Josh Giddey proved instrumental once more for his national team as Australia opened its World Cup campaign with a dominant 98-72 victory over Finland in Okinawa, Japan.
Holding the cudgels for most of the game, Josh Giddey flirted with a triple-double, scoring 14 points, grabbing nine rebounds, and dishing eight assists in his first game ever at the World stage.
Giddey played 25 minutes and shot 4-of-10 from the field but failed to knock down any of his two three-point tries in the game. He also continued his improved foul-hunting prowess, shooting seven free throws in the matchup, from which he made six.
Josh Giddey shows the ability to flip the switch in his FIBA debut for the Boomers.
As the primary point guard of the team, Josh GIddey coughed up four turnovers, but he stole the ball once and played solid overall defense in a Boomers squad that played fluid basketball throughout the outing.
Josh Giddey was the second-leading scorer for Australia despite his slow start, as veteran guard Patty Mills led the charge with 25 points and eight rebounds. The ability of the 20-year-old to regroup and flip the switch to eventually gain control of this game for the Boomers shows a unique high-level ability that few 20 year olds have.
Joe Ingles also added 13 markers, while Dante Exum contributed 10, Xavier Cooks had nine, and Duop Reath posted eight for Australia.
OKC Thunder’s own Jack White recorded seven points, two rebounds, and one assist. White has shown efficiency in his game, shooting 3-of-4 from the field. He also threw down a rim-rattling dunk off a dish by Josh Giddey.
Jack White displayed great hustle throughout the game, going through the motions of the Australia’s system and filling in a hybrid forward role similar to what the Thunder has been molding the likes of Kenrich Williams and Jalen Williams in the past seasons.
Meanwhile, Finland’s Lauri Markannen led the squad with 19 points, eight rebounds, and four assists, but Australia’s defense has proved potent, affecting his otherwise smooth offensive rhythm in the matchup.
It was a fitting opener for Giddey, White, and the Australian Boomers as they have potential to win the entire tournament.