2021 Olympics: Team USA hits stride ahead of quarter-finals
Team USA gained in focus, making a statement to establish themselves as a powerhouse. After playing pitifully in exhibition games, they have gained confidence and consistency. After this difficult start, the team clinched victory over Iran and the Czech Republic, securing a position in the quarter-finals.
At the start of the game, Team USA were playing with a lack of effort, dropping up to 10 points and shooting 7 of 20 in the first quarter. They were leading just 47-43 at the end of the first half. From there the team shot 21 of 25 from the field to start the second half, bolstering an 82-60 lead after the third quarter and that’s all they wrote from there. . The United States team obtained a win with ease over Czech Republic with a 119-84 win. The team turned off the lights shooting 61.6% overall and 47.6% beyond the arc shooting 20 threes.
There have been several solid performances from both sides. Blake Schilb led the way for the Czech Republic with 17 points while Chicago Bulls goaltender Tomas Satoransky had 12 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Jayson Tatum and Kevin Durant put in huge performances to lead the way in the United States. Tatum and Durant finally gained ground scoring 27 points and 23 points, eight rebounds and six assists, respectively. Efficiency was off the charts for both stars, combining for 18 out of 27 total and 9 out of 17 out of three. In this formidable performance, Durant managed to overtake Carmelo Anthony for the all-time leading scorer for the United States team at the Olympics with a total of 354 points. This performance has taken Team USA to greater heights.
The United States is now 2-1, finishing second behind France in Group A. They will now join Australia, France and Slovenia among the top four seeds in the quarter-finals. With the pessimism of Team USA’s play from the start, things certainly changed with the optimism of Team USA getting a gold medal. The team is definitely more focused which makes their opponents uncomfortable on both ends of the pitch, play together as a cohesive unit and pride themselves on being the best team in the world.
The United States has focused on the chemistry established through multiple practices and game by game. Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich said: “I hope we continue on this path. Popovich seems to have established a rotation and the guys are adjusting to their roles. Draymond Green has been perfect on the pitch as he’s 5 of 5 in all three games while putting defensive pressure on the opposition with “wreaking havoc” Jrue Holiday, who has organized a defensive clinic for the Milwaukee dollars all season and the playoffs on their way to an NBA championship. This team is well balanced and looking to prove their dominance in the rest of the Tokyo Olympics and win the gold medal.
The United States will face Spain in the quarter-finals at 9:40 p.m. PT. Tune into Peacock or NBCOlympics.com.