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Favorites and surprises in the men's tournament.  The United States is in the lead, and Slovenia Doncic...

Favorites and surprises in the men’s tournament. The United States is in the lead, and Slovenia Doncic…

Tokyo 2020, basketball: favorites and surprises in the men’s tournament. The United States is in the lead, and Slovenia Doncic…

Jason Tatum, Team USA – “Fiba.basketball” photos

Basketball at the Olympics, a sport that has seen a monopoly in the last three editions: the United States (2008), the United States (2012) and again the United States (2016). However, in the Tokyo Olympics, one can see the most balanced tournament since the 2004 tournament, when Carlo Recalcatti in Athens took the gold before losing in the final to Argentina from Scanoccini, Delfino, Nuccione, Scola and above all Manu. Ginobili.

Tokyo 2020, basketball: all matches calendar

Tokyo 2020, Basketball: Regulation

Meanwhile, the gap between all the national teams in the world and the United States has narrowed, as witnessed by the World Cup in China, which two years ago saw Dole Popovic occupy the seventh place. The late Kobe Bryant said at the end of the last match against Poland: “Let the best players play, otherwise it will be more difficult for us.” And for this, the United States, as it often happens, will be the candidate: not only because they are qualitatively stronger than they were in 2019 (it will be difficult to do worse), but because they cannot make mistakes twice.

Favorite: United States. Fifteen of the last 19 gold medals from Team USA: We should get to 16 out of 20. In the end, they always decide whether they intend to win or not: in 2019, Popovic was able to enjoy a list of minimum conditions, which in fact got a result from minimum conditions. The fate of Bradley Beal, who has entered the coronavirus health protocol and is now in isolation, remains unclear. The alpha male is obviously Kevin Durant, but the “chief” will not only be surrounded by Indians: Damian Lillard could be a killer with the FIBA ​​haul, and Devin Booker, Khris Middleton and Gro Holiday are expected to participate in the finals still underway.

Two concerns. The first concerns the length of the slate, not the depth level: this year, