Beware of the exploit. As paradoxical as it may seem, this warning is perfectly suited to the French basketball team. Sunday, for her entry into the running against the United States, she achieved a historic performance by winning for the first time in its history against the Americans at the Olympic Games (83-76). But as Nicolas Batum rightly recalled just after the feat accomplished, it was only the “
first match of a group stage, against the best team in the tournament, of course, but it was nothing more. You should not overreact or exaggerate after this victory. We played a very serious game, but we know our past. After big victories, we have often experienced big disappointments. I hope we have since learned.
The full Olympic program
The Olympic medal table
No one has forgotten, in fact, how the French managed to eliminate this same Team USA in the quarterfinals of the last World Championship in 2019 (89-79), before going through to the next match against Argentina ( 66-80).
And this is just one example among many.
The characteristic of the Blues, too often, is to manage to climb very high, but without managing to avoid unpacking the slope just as quickly.
Nevertheless, after the meeting, Vincent Collet, the French coach, saw the first encouraging signals to prevent such a scenario from becoming a never-ending story.
Even if the Americans weren't on top, it remains an extraordinary victory, in the true sense of the word.
But now we are all turned to the sequel.
There was obviously joy in the locker room, but also a lot of focus, and I liked that.
This game against the Czech Republic is very, very important, compared to the objectives set, and everyone is keeping it in mind.
This match really symbolizes the team we want to be, that is to say who thinks defense first and who in attack shares the ball.
A success against the Czechs and, without wanting to sell the skin of Iran - the last opponent of the Blues - before the hour, the first place would be nicely locked, offering interesting prospects in the quarter-finals. To avoid any bad surprises against the Czech Republic, the Blues know the recipe which was a success against the Americans. “
What we have shown in defense in the last two quarters was really good,
” Batum analyzes. “
It is in this direction that we must continue to move, with aggressiveness and intensity. Against the Americans, we knew we had no chance in trying to beat them on offense, in a game of 90 points or more.
"An opinion shared by Rudy Gobert, the pivot of the Utah Jazz adding, like a leitmotif:"
This match really symbolizes the team that we want to be, that is to say who thinks defense first and who in attack shares the ball. Every time we have been able to do it against the Americans, we have given them problems. It's very encouraging for the future, if we manage to maintain the same level of intensity.
“From now on, the Blues therefore know the way. Yet it is for them not to deviate from it….