Team USA will lock horns with Australia in the semifinals of the basketball event at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday.
Team USA come into the game on the back of a comfortable 95-81 win against Spain, while Australia inflicted a 97-59 loss upon Argentina in the quarterfinals. There is very little separating these two sides and the game could be decided by fine margins.
Fixture - USA vs. Australia | Olympics 2021 Men's Basketball.
Date & Time - Thursday, August 5th, 12:15 AM Eastern Time (Thursday, August 5th, 9:45 AM IST).
Venue - Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan
Team USA have looked in fine form since their shock defeat against France in their first game. They were impressive in their win against Spain, holding the European side to just 81 points despite Ricky Rubio's career night.
Kevin Durant scored 29 points in 31 minutes against Spain, and he is expected to lead the team's offense once again on Thursday against Australia. The duo of Jrue Holiday and Damian Lillard have complemented each other well in the backcourt, with Team USA striking the perfect balance between offense and defense.
Team News: USA
Team USA have not reported any injuries ahead of their game against Australia.
Gregg Popovich fielded a three-guard lineup against Spain, and there is a high probability of the USA opting for a back court of Damian Lillard and Jrue Holiday with Devin Booker playing at small forward.
Kevin Durant will play at power forward, while Miami Heat ace Bam Adebayo is expected to retain his place as the team's starting center.
Draymond Green, Zach LaVine and Jayson Tatum will come off the bench to play significant minutes.
USA Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Jrue Holiday | Shooting Guard - Damian Lillard | Small Forward - Devin Booker | Power Forward - Kevin Durant | Center - Bam Adebayo.
Also Check out: USA Olympic Basketball Team 2021
Australia were dominant on both ends of the floor against Argentina, running rings around their defense and suffocating their offense in the paint. Five Australian players ended the game with 10 points or more, with veteran point guard Patty Mills leading the scorers with 18 points.
Apart from Mills, Matisse Thybulle and Joe Ingles have also had a steady tournament for Australia. Thybulle will likely be tasked with guarding Damian Lillard, while Ingles will be in charge of playmaking along with Mills.
Australia are unbeaten in the tournament thus far and will look to keep that run going.
Team News: Australia
Patty Mills ranked third in terms of points (21.7) and seventh in assists (5.7) per game in the group phase. He will start at the point guard position for the Australians in their crunch encounter against USA.
Matthew Dellavedova will start as the shooting guard, while Joe Ingles and Nick Kay will feature at the two forward spots.
Aron Baynes has been ruled out with a neck injury, which means Jock Landale will start at center. NBA stars Dante Exum and Matisse Thybulle will come off the bench to share minutes with the two wings.
Australia Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Patty Mills | Shooting Guard - Matthew Dellavedova | Small Forward - Joe Ingles | Power Forward - Nick Kay | Center - Jock Landale.
USA vs Australia Match Prediction
Australia possess the tools to hurt Team USA, but Kevin Durant and co. should have too much in the tank for the Boomers. The Americans have offensive firepower across all five positions, and players like Bam Adebayo, Jrue Holiday and Draymond Green can play lockdown defense.
Team USA should be able to prevail and march into the finals.
Where to watch the USA vs Australia game?
The 2021 Tokyo Olympics is being covered in Australia on Channel Seven, 7two and 7mate. Fans can also watch the match on streaming platform 7Plus.
NBC is responsible for Olympic coverage in the U.S. The network has shown various events across NBC, NBC Sports, NBC's Olympic Channel, CNBC, USA and the Golf Channel. Fans of Team USA can also catch the game live on NBC streaming service Peacock.