Olympic Basketball Sneak Peek: A Court Filled With NBA Talent


Olympic basketball is finally back.

After a year of delay due to COVID-19, the Tokyo 2020 Games men’s tournament will start on Saturday, July 24. The action kicks off at 9 ET with a Group A match between Iran and the Czech Republic.

This summer’s 12-team peloton is split into three groups of four teams (A, B and C), instead of the two-group structure shown in previous Olympics. In previous years, the gold medal team have played a total of eight games, but this summer the gold medal team will only play a total of six.

The group stage will be played as a round robin, with each team playing against the other three teams in its group once. The top two teams from each group and the top two third-place teams advance to the knockout stage.

The finals include quarter-finals, semi-finals, and gold and bronze medal matches. Teams from the same group cannot compete in the quarter-finals.

Below is a breakdown of NBA players in each group.

Group A: Czech Republic, France, Iran, United States

Even after two exhibition losses and two roster changes, Team USA will be the team to beat in Group A. The team consists of Bam Adebayo, Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, Jerami Grant, Draymond Green, Jrue Holiday, Zach LaVine, Damian Lillard, Khris Middleton and Jayson Tatum. JaVale McGee replaces Kevin Love, who is still recovering from a right calf injury, and Keldon Johnson replaces Bradley Beal, who left the team due to health and safety protocols.

The French roster includes headlining 2020-21 Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert of Jazz, Clippers forward Nicolas Batum, Celtics winger Evan Fournier and Nets forward Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot. . Former NBA players Guerschon Yabusele and Vincent Poirier are also part of the France team.

Iran’s list does not include any NBA players, and the Czech Republic’s list includes one: Tomas Satoransky. The Bulls forward has already won for his country this summer, winning a game against Canada in the Olympic qualifying tournament.

Group B: Australia, Germany, Italy, Nigeria

The seasoned Australian squad includes Raptors center Aron Baynes, Cavaliers goalie Dante Exum, Jazz goalie Joe Ingles, Spurs goalie Patty Mills and 76ers goalie Matisse Thybulle, as well as former NBA goaltender. Matthew Dellavedova. Center Jock Landale also has experience in the NBA Summer League and played Division I college basketball in Saint Mary’s.

Australia claimed victory over Team USA in the exhibition game in Las Vegas and will be a tough team to beat in Group B.

Nigeria also scored a decisive victory over the US team to open the exhibition action. Nigeria’s roster includes Heat Precious Achiuwa forward, Spurs forward Chimezie Metu, Bucks forward Jordan Nwora, Pistons center Jahlil Okafor, Timberwolves goalkeeper Josh Okogie, Heat KZ forward Okpala, Jazz wing Miye Oni and Heat goalkeeper Gabe Vincent.

Wizards goaltender Isaac Bonga and Magic forward Moritz Wagner will line up for Germany, while the Italian squad includes Warriors goaltender Nico Mannion and Hawks forward Danilo Gallinari. Former NBA forward Nicolo Melli will also play for Italy.

Group C: Argentina, Japan, Slovenia, Spain

The Spanish roster features the largest number of NBA players from teams in Group C, with Timberwolves goalie Ricky Rubio, Lakers center Marc Gasol, Pelicans center Willy Hernangomez and Timberwolves forward Juancho Hernangomez. Former NBA star Pau Gasol is also on the list.

Argentina’s talent in the NBA includes Nuggets goalie Facundo Campazzo, Thunder forward Gabriel Deck and Luca Vildoza, a goalie who signed with the Knicks in May. Former NBA player Luis Scola is also part of the squad and will play his third Olympics.

Slovenia will be led by Mavericks star Luka Doncic, whose dominant performance in the Olympic qualifying tournament included a triple-double in the final against Lithuania. Nuggets striker Vlatko Cancar is also part of the Slovenian squad.

Japan rounds out Group C, with Wizards forward Rui Hachimura and Raptors forward Yuta Watanabe outfitting for the host nation.

More information on the 2020 Olympics can be found here.



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