With all the hype and bravado entering the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, you'd expect USA men's basketball to dominate everything in its wake. Whether it's Japan, Australia, or Argentina, the good ol' United States should have a stranglehold on the competition. But this morning wasn't the case when France stunned America, 83-76. Leading by seven with under four minutes left, the U.S. let the French go on a 16-2 run to take the game. So what happened?
For one, guard Evan Fournier went off by scoring 28 points and draining four three-pointers. Nobody could stop him, leaving the Frenchman to devastate America offensively. As a result, the United States blew the game and left many people wondering if they'd falter without even earning a medal. People started to worry after the poor showing in their exhibition games. However, it seems that reality is coming to fruition.
Another factor into the USA's surprising loss is the disappearance of Damian Lillard and Kevin Durant. The two superstars combined to shoot 7-for-22, scoring 21 points in the process. Having two of the best superstars in the NBA not show up hurt the Americans this morning. It doesn't help that Zach LaVine didn't get the ball much, either. He only added eight points in the game, only taking six shots. Either give the guard more touches and opportunities or put in Devin Booker. Something has to give.
It doesn't help that the United States doesn't have superstars like Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, and Trae Young. Not having the best alone won't help the USA do anything, especially with their paltry performance this morning. Throw in a raging pandemic that has turned the Olympics upside down and you have an unexpected fall. Uncle Sam would be extremely disappointed with this group right now.
If America is to win a gold medal this year, they'll have to make necessary adjustments. Jrue Holiday did everything he could this morning, scoring 19 points while riding the NBA Finals wave. The guard's stellar play is a bright spot for the USA, but more needs to be done. Perhaps the team needs to shoot better. Whatever the case, something must change. Otherwise, it'll be reminiscent of 2004, where they fell apart as well. Believe it or not, they lost to Puerto Rico by 18 points in the opening match that year, leading to a bronze medal.