The USA Olympic basketball team is the sole odds-on favourite of the Tokyo 2021 Olympic basketball tournament. But is their triumph as sure and predictable as always?
The U.S. Olympics basketball team has been undefeated for the last 3 editions of the Games. There are 15 sets of Olympic basketball gold to the US name. This is the highest result among all basketball teams. And of course, the NBA is the strongest league in the world, with the most powerful players. But now the USA basketball Olympics team is kind of weaker than it used to be. Some players have not recovered after the NBA season, and some got sick before the Olympics.
In spite of the roster troubles, international betting sites named the USA an overall favourite of the men's basketball event. The USA Olympic basketball team to win the Games 4th time in a row is priced with the odds of 1.25 (-400 American; 1/4 Fractional). Whis equals an approximate probability of 80%. The International Basketball Federation places America third on their list.
Notably, this will be the first Olympic Games in 20 years with the USA basketball Olympics team having rivals, whose winning chances are over 8%. We are talking about Spain with a 10% probability.
USA basketball Olympic team recent results and group stage
The latest USA results are not as good as expected. Of course, they did not lose a match in 2020. But they played not so many games, and all the fixtures were against local rivals.
After Covid restrictions were lifted, the US basketball Olympics team has met European, African and Oceanean opponents. These fixtures were not so successful for the USA. In the first two matches they were defeated by Australia (83-91) and Nigeria (87-90)
Sure, Australia is strong at the moment, and most of their players play in the NBA. But Australian playmaker Ben Simmons skipped that game, and they were vulnerable. And overall the USA team is much better, with 8 wins in 10 fixtures against Australia. The same situation happened in the match against Nigeria: the USA squad had every chance to win this fixture, and with a high difference, but failed under pressure.
Some players of the American team had played in the NBA final and were recovering at the time of the game against Nigeria, but still the USA roster was stronger.
In other news, the USA Olympic basketball team won their last fixtures against Spain (83-76) and Argentina (108-80). While the fixture against Argentina was not important, the match against Spain was a much-needed win. The one to boost morale going into the Olympics. This Spanish team consists of experienced top players and are deservedly the second favourite of the 2021 Olympics.
The USA Olympic basketball team was assigned to group A. Their rivals here are Iran, France and Czech Republic. The USA was lucky to get into the same group with these teams. Czech Republic and Iran are among the weakest 3 teams of the Olympics. France is the strongest opponent of the USA in the group stage, and the first too. Frankly speaking, the fixture against the Frenchmen must be easy for the USA. France has players from the top Euroleague teams, but their points per game ratio (77) is lower than 84.7 of the USA.
Who is on the USA Olympic basketball team?
Main problems of American squad are injuries and illness of players.
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards’ shooting guard, may skip this event due to Covid-19. Devin Booker and Jrue Holiday may not feature in the starting lineup, because they played in the NBA final series and have not had enough time to recover.
Below you will find the American roster for the 2021 Olympics.
Guards: Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns), Jrue Holiday (Milwaukee Bucks), Zach Lavigne (Chicago Bulls), Damien Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards).
Forwards: Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets), Jeremy Grant (Detroit Pistons), Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors), Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers), Chris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks), Jason Tatum ( Boston Celtics).
Center: Bam Adebayo (Miami Hits).
USA basketball Olympic team key players
One player, who is on the USA Olympic basketball teams, has to be especially noted.
Kevin Durant is one of the best basketball forwards in the world. He had problems with achieving his best in the previous NBA season, but they were mostly caused by overall team performance. Durant finished last season with an average ratio of 26.9 points per game.
Also we should watch out for Damien Lillard, the Portland Trail Blazers’ point guard. He finished the last NBA season with an average of 28.7 points per game ratio and 1926 points scored in total. This makes him currently the second best scorer in the whole NBA.
USA Olympic basketball team schedule and timetable (GMT+0)
12:00 a.m.: France — USA
10:40 p.m.:. USA — Iran
12:00 a.m.: USA — Czech Republic