Former Cats Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins took the floor at Madison Square Garden for the USA’s exhibition game against the Dominican Republic national team, led by former Cat Eloy Vargas. Current UK big man Karl-Anthony Towns, though on the Dominican roster, has chosen to sit out the World Cup.
The two players have very different roles on the US roster. Cousins receives scarce minutes, and is fighting for his life to remain on the USA roster. Cousins got late minutes in the friendly tonight, and did show good mobility after a recent knee bash at practice.
Davis, however, is the centerpiece of Mike Krzyzewski’s team. Coming off a 20 point 7 rebound performance against Brazil, Davis had a below average stat line tonight. He finished the game with just 7 points and 3 rebounds, most of that coming within the first quarter of the game.
Davis scored the first points of the game with an 18 foot jumper just twelve seconds into the game. In a span of 3:28 Davis put up five points along with several rebounds and a block. He finished the game shooting 3-6 from the field, hitting another mid-range shot, and pretty looking hook shot and a free throw after being fouled on another 18 foot jumper. He played short minutes in the second half, as the USA easily pulled away.
Davis showed off a plethora of impressive traits on the floor. He’s looked very good in the fast break, displaying key athleticism will be vital when playing against teams like Spain down the road. He also showed off solid awareness and decision-making, running the court very well and setting himself up for plays. On a certain play, Davis was already on the baseline as point guard Kyrie Irving took the ball across half court. Davis then turned towards Kyrie, caught the pass and scored a beautiful hook layup.
With Davis continually improving his overall game, his jump shot and awareness more noticeable than others, he’s becoming a dominant threat that will likely wreck the European completion. Hopefully this experience and improvement will translate to his play in the NBA, as he looks to take the step to becoming a top five player in the world.