sept 3Greece vs. Croatia2 p.m.B
Sept 3Dominican Republic vs. United States3:30 p.m.C
Sept 3Spain vs. France4 p.m.A
Sept 4Australia vs. Angola7:30 a.m.D
Sept 4Senegal vs. Philippines8 a.m.B
Sept 4Finland vs. New Zealand9 a.m.C
Sept 4Brazil vs. Egypt9:30 a.m.A
Sept 4South Korea vs. Mexico11:30 a.m.D
Sept 4Ukraine vs. United States11:30 a.m.C
Sept 4Iran vs. France12 p.m.A
Sept 4Croatia vs. Puerto Rico12 p.m.B
Sept 4Lithuania vs. Slovenia3:30 p.m.D
Sept 4Turkey vs. Dominican Republic3:30 p.m.C
Sept 4Serbia vs. Spain4 p.m.A
Sept 4Argentina vs. Greece4 p.m.B
via FIBA.com

 

Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for the latest breaking news and analysis.

Follow TheRobGoldberg on Twitter

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices