There were already some concerns for the United States men's national basketball team. Its most recent exhibition game didn't help to alleviate them.
Team USA is entering the FIBA Basketball World Cup without some of its top players because of either injury or players wanting to prepare for the NBA season. Without them, the United States' 78-game international winning streak came to an end when it lost to Australia 98-94 in an exhibition matchup Saturday. Team USA hadn't lost a game in which NBA stars featured in nearly 13 years.
While Australia is expected to be one of the stronger teams in the FIBA World Cup, it still wasn't a good sign that the United States suffered a loss this early.
Team USA will have one last opportunity to tune up for the FIBA World Cup when it takes on Canada in its final exhibition game at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia, on Monday.
USA vs. Canada Information
Date: Monday, August 26
Start Time: 5:30 a.m. ET
TV: NBA TV
Live Stream: NBA.com/NBATV
Odds (via Oddschecker): USA (1-40), Canada (10-1)
Harrison Barnes, forward (Sacramento Kings)
Jaylen Brown, forward (Boston Celtics)
Joe Harris, guard (Brooklyn Nets)
Brook Lopez, center (Milwaukee Bucks)
Khris Middleton, forward (Milwaukee Bucks)
Donovan Mitchell, guard (Utah Jazz)
Mason Plumlee, center (Denver Nuggets)
Marcus Smart, guard (Boston Celtics)
Jayson Tatum, forward (Boston Celtics)
Myles Turner, center (Indiana Pacers)
Kemba Walker, guard (Boston Celtics)
Derrick White, guard (San Antonio Spurs)
Aaron Best, guard (MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg)
Khem Birch, center (Orlando Magic)
Chris Boucher, forward (Toronto Raptors)
O'Shea Brissett, forward (Toronto Raptors)
Melvin Ejim, forward (Unicaja Baloncesto)
Brady Heslip, guard (Istanbul BBSK)
Cory Joseph, guard (Indiana Pacers)
Kaza Kajami-Keane, guard (Mitteldeutscher BC)
Andrew Nembhard, guard (University of Florida)
Duane Notice, guard (Raptors 905)
Kevin Pangos, guard (FC Barcelona Lassa)
Phil Scrubb, guard (Movistar Estudiantes)
Thomas Scrubb, forward (SIG Strasbourg)
Kyle Wiltjer, center (Turk Telekom)
Although Team USA didn't win its most recent exhibition game, there will still some noteworthy performances that provide reason for optimism in the FIBA World Cup.
Kemba Walker scored a team-high 22 points on 7-for-15 shooting. One of the three captains on this team, along with Marcus Smart and Donovan Mitchell, Walker led by example, which bodes well for the upcoming tournament in China.
Harrison Barnes also had a strong showing against Australia, scoring 20 points on 7-for-12 shooting and collecting a team-high six rebounds.
However, Team USA found out Saturday that it would be without another top player, as Kyle Kuzma will miss the World Cup because of a left ankle injury. Kuzma played in the United States' exhibition game against Australia on Thursday, scoring 12 points in the victory, but he missed the most recent exhibition contest.
Team USA also has another injury concern in guard Derrick White, who suffered a head injury in the loss to Australia. However, White passed his first concussion test, although he needed four stitches to close a cut over his left eye, according to Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News.
Meanwhile, Canada has three players returning from injuries. According to The Canadian Press (h/t CBC), Brady Heslip, Andrew Nembhard and Kaza Kajami-Keane all practiced on Saturday ahead of the exhibition matchup against the United States.
Canada has split a pair of games with both Australia and Nigeria during its preparations for the World Cup.