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Olympics: five reasons to believe in a feat of the Blues of basketball against the American ogre


The French basketball team faces Team USA this Saturday (4:30 am French time), in the final of the Olympic tournament. Impossible mission ? Maybe not…

It will take a masterpiece.

"Signed Vincent Collet, about Everest which awaits"


»France team, this Saturday (4:30 am French time), in the final of the Tokyo Games. Sacred 15 times out of 18 participations, including during the last three Olympics, the Americans stand on the road to the Blues. As in 1948 and 2000, during the first two accessions of the national team at this stage of the competition. And it was the “Ricans” who had the last word each time. It will take an almost perfect match to create the sensation and adorn yourself with gold. Led by Kevin Durant, the US armada obviously wears the favorite costume. It is a fact. But Evan Fournier, Rudy Gobert, Nicolas Batum and company will not leave as an expiatory victim in Saitama. They have their chances. “

Winning gold would make this final, already historic, legendary for French basketball

», Assures coach Collet, for whom this Olympic final against Team USA represents«

a child's dream


Five reasons to believe in the feat of the France team.

To discover

  • The full Olympic program

  • The Olympic medal table

The Blues have already done it

The Blues have already dropped the US selection in these Olympics. It was July 25, during the first group match. Stunning victory, 83-76, with 28 points signed by Evan Fournier. Team USA had extenuating circumstances, with "KD" quickly embarrassed by the faults, three players (Holiday, Middleton, Booker) leaving the plane after participating in the NBA Finals, Jerami Grant glued to the bench because of Covid- 19… Add to that a chaotic preparation (2 losses, 2 wins) and you have a team that is much more manageable than it is today. In addition, the Americans "

will be reassembled

“After their inaugural setback against France, as Fournier points out.

Especially since two years ago, in China, it was also the Blues who had ruled out Team USA at the World Cup (83-76).

Gregg Popovich was already on the bench, but the USA team were not (at all) the same.

Nevertheless, France remains on two straight victories against Uncle Sam. Never two without three?

We never thought, by beating them, that we were better than them.

We keep the same ambition, to impose ourselves.

It will just be necessary to invent a new path, it will be different.

We must remain mobilized, faithful to our identity,

”Vincent Collet analyzes.

To read also: Tops / Flops France-Slovenia: Batum for the story, maestro of Colo, the lack of class of Doncic

The pressure on the Americans

Except in France and within the staff and the French group (see elsewhere), nobody imagines seeing Team USA losing this Saturday at the Saitama Super Arena. And especially not in the United States, where no one would understand that "


" and company only come home with a silver medal around their neck. Of course, the players who make up this US team are not beginners. The pressure, they know. But they will have to shoulder the weight of the expectations of an entire country in the final. Moreover, Team USA only lost once in the final of the Olympics. It was in 1972, against the USSR. Victory or shame. One thing is certain: the pressure will be on the Americans, not on the Blues, who have nothing to lose, everything to gain.

Les Bleus believe in it

At a time when the NBA is more international than ever, Team USA has seen the gap with the rest of the basketball world shrink. So much so that the best European or South American nations are no longer afraid. Not as much as before in any case ... Besides, the Blues will not play this final considering that it is a bonus, that they have already succeeded. Rudy Gobert did not hide his golden dreams before the start of the tournament. Same story with Fournier, already turned to the final after the success snatched against Slovenia (90-89) Thursday, in the semi-finals. “

We've been saying from the start that we didn't come for nothing. There, there is a lot of emotion, we are all very happy. Tonight, we're going to enjoy it,

we are going to rest and we will prepare for the next match, ”he said on Thursday. "

We're going back to France with a medal.

We've been looking for her for a long time.

Now, it's not over yet

, ”hammered Nando De Colo, also exceptional against the Slovenes.

And to add: “

We will enjoy tonight, rest well and concentrate on the final to get the gold medal.

In summary, the Blues believe it hard as iron.

And they are right.

Read also: NBA: Fournier joins New York, Batum stays with the Clippers

The experience of the NBA

If the French women's team exploded in flight against the atypical game of Japan (87-71), Friday, in the semi-finals, the players of Vincent Collet arrive on familiar ground against Team USA. The keys to American success do not in fact represent a very well kept secret: defense, physique, talent. A triptych which should make it possible to erase the lack of collective experience of this group. In any case, the Blues know this team and the players who make it up perfectly. And for good reason: five of them play in the NBA (Fournier, Gobert, Batum, Ntilikina, Luwawu-Cabarrot) and three others have played there (De Colo, Poirier, Yabusele). "

As an NBA player, we know these players.

You have to show the rest of the team how to attack them.

Do not back down, on the contrary!

We did a good job, we stayed together when they did their "run",

"said Evan Fournier, after the first match.

And to add: “

It's a very good victory, but it's only a group game.

" Not this time.

Read also: Olympics: the incredible against Batum who sends France to the Olympic final

A real team

A group was born. This is the observation that we could make after the 2019 World Cup. And it is verified this summer, in Japan. Of course, Fournier is the offensive leader. Triple best defender in the NBA, Gobert is the defender. Batum and De Colo are important executives. But everyone can and should contribute to this team. Asked after France-Slovenia, De Colo makes cons of "Batman" on Klemen Prepelic, at the last second, a symbol: "

We can have difficult times, we know that there is a group behind. The last action shows it. We try to pay attention to their strengths, we get beaten anyway, but Nico arrives at the last moment ... It's the strength of the team.

“Beyond individual talent, it is the France group that will have to be at the top to hope for a feat against the constellation of US stars. "

We must remain mobilized, faithful to our identity,

" confirms Collet. “

This is how we can try to push them back to their limits. The group is focused, disciplined, receptive, it is rewarded for these qualities. We are living a great collective adventure, staff and players, but we do not want to stop there. I would like us to have a great match on Saturday to validate everything this group has done and which is already magnificent.


Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2021-08-06

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