Olympics 2021 Men's Basketball: France vs USA Prediction & Match Preview - July 25th, 2021

Kevin Durant #7 of Team USA practices at Saitama Super Arena ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
Kevin Durant #7 of Team USA practices at Saitama Super Arena ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Team USA will be facing France in their opening match at the Olympics 2021 men’s basketball competition in Saitama, Japan.

In preparation for the Olympics, the US team won two of their four exhibition games, whereas the French national team lost all three of theirs.

The first two games resulted in losses for Team USA, but they bounced back to win against Argentina and Spain. When they go up against France, they will be seeing some familiar faces.

France will be bannered by 2021 Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert and fellow NBA standouts Frank Ntilikina, Evan Fournier, Nicolas Batum and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot. Despite the presence of these players, the French national team dropped two games against Spain and one against Japan.

Match Details

Fixture - France vs. USA | Olympics 2021 Men's Basketball

Date & Time - Sunday, July 25th, 8:00 AM ET (Sunday, July 25th, 5:30 PM IST)

Venue - Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan

France Preview

Evan Fournier #94 will play for France
Evan Fournier #94 will play for France

France may have lost their three exhibition games, but they could pose some problems for Team USA with their length.

Rudy Gobert will protect the paint, and that spells trouble for the Americans’ inside game. With Gobert clogging the lane, it will be up to their perimeter players to protect France from three-point bombs by Damian Lillard, Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and others.

Also Check out: France Olympic Basketball Team 2021

Nicolas Batum and Evan Fournier will have to frequently hit their outside shots to give Gobert breathing room to score in the paint.

France's exhibition losses may just be due to jet lag for some members of the team, but they should all be ready to contribute on Sunday when they face Team USA.

Team News: France

Rudy Gobert #27 reacts to referee Sean Wright #4
Rudy Gobert #27 reacts to referee Sean Wright #4

France defeated Team USA and eliminated them in the quarterfinals of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019. Coach Gregg Popovich remembers that loss all too well, and his team has been gearing up for the rematch ever since.

With this in mind, France have to consider how determined their opponent will be when they face off on Sunday.

Former NBA players Guerschon Yabusele and Vincent Poirier, along with Ntilikina and Luwawu-Cabarrot, could make an impact when they come off the bench. France’s players are looking forward to proving that they belong on the Olympic stage when they take on Team USA.

France Predicted Lineup

Point Guard - Andrew Albicy l Shooting Guard - Nando De Colo l Small Forward - Evan Fournier l Power Forward - Nicolas Batum l Center - Rudy Gobert

USA Preview

Damian Lillard #6 of Team USA practices at Saitama Super Arena
Damian Lillard #6 of Team USA practices at Saitama Super Arena

The first game for Team USA will set the tone for the entire competition. The Americans are heavily favored to win gold at the Olympics, but they can’t afford to be overconfident.

Their exhibition losses were likely due to a lack of practice time together, but the lesson is still the same - any team can be beaten.

Also Check out: USA Olympic Basketball Team 2021

Here’s how the entire US roster looks like:

  • Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat)
  • Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns)
  • Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets)
  • Jerami Grant (Detroit Pistons)
  • Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors)
  • Jrue Holiday (Milwaukee Bucks)
  • Keldon Johnson (San Antonio Spurs)
  • Zach LaVine (Chicago Bulls)
  • Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
  • JaVale McGee (Denver Nuggets)
  • Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks)
  • Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)

As loaded as Team USA may be, they can be beaten if their defensive issues and offensive execution problems during the two losses haven’t been completely addressed. Nevertheless, no team in the Olympics has as much firepower as the US.

Team News: USA

Devin Booker #1 brings the ball up court against P.J. Tucker #17
Devin Booker #1 brings the ball up court against P.J. Tucker #17

There will be a couple of changes to Team USA’s roster in Japan.

With the NBA Finals over, the Phoenix Suns’ Devin Booker and the Milwaukee Bucks’ Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton are joining the US squad. All three players won’t have a problem getting in shape, unlike their teammates who needed a week or two of conditioning before they were in optimal game shape.

Bradley Beal and Kevin Love have been replaced by Keldon Johnson of the San Antonio Spurs and JaVale McGee of the Denver Nuggets. Beal was one of the team’s leading scorers during the exhibition games but was placed in the health and safety protocols due to COVID-19. Love’s lack of conditioning appears to be the biggest reason behind his struggles, causing him to leave Team USA.

USA Predicted Lineup

Point Guard - Damian Lillard l Shooting Guard - Zach LaVine l Small Forward - Kevin Durant l Power Forward - Jayson Tatum l Center - Bam Adebayo

France vs USA Prediction

Though France lost all its games in exhibition, expect them to elevate their play in the Olympics. Gobert, Batum and Fournier are as lethal a trio in the competition as any, outside of Team USA.

But let’s be serious. There’s no way that France will be a threat on Sunday unless their chemistry is off with the new additions to the roster.

France will cause some problems because of their size at the beginning, but Team USA will figure them out eventually.

The Americans should win this by double-digits simply by showing up.

Where to watch France vs USA

The Olympics 2021 basketball competition between France and USA will be live-streamed on Peacock, the free streaming service of NBC. The match will be shown on tape delay via NBC and its family of networks.

Also Read: NBA Trade Rumors: Golden State Warriors to pursue Bradley Beal if he becomes available

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Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh