USA Basketball Tokyo Olympics

Discussion of the league and of our favorite team.
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Flagrant Fowl
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Re: USA Basketball Tokyo Olympics

Post by Flagrant Fowl »

I watched the whole game and didn't get the chance to post because the game ended at 11pm here. It was just like old times watching the NBA stateside.

I'll start with everyone's favorite hot take, Greg Popovich. Head coach of the USA Men's National Team is the most difficult basketball job in America. If you don't believe me, consider the 11-player roster (sorry JaVale McGee) will earn roughly a combined $305 million next season and think about how it was possible for them to command such high salaries. I'll give a hint, they didn't earn it by being 3rd or 4th option role players for their NBA teams. Maybe some will say the player's collective salary is counter evidence to my claim that the head coaching job is difficult, but to that I'd wonder if those people even understand how the game is played.

In 2004, Team USA had a ball movement problem that was a plague on NBA basketball at the time. (We all well know what happened in the 2004-05 season that changed everything.) The 2021 team doesn't lack ball movement, in fact they try to move the ball too much. It's ball movement for the sake of ball movement, and it wouldn't fool a well coached college team let alone an Olympic opponent.

Both the 2004 and 2021 teams lack cohesion, and most importantly, they lack a hierarchy. In a locker room of alphas, who's the alpha-alpha? Who's the alpha who knows how to be an alpha in their auxiliary role? Stuff like that doesn't just Pop into place, it takes weeks (months?) of physical and mental conditioning together.

Team USA was too easy too defend against France because they were too predicable. Hunting three-pointers. Ballhandlers not attacking the rim off of screens. Over passing. Part of that is coaching for sure, but defense is also part of coaching and Team USA defended well for most of the game. They had a few defensive mistakes in the second half and they lost the overall battle for 50/50 balls, but I didn't see anyone flat out dogging it on the defensive side and I think that is a credit to the coaching staff.

Also remember that it's a coaching staff, so if someone is going to put blame on Popovich, they also need to put blame on Steve Kerr, Lloyd Pierce (eh, OK..), and Jay Wright. We're not talking about Earl Watson and Igor Kokoskov, the coaches on that bench have won everything at their respective levels. So if Greg Popovich is the wrong guy to lead the team, fine. Then tell me who should lead the coaching staff and exactly how they're going to be significantly better at managing their NBA team and an ever turbulent Team USA roster. This is a classic situation of the back-up quarterback being the fan favorite despite never taking a single snap in a real game just because we've never had the chance to see them fail.

Onto the minutia of the game. The way I saw it, Team USA won 2.5 quarters to 1.5 for France. Team USA was defensively sound and shot well for the first half. That changed in the third quarter when France put two 7-footers on the court together and Durant picked up a fourth foul in the first couple of minutes. Jrue Holiday steadied the ship brilliantly as he appeared to be the only guy willing to take a shot at the rim, and it looked like Team USA would cruise to a mostly comfortable win.

Team USA turned up the defensive intensity to start the 4th, but then I saw them revert back into their All-Star game offensive form of being too easy to defend, and it still almost worked. I'm sure everyone has seen the sequence of missed shots late in the 4th quarter. Most of those shots were wide open. They just missed. I'm betting it won't happen again for at least the next two games.

So while it's easy to point the blame at this or that, and holy hell do some people love to shit on Team USA for any little reason, they easily could've beaten France by 10 points. But I'm sure there would've been a collective of opinions who would've said it was embarrassing that they didn't win by 20 points.
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Flagrant Fowl
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Re: USA Basketball Tokyo Olympics

Post by Flagrant Fowl »

bajanguy008 wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 3:47 pm
Like I said a few weeks back after they lost to Nigeria, the NBA is entertainment, FIBA is competition.

NBA officials, whether consciously or subconsciously, officiate the best players with a different rulebook.
UOducks4life in a previous life. Valar Morghulis.

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wpmiller42
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Re: USA Basketball Tokyo Olympics

Post by wpmiller42 »

For what it's worth, I like how the Olympic games have been officiated so far.

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Nodack
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Re: USA Basketball Tokyo Olympics

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Mori Chu
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Re: USA Basketball Tokyo Olympics

Post by Mori Chu »

So I guess you can't just throw your team together the night before from a bunch of pampered stars and win a gold medal?

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Superbone
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Re: USA Basketball Tokyo Olympics

Post by Superbone »

They’re not out of gold medal contention yet, are they?
Wormwood/Superbone 2019/2020 season bet: Suns win < 30 games, Wormwood wins, else 'Bone wins. 1 month avatar shame starting July 1st of winner's choosing. ACCOMPLISHED! 34 wins in a shortened season! Like it mattered. We rarely see Wormwood anyway!

