USA – 76
France – 83
Recap: It was only a matter of time. It’s not 1992. Or ‘96. Or 2000 in Sydney. Team USA lost their first game in the Olympics since 2004 when they won a bronze medal. Is there a need for an alarm? Most say no. After all, the U.S. is one of the (if not) the most successful countries in men’s Olympic basketball, having won all but four Olympic gold medals since basketball became a sport at the Olympic Games in 1936 in Berlin, Germany. Even though the loss counts, it won’t eliminate the USA from medal contention. Now while Team USA was stacked with NBA All-Stars, France had some weapons of their own starting with Evan Fournier of the Celtics who led France with 28 points and Rudy Gobert who contributed 14 points and 9 rebounds. And it’s no shock to some of the players that had issues with some of the offensive sets that Coach Popovich is running. To the rest of the world, it’s simply time. Team USA can no longer just put together teams and expect good results; all teams have at least two NBA or former NBA players, or college All-Americans. Going forward there has to be more scoring from Kevin Durant and Damian Lillard who combined for 21 points. The only bright spot was the presence of former Sixer Jrue Holiday who led the USA with 18 points while just arriving in Japan after winning the NBA championship with Milwaukee. Team USA has to work on defending better and keeping the lead to close out teams. Otherwise, they’re going to have a tougher road to the medal rounds or even worse, they can be on the outside looking in. Up next, Team USA will look to bounce back to their winning ways Wednesday against Iran. Then they finish their group play against the Czech Republic on Saturday.
Spain – 88
Japan – 77
Recap: Timberwolves G Ricky Rubio led Spain to victory with 20 points and 9 assists. F Victor Claver had 13 points and 9 rebounds, and Marc Gasol added 12 points. Japan was led by NBA players Hachimura and Watanabe with 20 and 19 points.
Slovenia – 118
Argentina – 100
Recap: Dallas Mavericks’ star Luca Doncic wowed with 48 points and 11 rebounds as Slovenia beat 4th ranked Argentina by 18 points. Former NBA player Luis Scola led a balanced attack with 23 points and Facundo Campazzo of the Denver Nuggets had 21 points.