Celtics

Four Celtics takeaways after Team USA falls to Australia in World Cup tuneup

(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart will all be on the final 12-man roster for the FIBA World Cup in China next month. USA Basketball announced the final roster on Saturday afternoon, as Kyle Kuzma became the final player to drop out after he suffered an ankle injury earlier this week in the wake of a loss to Australia on Saturday.

Here’s a look at the full depth chart for Team USA heading into World Cup play:

Guards: Kemba Walker, Donovan Mitchell, Marcus Smart, Joe Harris, Derrick White

Forwards: Khris Middleton, Harrison Barnes, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown

Centers: Myles Turner, Brook Lopez, Mason Plumlee

Smart was the one question mark in this group to make the roster strictly from a health standpoint. The guard had not played since the first week of training camp due to a sore calf before Saturday's exhibition matchup. Unlike many of his USA teammates, Smart elected to stay with the team during his injury rehab and made a return to the court on Saturday morning as the USA lost the tuneup to Australia, snapping a 78-game win streak for Team USA in international play. Their last loss came in the 2006 World Cup semifinals against Greece.

Four takeaways from the play of Smart and others against Australia, the construction of the USA roster and what to expect from the Celtics on Team USA moving forward.

Marcus Smart looked sharp in his return 

The 24-year-old guard only played nine minutes in the first half while getting the start in the backcourt next to Donovan Mitchell. The minutes limit was definitely a plan to ease the defensive-minded guard back into action in what was ultimately a meaningless game and Smart looked fairly sharp, making two of his three field-goal attempts and dishing out three assists in nine minutes.

Patty Mills erupted for 30 points, including a big second half, leading the Boomers to the win as no one in the USA backcourt could contain him. That responsibility is going to fall on Smart when the real games begin, but for Saturday, this was simply a test to get his feet wet again. He has nine more days until pool play starts in China, but the biggest win for Team USA out of this performance against Australia was Smart coming out unscathed.

Smart getting the start in this matchup is something to keep an eye on as well. It’s hard to imagine Gregg Popovich not going with Kemba/Mitchell when the real games begin, but that certainly leaves them vulnerable from a defensive standpoint. I’d expect Smart to get an early call off the bench in a lot of the FIBA games to try to disrupt the rhythm of elite opposing point guards in the backcourt.

Jaylen Brown continues to look promising as a stretch four