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bajanguy008
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Re: USA Basketball Tokyo Olympics

Post by bajanguy008 »

Superbone wrote:
Mon Jul 26, 2021 1:19 am
They’re not out of gold medal contention yet, are they?
Naw
Just Game 1 of group play. The other two teams in the group are Iran and Satoransky's Czech Republic so France probably goes 3-0 to be 1st place in the group. Basically setting up that the winner of US v Czech going through to the Quarter-Finals as the 2nd place team in the group and would play a team who came 1st in a different group.
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bajanguy008
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Re: USA Basketball Tokyo Olympics

Post by bajanguy008 »

Flagrant Fowl wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 4:43 pm
bajanguy008 wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 3:47 pm
Like I said a few weeks back after they lost to Nigeria, the NBA is entertainment, FIBA is competition.

NBA officials, whether consciously or subconsciously, officiate the best players with a different rulebook.
Very well said man ✌️👍
SUNS Fan from the Land of Sun, Sea and Sand ;)

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ShelC
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Re: USA Basketball Tokyo Olympics

Post by ShelC »

This roster feels like the 2004 team. No cohesion, ISO scorers and B/C level types who wouldn't be on the roster if we really sent our best. This happens in cycles tho every 12-16 years I think where the generational stars age out and there's a lull in talent. There was a dropoff in 2000 and 2004 after the 1st two Dream Teams and another dropoff started after 2008 and 2012 when we really sent our best in their prime - Kobe, LBJ, Wade, Melo, KD, AD, Westbrook, Harden, Paul, etc. No other country can beat us when we send our best but we also can't send 2nd/3rd/4th tier guys and expect to show up and dominate.

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bajanguy008
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Re: USA Basketball Tokyo Olympics

Post by bajanguy008 »

Iran was always going to be the easy game
Book got the start
Dame set the tone



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bajanguy008
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Re: USA Basketball Tokyo Olympics

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SUNS Fan from the Land of Sun, Sea and Sand ;)

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Indy
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Re: USA Basketball Tokyo Olympics

Post by Indy »

bajanguy008 wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 4:01 am
Sometimes he seems like a guy that has been in the league 15 years and well into his 30s.

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bajanguy008
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Re: USA Basketball Tokyo Olympics

Post by bajanguy008 »

Indy wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 7:57 am
bajanguy008 wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 4:01 am
Sometimes he seems like a guy that has been in the league 15 years and well into his 30s.
Well his new cut has him looking that age too :lol:
Funny how the baby face seemingly disappeared with the hair lol
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JeremyG
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Re: USA Basketball Tokyo Olympics

Post by JeremyG »

It was cool seeing former Suns center Hamed Haddadi.

And Booker always misses the shot at the end of the quarter, just like for the Suns. :P

Seriously, though, I would love to see his percentage on those shots the last couple years.

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Indy
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Re: USA Basketball Tokyo Olympics

Post by Indy »

JeremyG wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 11:16 am
It was cool seeing former Suns center Hamed Haddadi.

And Booker always misses the shot at the end of the quarter, just like for the Suns. :P

Seriously, though, I would love to see his percentage on those shots the last couple years.
zero. it is zero percent. no need to look it up!

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Furlanfufi
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Re: USA Basketball Tokyo Olympics

Post by Furlanfufi »

bajanguy008 wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 4:01 am
Yeah, but I was getting triggered seeing Middleton connect so many shots

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Nodack
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Re: USA Basketball Tokyo Olympics

Post by Nodack »

Indy wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 11:38 am
JeremyG wrote:
Wed Jul 28, 2021 11:16 am
It was cool seeing former Suns center Hamed Haddadi.

And Booker always misses the shot at the end of the quarter, just like for the Suns. :P

Seriously, though, I would love to see his percentage on those shots the last couple years.
zero. it is zero percent. no need to look it up!
LOL!

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Flagrant Fowl
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Re: USA Basketball Tokyo Olympics

Post by Flagrant Fowl »


"I didn't think Kevin Love was going to play. I wasn't even sure he had much left to play," Colangelo said. "He reached out to us and said he was in shape and said he felt he owed us. And on the basis of that, we're looking at someone with international experience who at one time was a heck of a rebounder and could still shoot the ball. You know, being like a 12th man on a roster.

"Well, it didn't work out. He wasn't in shape. And he was way behind as it turned out. So you move on. Call it a mistake. Call it giving someone an opportunity. Someone who had equity with us."
Jerry probably should've kept his mouth shut even if he's right. Stuff like this is not how they'll get guys to play for the program.
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Shabazz
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Re: USA Basketball Tokyo Olympics

Post by Shabazz »

Yeah. Kind of a dick thing to say.

I think Love will be on the Suns before it’s all said and done.
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Flagrant Fowl
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Re: USA Basketball Tokyo Olympics

Post by Flagrant Fowl »

Shabazz wrote:
Fri Jul 30, 2021 5:44 pm
Yeah. Kind of a dick thing to say.

I think Love will be on the Suns before it’s all said and done.
The Lakers are much more likely, IMO. James Jones played three seasons with Love, so he probably has some good intel on how much he has left in the tank.

Semi-related, I'm not sure how much Kevin Love enjoys playing professional basketball anymore. It's been a long time since he's showed to really care even if it's sometimes it's been out of his control with injuries.
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