Ladies and gentlemen, the FIBA World Cup finals have been set!
Before the tournament began, almost everyone had Team USA winning a gold medal, or at the very least, making it to the tournament finals, with their only real challenge being against Germany in the fifth exhibition game before group play even started.
In the exhibition game, Germany was in control for the first three quarters before Indiana Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton took matters into his own hands and led Team USA to a win over Germany and his Pacers teammate, Daniel Theis.
However, Theis and Germany got revenge on Haliburton and Team USA in the semifinals of the World Cup, as they came away by the skin of their teeth, winning 111-113 in a very close game in which it looked like they were about to give up a double-digit lead in the final minutes.
Indiana Pacers big man Daniel Theis helped lead Germany to a win over Team USA in the FIBA World Cup semifinals
But Team USA couldn’t get one final last push on defense, and following a Dennis Schröder dagger, Germany came away with the win. They will face Serbia in the gold medal game.
In addition to putting up impressive numbers, Daniel Theis also had his way in the paint. Team USA’s Jaren Jackson Jr. and Bobby Portis weren’t able to do much to stop him down low, as he dwarfed them inside.
And with Steve Kerr’s decision to leave Walker Kessler on the bench, there was no answer for Theis in the paint.
Taking a look at the film, Theis looked like a man amongst boys out there. On one instance, he rejected Jalen Brunson’s layup on one end and set the screen for a wide-open dunk on the other.
Theis’ activity on the fast break was awe-inspiring, as he was part of Germany’s blinding offense in the first half, which sometimes led to a bucket for the big man. This reverse layup was a very impressive feat for a man of his size.
At some points, it seemed like Theis was getting bored and decided to show his off-dribble ability a bit. Here, he faked out Josh Hart and threw up a floater over the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, which found the bottom of the net.
Overall, Theis was very productive in Germany’s win over Team USA and Haliburton, putting up 21 points (10-for-15 FG, 1-for-2 3PT), seven rebounds, two assists, a steal, and a block in an impressive 27:35 of playing time.
While Theis probably won’t have a significant role with the Pacers this coming season, any production of his, especially if it sniffs the level of his FIBA play, will be very much welcome as Tyrese Haliburton and company could be looking to make a serious playoff push.
While he may not see that much playing time in the upcoming season, Theis is undoubtedly a beloved member of the Pacers’ roster and locker room, as well as a fan favorite around the league.
And with Germany shocking Team USA to advance to the Gold Medal game, his stock may have just risen.
Daniel Theis and Germany will face Bogdan Bogdanovic and Serbia in the FIBA World Cup Final on Sunday, September 10, at 8:40 AM Eastern time.