Mikal Bridges’ huge game for Team USA doesn’t surprise Jalen Brunson


Team USA’s Mikal Bridges in a game against Italy in the Fiba World Cup quarterfinals. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—Mikal Bridges had his coming out party for Team USA in their win over Italy that sent them to the 2023 Fiba World Cup semifinals on Tuesday at Mall of Asia Arena.

Bridges had his best game of the competition so far in terms of scoring, finishing with 24 points and seven rebounds in the squad’s dominant 100-63 victory over the Italians to advance to the World Cup’s semifinals.

His teammate Jalen Brunson, however, is not at all surprised.

“It’s the same Mikal every night. He has that mindset no matter what,” said the shifty New York Knick after finishing with nine points.

“Each game he provides different things and he brings those to each game. Every time, he affects the game on defense.”

Bridges waxed hot from the field, registering a 72.7 percent shooting clip while sinking four triples in the process.

The Brooklyn Net was also active on defense, snagging two steals in the win while helping Team USA suffocate the Italians to a lowly 30.7 percent shooting clip from the field as a team.

Brunson, however, said he has seen this side of Bridges since the squad’s first practice.

“He’s able to do it all and I’ve seen this since our first game out,” Brunson said.

Thanks to Bridges’ outing, the Americans will now wait for their semifinals foe in either Latvia or Germany.

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