Team USA vs Australian Baby Boomers, Las Vegas Exhibition Game, Tokyo Olympics, Patty Mills 22 points
Team USA’s gold medal hopes took a heavy blow after losing their second consecutive exhibition game, losing to the Australian Boomers 91-83 in Las Vegas on Tuesday.
While it was nothing more than a scratch game, these are worrying signs for a team laden with NBA All-Star talent such as Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal and Jayson Tatum and coached by the legendary. Five-time NBA champion Gregg Popovich.
It follows the Americans’ surprise 90-87 loss to Nigeria on Sunday, who have now lost four of their last five games overall, dating back to the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
This is only the third time since 1992 that the United States team has lost consecutive matches – the other two cases being at the 2002 FIBA World Championship and the aforementioned 2019 World Cup.
The Boomers were missing Ben Simmons, who retired from Olympic consideration in June to focus on his individual game, but had Philadelphia 76ers teammate Matisse Thybulle anchor their defense.
Earlier on Tuesday, a social media post by US broadcaster Ryen Russillo raised Australian eyebrows, who posted on Twitter: Ingles / Thybulle / # 15 in a 7-game series, no one would choose anything other than a sweep.
Plus, the Americans have now lost two straight games to the Boomers – against them two years ago in an exhibition game. At the time, he ended a 78-game winning streak in major international tournaments and exhibitions for the Star Team.
The US team were ousted later that year from the 2019 FIBA World Cup by Serbia in the standings semifinals, finishing seventh in the tournament.
And the reigning triple Olympic gold medalists’ preparations for the upcoming Tokyo games are now shaky, with a missing roster of NBA superstars including LeBron James and Steph Curry.
While there are reinforcements in the Milwaukee Bucks duo Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton and Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns – who currently face off in the NBA Finals.
“The American team could indeed win their fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal next month in Tokyo. But if they do, it will be a story of overcoming adversity ”, ESPN Brian Windhorst wrote.
“It was a better performance than the loss to Nigeria on Saturday, but just reading those words is a bit bewildering considering the pedigree of this list and this coaching staff. Damian Lillard, who had 22 points, and Kevin Durant, who had 17 points, definitely looked more like the All-Stars, but in the end they weren’t able to deliver any clutch shots.
As reported by Sillustrated ports, Team USA was treated to a chorus of boos after going down against the Australians.
“These games don’t count. Right now, this is the only saving grace for USA Basketball ”, Illustrated sports wrote.
“Although these are glorified scrums, this is already certain – a medal seems far from being a lock for the United States”
the atheist Joe Vardon criticized the US team under Popovich’s leadership, pointing out their defensive shortcomings.
“The hard, cold facts are that the Americans, no matter who is on their roster, stink under Gregg Popovich, certainly by the high standards of the American team. They are now 9-5 over the past two summers and have lost four of the last five, Vardon wrote.
“This team has star power and two of those stars – Lillard and Durant – played well tonight, but there are way too many leaks in defense and on the boards.”
Australian star Patty Mills led the way as he regularly does in the green and gold, scoring 22 points.
An NBA free agent this offseason, Launderer report Joseph Zucker has pointed out that it may be wise for the San Antonio Spurs goaltender to put contract denials on hold until the Olympics are over.
“Mills is a free agent this offseason, and the longtime San Antonio Spurs goaltender might want to wait until after the Olympics to put pen to paper on a new deal,” Zucker wrote.
US Olympics gold medalist and WNBA champion Kara Lawson praised Australia’s postgame on NBC Sports.
“What a performance for the Australians in the second half. In the fourth quarter, they were the better executing team on both sides of the court, but particularly on the offensive side, ”Lawson told NBC Sports.
“A great victory for them. But it’s one of the best teams in the world, Australia. So not as shocking I would say as Nigeria’s defeat in that sense, but we certainly still see the areas of growth that need to happen for the United States in the next two weeks for them to win gold in Tokyo. .
“It’s not going to be easy (in Tokyo). It’s their sixth day together, so it’s a group that needs to keep working to be more cohesive. I think it starts on the defensive side for them.
“I thought they started the game with a little more fire, a little more physics on that side. But there was a lull in the third quarter and they couldn’t get their hands on it in the fourth. So there is a lot to work on.
“There were mistakes on the part of the United States on the home stretch. There have been a few missed shot reversals – which is not characteristic of the way these players typically play with their NBA teams. It’s a whole new bowl of wax in terms of international competition for most of this team. There are a lot of first-time Olympians.
“I saw some growth from Game 1 to Game 2, but there is clearly a long way to go with this men’s United States team.”