Washington Wizards: Rui Hachimura hanging tough in FIBA World Cup losses

Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Rui Hachimura (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images) /

Rui Hachimura impressed in his first FIBA World Cup game, despite losing to Turkey 86-67.

Rui Hachimura, the Washington Wizards first-round draft pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, gave fans a glimpse of what is to come at the FIBA World Cup. In Japans first game, Japan matched up against Turkey, who is led by NBA players Ersan Ilyasova, and Cedi Osman. Hachimura was battling a fever but played none the less, already giving us some Jordan vibes. He finished the game with 15 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals.

Turkey’s game plan was to cause trouble for Hachimura, and they attempted this by constantly fouling and doubling teaming him. He was who their main focus, there’s no doubt.

Turkey fouled Hachimura six times, and he responded by going 9/10 from the charity stripe. But Turkey’s overall defense proved too much for Hachimura as he made just three of his ten attempts from the field. He told WashingtonWizards.com after the game, “Their defense was dominant. You could tell they were well-prepared. They made life difficult for me and my teammates and we weren’t able to adjust.”

The rookie flashed his highlight-reel potential when he recorded a steal, swiping the ball away from Ilyasova. He then raced down the court and slammed it over Ilyasova for the basket. Even the NBA’s official Twitter account noticed that one.

Ilyasova led Turkey with 19 points and 10 rebounds. He also went 5/9 from deep. Osman helped out by adding 12 points, one rebound, and one assist. Turkey’s offense proved too much for Hachimura and Japan to handle by himself, as they started the game shooting 10/14 and built an early 28-12 lead. This was the first taste for Hachimura of what is to come in the NBA.

All in all, Hachimura’s performance against Turkey was solid. His shooting numbers weren’t great, but at least he was able to adjust his game and force his way to the free-throw line when his shot wasn’t falling. There he made them count and collected nine of his 15 points.

Next. Rui Hachimura is the most exciting Wizards rookie since Bradley Beal. dark

Hachimura was impressive in another loss to the Czech Republic, this time going for 21 points while shooting over 66 percent from the field. We’ll see if this upward trajectory can continue when Japan takes on the USA this Thursday (September 5) in Hachimura’s toughest test yet.