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Team USA Hitting Stride Ahead of Quarterfinals

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As the team moves on to the knockout stages, players are looking more comfortable.

United States v Czech Republic Men’s Basketball - Olympics: Day 8 Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Team USA has gained focus, making a statement to establish itself of a powerhouse. After playing miserably in exhibition games, they have obtained confidence and consistent play. Following that rough start, the team secured a victory over Iran and Czech Republic, securing a position in the quarterfinals.

Early in the game, Team USA was playing with a lack of effort being down by as many as 10 points and shooting 7-of-20 in the first quarter. They only led 47-43 at the end of the first half. From there on, the squad shot 21-of-25 from the field to start off the second half, bolstering a 82-60 lead after the third quarter and it was all she wrote from there. Team USA secured a victory with ease against Czech Republic with a 119-84 victory. The team shot the lights out shooting 61.6% overall and 47.6% from beyond the arc with making 20 threes.

There were several solid performances from both sides. Blake Schilb led the way for Czech Republic with 17 points while Chicago Bulls guard Tomas Satoransky posted 12 points, eight assists, and six rebounds. Jayson Tatum and Kevin Durant put on tremendous performances to lead the way for USA. Tatum and Durant finally gained momentum scoring 27 points and 23 points, eight rebounds, and six assists, respectively. The efficiency was off the charts for both stars, combining for 18-of-27 overall and 9-of-17 from three. In this tremendous performance, Durant was able to pass Carmelo Anthony for the all-time leading scorer for Team USA in the Olympics with a total of 354 points. This performance led Team USA to greater heights.

Team USA is now 2-1, finishing second behind France in Group A. It will now join Australia, France, and Slovenia as a top-four seed in the quarterfinals. With pessimism from Team USA’s play early on, things have certainly turned around with optimism of Team USA obtaining a gold medal. The team is definitely more focused, making its opponents feel uncomfortable on both ends of the floor, playing together as a cohesive unit, and taking pride as the best team in the world.

USA has been focused established chemistry through multiple practices and game-by-game. Team USA Head Coach Gregg Popovich stated, “Hopefully we’ll continue that moving forward.” Popovich has seemed to have establish a rotation and guys are fitting their roles. Draymond Green has been perfect from the field as he’s 5-of-5 through the three games while putting defensive pressure on the opposition along with “wreak-havoc” Jrue Holiday, who put on a defensive clinic for the Milwaukee Bucks all season and the playoffs en route to an NBA championship. This team is well-balanced and looks to prove its dominance throughout the rest of the Tokyo Olympics and acquire the gold medal.

Team USA will compete against Spain in the quarterfinals at 9:40pm PT. Tune in on Peacock or NBCOlympics.com.