USA vs France Prediction
The Team USA men’s basketball team starts off their quest for yet another gold medal on Sunday, as they’ll be taking on France.
This matchup may not have been on the minds of many people, but it sure has been on the mind of a legendary coach.
USA vs France Prediction
“We’ve been preparing for France for two years,” Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich said. “I think about it every day.”
While Pop can be known for his dry humor and sarcasm, there’s still definitely an element of seriousness in that message.
France has the continuity in international play that Team USA doesn’t quite have, as observed by Team USA assistant coach Steve Kerr.
“That’s one of the interesting things about international basketball is our team changes every year and the teams we play against stay the same, and that’s the big challenge,” Kerr said.
While Team USA has by far the most superior team on paper, Kerr is absolutely right. Team USA changes so often that new players have to learn each others’ tendencies on the fly, whereas other international teams are so used to playing with each other that a lot of things become second nature to them.
And it’s not like France doesn’t have talented players on their roster. They have Rudy Gobert, who is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year.
They also have Evan Fournier, Nicolas Batum, Frank Ntilikina and TImothé Luwawu-Cabarrot, who have all shown that they can have success on an NBA court in their own right.
— Team USA (@TeamUSA) July 23, 2021
Team USA is going to have to overcome Gobert’s towering presence inside the paint on both offense and defense.
Gobert can go up for a lob at any time or throw down dunks with ease if he gets his spot on the low block. With the lack of size on Team USA’s roster, shutting him down will be tough.
Fournier is a guy who can get hot in a hurry from downtown, and Batum and Ntilikina can also lock into their assignments on defense and come up with timely stops.
Add in the chemistry this group has for not only proudly representing their country but for being together as a group in the Olympics for a long period of time.
Wrapping Things Up
Team USA has the world’s best player at this given moment in Kevin Durant, and they also have Damian Lillard, Devin Booker and Jayson Tatum on their roster, among other supremely talented players.
On paper, Team USA wins easily, but will the rest of the roster be able to carry their weight behind the aforementioned players?
All players are going to have to know when and where to pass the ball to each other and when to individually take over.
Durant can take over a game with a snap of the finger, but on possessions where France defends him way too well for him to get a shot off down the stretch, will someone else be able to step up?
Team USA has more than enough talent to easily beat France, and should be able to get the job done, but France is also more than talented enough to pull off the upset.