Team USA carried their iffy pre-Olympics form into their match with the French to disastrous effect going down 83-76 in a low scoring affair. Blame it on a long NBA season? Not a chance. Besides Devin Booker,Jrue and Middleton who joined the team late for obvious reasons, the whole team had like AT LEAST a month off .The French were better in so much respects. A nightmarish third quarter really cost the US. Check out 49-43 USA. USA defense was poor on the paint. Was there a need for both players to go after the player with the ball there leaving the other attacker free? Crucially in that quarter, KD began to miss shots, check out 49-45. The French number 10 Evan Fournier was in the ZONE in that second half.
Jrue Holiday arrived late in Tokyo but contributed 18 points but I want you to check out this play by the French at 69-65. We have again unnecessary double teaming by Team USA ON THE TOP OF THE SCREEN leaving the extra player to make the easy layup. The fourth quarter was a close affair with Devin becoming more and more influential in that period especially with his passing. Something is not quite right with this year’s USA team, it could be that the selectors didn’t choose the right mix in the squad. Being a big player at your franchise doesn’t mean you can make a great TEAM player and have a better understanding with other big name players especially at international basketball level. Paul George(Clippers) and Trae Young(Hawks) for me should be in Tokyo and starting for the US.