USA will face their biggest challenge in the FIBA World Cup so far when they play Germany in the semi-finals and head coach Steve Kerr knows playing Anthony Edwards correctly will be key.
Despite Germany only have four NBA players to USA’s 12, the German’s have size and depth and remain undefeated throughout the tournament.
“They’ve probably been the best team in the tournament overall,” Kerr told ESPN. “They’re connected, really well coached and have a lot of continuity and have a very strong team, physical team. So we’re going to have to play well to beat them.”
The two countries played in a friendly game before the start of FIBA which USA won, thanks to a 34-point haul from Edwards.
The 22-year-old will have his work cut out for him against a Dennis Schroder-led Germany side, who clearly have the drive and motivation to win it all.
How Edwards’ opponents look to play him and if Team USA can control the playing style will be two of the biggest deciding factors in who will progress to the final.
“The challenge is to figure out when to attack and when not to,” Kerr said of Edwards. “And we’re gonna need both. The last time we played Germany, he completely took over the game. [Against Italy] when we throw the ball ahead, whether it’s him or anybody else, we’re really lethal. So you just got to find that balance.”
Whoever wins this matchup will advance to the finals and play the winner of Serbia vs. Canada (which will take place before USA v Germany on Friday).
The losers of each semi-final match will play for third place on Sunday, before the winners game.
Watch USA v Germany at 8:40 a.m. ET on ESPN2 on Friday, or to find out how to watch the game in your country or territory, check the FIBA website.