Okay, this is gone out of hand now.
I get older 2004 vibes from this year’s U.S. Olympic basketball team. And they need to get this thing straightened out. ASAP.
They lost again last night in a showdown match against Australia, 91-83, in Las Vegas. That makes them 0-2 in the show period, and now the whole country is giving the team a collective watchful eye.
This is something we have never seen before in the history of U.S. men’s basketball. Since 1992, when the United States sent professionals to play internationally for the first time with the advent of “The Dream Team,” the program had lost only two show games.
They’ve lost two shows in three days now.
Here are the facts:
1. Global competition is improving year by year.
2. Team USA always tries to find a rhythm between them.
3. Head coach Gregg Popovich still lacks a few keys that are currently in the NBA Finals.
Another fact: Other countries have no business beating the United States even with all these factors I have just presented! Australia and Nigeria could be two Olympic teams in Tokyo, but if you tell me those teams are good enough to beat Dame Lillard, Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal, and a bunch of other All-NBA level talent, you’re sadly wrong. .
Patty Mills led Australia with 22 points, and Joe Ingles gave them 17. Matisse Thybulle and Chris Goulding added for 23 points off the bench. The Australian team shot almost 53 per cent from the field.
In the loss against Nigeria, the Nigerians made 20 triples and posted 21 assists as a team.
I understand that offensive chemistry has to come with this team because they lack the traditional game players and are really heavy on scoring talent in guys like Jayson Tatum, Zach Lavine and Beal. Having a guy who could break down the defense consistently and get everyone involved would be great for this team.
Lillard could do it, but it doesn’t come naturally as the point for him.
In the meantime, it’s up to them to turn on defense, while coach Pop tries to figure out what offense to run with these players. More than twenty assists and more than 50 percent of shots should not happen against this USA team.
They are too long and too versatile to be able to change and hold more positions on the court. Repairs are too clear.
It should be reiterated that this is not 1992. Teams around the world are much better than they were almost 30 years ago, but it is clear from the reaction this team has received that the standard for U.S. rounds is always super high.
So it’s time for these players to rise to the challenge, and meet them.