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2021 Olympics Men's Basketball gold medal game: Where to watch, schedule, and top players to keep an eye on

USA assistant coach Steve Kerr at the Tokyo Olympics
USA assistant coach Steve Kerr at the Tokyo Olympics
ANALYST

All eyes will be on the Saitama Super Arena for the Olympics' men's basketball final as Team USA seeks to win their fourth-straight gold against France, the only side who remain unbeaten in the tournament.

Rewind almost two weeks ago and the Americans seemed to be in a quagmire after they lost their Olympics opener to the French, which followed two warm-up losses prior to flying to Japan.

Since their humbling defeat, however, coach Popovich's side have pulled together to dominate their opponents with clinical performances from Kevin Durant and Jrue Holiday in particular.

USA will come into the Olympics gold medal matchup as favorites, though France know exactly what they are up against and have vast experience playing with one another on the international stage.

Three NBA stars in Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier and Nicolas Batum will lead the French who are seeking their first ever Olympic basketball gold and are looking to be the team that topples some of the game's greats.

Schedule for the Olympics Men's Basketball gold medal match

France leaders Rudy Gobert and Nicolas Batum at the Olympics
France leaders Rudy Gobert and Nicolas Batum at the Olympics

As with the entirety of the Men's basketball tournament at the Olympics, the gold medal contest will take place at the Saitama Super Arena. Tip-off aligns well with those wanting to watch Team USA battle for redemption against France as it begins at 10:30 PM ET.

In India, the Olympics basketball action begins at 8:00 AM IST, while in Europe fans will have to stay up during the night to catch the game at 3:30 AM GMT.

NBC has been broadcasting the Olympic coverage in the U.S., showing each of Team USA's games. The finale can be viewed on any of its streaming platforms, including Peacock, or on national television. In India, basketball fans can watch the game live on Sony Ten 2 and 2 HD.

For fans in Europe, the contest will be shown on Eurosport who have shown the majority of the tournament's action. It is available either on national television or via the company's online subscription service.

Key players to keep an eye on in the gold medal contest

Kevin Durant has taken over for USA on offense in this year's Olympics on countless occasions
Kevin Durant has taken over for USA on offense in this year's Olympics on countless occasions

France will have to rely on all of their international experience together as a squad to overcome Team USA's plethora of NBA talent. That experience was on display against Slovenia in their semi-final as veteran forward Nicolas Batum blocked Klemen Prepelic's lay-up attempt to seal victory at the buzzer.

France were also able to limit Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic in the matchup, largely due to Rudy Gobert's presence in the paint and ability to ward off anybody trying to drive the lane.

The French center will know what it takes to battle against the likes of Kevin Durant and Bam Adebayo in USA's frontcourt. Gobert will have to display the kind of effort that earned him Defensive Player of the Year this season to help France to victory.

If France are going to score more than their opponents though, they will be looking to their backcourt pairing of Evan Fournier and Nando de Colo. Fournier has been influential throughout the tournament and drained 28 points against the Americans in the group stage,

Meanwhile, De Colo came up clutch against Slovenia and finished the semi-final with a game-high 25 points. The two will need to be at the top of their game to compete with Damian Lillard and Jrue Holiday.

Holiday, in particular, has been immense for USA, despite arriving in Tokyo straight from helping the Milwaukee Bucks to the NBA championship. His tenacious defending means he has the third-best +/- on the team and is averaging 1.4 steals per game.

He has also combined with Kevin Durant late in games to help carry the offensive load and make big buckets, shooting at 55% from the field and 44% from three.

Durant will be the key, though, for Team USA. If he is in rhythm, the whole side follows suit. He is now the country's all-time leading scorer at the Olympics and has averaged 19 points and 5.2 rebounds in 26 minutes, making him the third-most efficient player at the tournament.

To overcome France's tenacity and team spirit, USA will rely on their depth. Jayson Tatum has been electric off the bench at the Olympics, putting up 14.4 points each game due to shooting at 55% from the field. He also uncharacteristically leads the team in blocks with 1.4 per contest.

Edited by Parimal Dagdee
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