Team USA Basketball lost to France in their first official game of the Olympics on Sunday despite being a huge favorite. That has led to even more questions about whether Gregg Popovich is the right person to lead the team, and there may be some frustration with the coach’s system.
USA blew a late lead against France to lose 83-76 in their first game of group play. Several players, including Kevin Durant and Damian Lillard, had poor shooting nights. According to Joe Vardon of The Athletic, players were grumbling on their way back to the locker room about “running the San Antonio offense.”
Vardon also said Popovich is “horrified” by his own coaching record with Team USA, which is now 6-3 in games that count. Team USA went 73-3 in meaningful games from 1996 through 2016.
There was no need to panic after Team USA lost exhibition games to Nigeria and Australia, and the same holds true now. They can advance to the knockout stage with wins over Iran and the Czech Republic, and they are heavily favorite in both games. Still, the pressure is mounting.
Popovich said he was more “disappointed” by Sunday’s loss than “surprised.” He has repeatedly accused the media and fans of underestimating Team USA’s opponents and not giving them enough credit.
It doesn’t matter what you want to call it. Team USA has by far the best collection of talent in the world, and for some reason that is not translating to quality play. Popovich had said the team’s offense will be based on “concepts” rather than set plays because of the limited preparation time, but apparently that is not working for players.
Durant didn’t sound all that concerned after Team USA’s two exhibition losses, as he felt they were easily explained. Popovich will have even more explaining to do if it happens again.
Team USA Basketball got off to a rough start at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday, and the Twitter world was more than happy to laugh at their misfortune.
After two stunning losses in exhibition games leading up to the Olympics, Team USA blew a late lead to France and fell 83-76. Gregg Popovich’s team was a 13-point favorite in the game. The loss was Team USA’s first since Argentina defeated them in the semifinals in 2004. The Twitter memes were ruthless.
Some of the best memes were about Carmelo Anthony, who has one of the strongest Olympic resumes of all time. Carmelo was with Team USA in 2004 when they won a bronze medal, and he then helped the team win three consecutive golds. Fans think Popovich should consider giving the 37-year-old a call.
The loss is hardly a death sentence for Team USA. They now need to beat Iran and the Czech Republic to advance to the knockout stage, and they will be heavily favored in both games. Still, it was not the start they were hoping for.
Some NBA players have also taken shots at Team USA, so the pressure is building in a hurry. Anything less than a gold medal would result in a lot of criticism.
Team USA Basketball has been under a microscope in Tokyo after surprisingly losing two exhibition games prior to the Olympics, and the subpar play continued in their first official game on Sunday.
Team USA blew a late lead against France to lose its first game of the group stage by a score of 83-76. USA had a 74-73 lead with less than a minute remaining before Evan Fournier hit a 3-pointer and France never looked back. France finished the game on a 16-2 run.
The loss was Team USA’s first since the 2004 Olympics, when Argentina beat them in the semifinals. They had won 24 straight games.
Team USA is not exactly in trouble. They now have to beat Iran and the Czech Republic to advance to the knockout stage, and they will be heavily favored in both games. Though, they were favored by 13.5 points against France.
France has a good amount of NBA talent led by Fournier and Rudy Gobert. They are one of the better teams in the tournament, but their win over Team USA was yet another shock.
Fournier scored a game-high 28 points. Jrue Holiday led Team USA with 18 points after coming off the bench. No one else scored more than 12 points for Gregg Popovich’s team.
Team USA lost exhibition games against Nigeria and Australia ahead of the Olympics. Bradley Beal had to head home from Tokyo due to COVID protocols, but the assumption was that Team USA would overcome all of those setbacks. Kevin Durant explained why the two exhibition losses were not all that alarming, but Sunday’s loss to France will only add to the pressure Team USA is facing.
The 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang are officially underway, and we already have our first meme of the Games courtesy of the good ol’ US of A.
The United States Olympic team arrived for Friday’s Opening Ceremony ready for the elements, as evidenced by some giant suede gloves that they all wore as they marched out as a collective unit in front of the South Korean crowd.
The ridiculous-looking mitts were unable to escape the watchful eye of the Internet, and Twitter offered some hilarious memes in response.