Fournier throws between Holiday and Kevin Durant during the France-United States match.MICHAEL REYNOLDS / EFE
The United States team exacerbated the bad omens that accompanied him in his approach to the Tokyo Games.
France surpassed it with an unprecedented ease by 83-76 and showed the lack of consistency and the poor collective performance of the team led by Gregg Popovich.
Do not teach the US team, which already disappointed in the 2019 World Cup, where they lost two games and finished in seventh place, their worst in a major international tournament.
Despite the resignation of several of the leading figures in the NBA, Popovich built a good squad, with Kevin Durant at the helm.
But his shortcomings in the collective game were already in evidence during the preparation phase for the Tokyo Games, in which he lost to Nigeria and Australia.
His debut in the Olympic tournament could not be worse.
Besides losing, he left a very bad impression on the Saitama pavilion.
It was his first loss in an Olympic game since 2004 in Atlanta.
In addition to winning the three gold medals at the Beijing, London and Rio Games, he won the eight games he played in each of them.
Spain shows its cards and the United States shows its teeth
Nigeria gives the big surprise against the United States (87-90) on the way to the Olympic Games
The French players, especially Fournier, found themselves wonderfully against an inferior opponent on the rebound and who left much to be desired on defense. Nobody assumed, for example, the need to hinder Fournier with a minimum efficiency. He served as a base and executor, from the beginning and the end in the development of the game of his team. The game proceeded to the beat of his baton, at the pace he decided. He added 28 points and was the epicenter of the game. Quite the opposite of Kevin Durant, who was entangled with the fouls he accumulated and could only score 10 points in the 20 minutes he was on the court. He was a shadow of the usual Kevin Durant. The United States dominated in some phases but always by a slim margin, nine points at the most, which the French reduced without excessive problems.They took the lead towards the end of the third quarter (55-54) and from then on the American game got worse. A 3-pointer by Batum and a free kick by De Colo put the score at 78 -74 with 21 seconds remaining.
What happened in the next attack by the American team reveals their disorientation. He missed up to five consecutive shots, after repeatedly grabbing the offensive rebound. And to make matters worse, Lillard slipped and France ended up finishing his task with almost no disheveled hair. The bad look that the American team gave runs parallel to the tortuous preparation carried out in Las Vegas, where Bradley Beal had to leave, because he tested positive for the covid, and Kevin Love, who dragged discomfort and did not reach the level for compete in Tokyo. In addition, Popovich could not count during all the preparation with the three players who competed in the NBA final, Devin Booker, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday. This, with 18 points and seven rebounds, was one of the few that gave some consistency to the game of his team.Adebayo also accompanied him, with 12 points and 10 rebounds. But without the effectiveness and the points of Durant, Lillard and Booker, the United States team was far from the level that is assumed and well below that demanded by good teams like the French.
United States, 76
Fournier (28), De Colo (13), Batum (5), Yabusele (6), Gobert (14) -starting team-;
Luwawu (2), Heurtel (5), Poirier (3), Cornelie (0) and Fall (7).
Lillard (11), LaVine (8), Kevin Durant (10), Draymond Green (2), Adebayo (12) -starting team-;
Keldon Johnson (0), Middleton (0), Tatum (9), McGee (2), Holiday (18) and Booker (4).
15-20, 22-23, 25-11 and 21-20.
Locatelli, Weiland and Mazzoni.
First day of the Olympic basketball tournament.
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