Four Teams That Could Beat Team USA To The Gold In Men’s Basketball
It’s odd to think about it but the United States men’s basketball team might not coming home with a gold medal in this year’s Olympics. Their roster is completely stacked with NBA superstars including Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard and Jayson Tatum, yet they lost to Nigeria in exhibition matchups and lost to France in non-exhibition play, marking the first time Team USA has lost since 2004.
Is this team beatable? Their odds to win the gold have come down a lot. Here are four teams that could knock them off.
France was able to pull off a crazy upset victory over team USA back in 2019 and look to give them another run for their money this year. As a matter of fact, they already have. They beat them 83-76 in their opening contest. They are going to be led out by Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert alongside other NBA players like Evan Fournier, Nicolas Batum, Frank Ntilikina and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot. They have a lot of experience across their roster and could end up surprising people with stellar defensive play. After all, Gober, Batum and Ntilikina are all known in the league for their effort and talent on the defensive end.
This is going to be the first time ever that Slovenia has made it to the Olympic Games. The team was able to knock of Lithuania by double digits to do so and couldn’t have done it without NBA phenom Luka Doncic. Doncic is often seen dominating the NBA despite only being in the league for a few seasons and showed his talent once more with a 31-point triple double against Lithuania. He is going to be incredibly difficult to stop in this tournament and could be a big problem for team USA.
Spain came home with the 2019 FIBA World Cup and is currently ranked as the second-best group this year behind only the United States. This group has a load of experience, as they are led by both Marc and Pau Gasol as well as Ricky Rubio. However, that isn’t all the NBA talent they are boasting, as Willy and Juancho Hernangomez join them. The group may be a little older compared to a few other teams in the tournament, but that experience could end up helping them pull out a few upset victories. Don’t count them out, as they could be the team to take down the projected winner.
Not only is this their 13th straight appearance in the men’s basketball Olympics, but this team has terrific potential. Longtime NBA point guard Patty Mills will be leading the way for Australia for the fourth consecutive Olympics, only this time he is joined by fellow NBA players. Joe Ingles, Dante Exum, Matthew Dellavedova, Aron Baynes and Josh Green are going to be filling out a good portion of their roster. They have a great mix of shooting and playmaking that could end up competing with the United States if the two teams match up.