NBA

2020 Tokyo Olympics: USA men’s basketball team looks to bounce back vs. Iran after dropping opener

USATSI

The USA men’s basketball team lost its opening Olympic game to France in a close one, carrying over its exhibition game issues to Tokyo. The loss marked the United States’ first Olympic defeat since 2004 when it fell to both Puerto Rico and Lithuania in group play. It also snapped a 25-game Olympic winning streak for the U.S. Jrue Holiday, who is fresh off an NBA championship, led Team USA in scoring, putting up 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists in the loss. Bam Adebayo also tacked on 12 points and 10 rebounds for the U.S., which will now look to rebound against Iran in its next matchup.

Ahead of what should be a bounce-back game for Team USA, here’s everything you need to know about Wednesday’s matchup against Iran.

United States vs. Iran

  • Date: Wednesday, July 28 | Time: 12:40 a.m. ET
  • Location: Saitama Super Arena — Saitama, Japan 
  • TV: NBC | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
  • Odds (via William Hill Sportsbook): USA N/A; IRI N/A | Spread: 41.5 | O/U: 166.0  

Storylines

United States: After a shocking loss to France, the U.S. hopes to pick up the pieces against an Iran team that also lost its first game in the tournament. Similar to the other losses Team USA suffered in exhibition games leading up to the Olympics, execution in crunch time is a glaring issue that needs to be addressed. The Americans held on to a five-point lead with about two minutes to go in the game and watched it evaporate as France’s Evan Fournier played like the best guy on the floor. There’s also still the issue that Team USA is severely underestimating the other teams in the field. France had five NBA players in its starting lineup, as well as a few on the bench. While Iran doesn’t have a single NBA player on its roster, the U.S. needs to get used to playing teams with players they’ve matched up against in the NBA.  

Iran: After losing a close game to the Czech Republic, Iran will try to give the U.S. a difficult time in its second Olympic game. The team was led by Patrik Auda in its loss, who put up 16 points off the bench, followed by Blake Schilb with 14 points. It will be a tall task for the Iranians to beat the U.S., but after watching France put away Team USA it should serve as some motivation to keep the game competitive.

Prediction 

Pick: Team USA should be motivated by its startling loss to France, and should respond well against an Iran team that doesn’t match up well. This is the perfect bounce-back opportunity for the U.S. to get back on the winning side of things. United States -41.5



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