The USA Basketball National Team did not start the right way in the Olympics. Their defeat to France 83-76 proves that they are not invincible, but they will still be candidates for the gold.
The last time the US lost a game in the Olympics was in Athens 2004, as they fell to Argentina which won the gold while the Team USA with a very young LeBron James had to conform themselves with the bronze. There has been an American hegemony since then, as they have earned the gold in Beijing, London and Río.
It is true that the USA National Team are not going through their best moment. The 2019 World Cup held in China left an unpublished outcome: the US fell in the quarter finals against France, a tough loss that spoiled their power.
Is Team USA good enough?
After their fail in the World Cup, where the roster was not full of the top stars, it all seemed that we would now see a similar team to the 2012 Olympics, with players like Harden or Irving. The truth is that many of those stars have stayed home. Pre-selected Harden finally decided to not play as he wanted to heal from his injury properly. Bradley Beal missed the Olympics due to Covid-19 protocols and Kevin Love has not been able to make it either.
The reality is that the US can take a team A, B, C… and any of it would be top level, as they have an infinite quantity of talented players. Damian Lillard, Kevin Durant, Zach Lavine, players who have made it to the Finals like Jrue Holiday or Khris Middleton and Devin Booker… We are talking about franchise players, which makes us think that their team is good enough and we can’t doubt about them.
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.