Team USA, the national men’s basketball team, faces off against France for their first game in the group play stage at the Tokyo Olympics. The team, featuring Portland Trail Blazers’ point guard Damian Lillard, struggled in exhibition games due to being shortstaffed. Bradley Beal had to drop out of competition due to health and safety protocols, while Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, and Devin Booker were not yet available due to the NBA Finals, and Kevin Love could not get past a nagging calf strain. Keldon Johnson and JaVale McGee rounded out the final roster for Tokyo.
France has put together its own formidable team including the NBA’s current Defensive Player of the Year, Rudy Gobert. Other NBA stalwarts on the French squad include former Blazer Nicolas Batum as well as Evan Fournier of the Boston Celtics and Frank Ntilikina of the New York Knicks. The French did not fare well in exhibition play, dropping a game to Japan and another one to Spain.
The teams last faced each other in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, where Team USA lost to France in the quarterfinals 89-78. France went on to place third behind Argentina and Spain. It appears that the X-factor in this matchup could be which team shows up with the most chemistry.
Team USA vs. France
Date: Sunday, July 25th
Time: 5 AM PT
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