TOKYO — The boys’s basketball match on the Tokyo Olympics involves a detailed on Saturday with a gold medal recreation between america and France within the morning (Friday night time in america) and a third-place matchup between Australia and Slovenia later within the day.
The Individuals, who’ve received three straight gold medals within the occasion relationship again to 2008, dropped their match opener to France, elevating questions concerning the group’s preparedness for these Video games. It didn’t assist that they had a number of shaky showings, together with two losses, in a run of warm-up video games earlier than touring to Tokyo.
However they’ve improved in each recreation since. The query is whether or not they have improved sufficient, on this quick period of time, to safe the championship.
The gold medal recreation might be on NBC on Friday at 10:30 p.m. Japanese time. The bronze medal recreation might be on the USA Community at 7 a.m. Saturday.
Regardless of their loss within the opener, the Individuals are nonetheless favored to win their sixteenth gold medal in males’s basketball.
A giant a part of their current surge in confidence has been the play of Kevin Durant, who grew to become the nation’s profession main scorer in Olympic play through the match and has appeared dominant within the group’s final two video games. After scoring solely 10 factors within the loss to France, he’s main the group with 19.0 factors per recreation. Jayson Tatum, coming off the bench, has added 14.4 factors per recreation, whereas Jrue Holliday has chipped in 12.0.
Up to date
Aug. 6, 2021, 7:48 p.m. ET
For all of the Individuals’ scoring prowess, it is going to be their group protection that might make the distinction. France, like mainly each different group america has confronted, tried to make use of measurement and energy to bully the Individuals’ smaller lineups. Rebounding on either side of the ball might be essential.
The French group — whose greatest males’s basketball outcomes are silver medals in 1948 and 2000 — narrowly slipped into the championship recreation with a 90-89 win over Slovenia, needing a last-second block from Nicolas Batum on Klemen Prepelic’s layup try to seal the outcome.
Rudy Gobert, the seven-foot-one heart, has been a significant presence for France within the paint. He completed with 9 factors, 16 rebounds and 4 blocks within the recreation towards Slovenia, and the French will definitely look to determine his presence early and infrequently within the title recreation.
Evan Fournier, who signed with the Knicks this week, exploded for 28 factors towards america in groups’ first assembly. The American gamers afterward praised the French group’s execution on offense, which is available in half because of a few years of continuity in this system. In some sense, the sport pits the well-drilled French towards the supremely proficient Individuals.
Taking part in for the bronze
Australia arrives within the third-place match after dropping, 97-78, to america within the semifinals. Slovenia topped Germany, 94-70, within the quarterfinal spherical, earlier than falling within the heartbreaker to France.
The primary attraction for informal followers would be the likelihood to observe Luka Doncic, the Dallas Mavericks star, get again to work in what has been a scintillating Olympic debut. He recorded solely the third Olympic triple-double ever — and the primary since LeBron James in 2012 — with a 16-point, 10-rebound, 18-assist efficiency towards France.
And Doncic’s 48 factors in Slovenia’s group stage recreation towards Argentina is tied for the second-highest whole in Olympic historical past. (Oscar Schmidt of Brazil scored 55 in a recreation in 1988.)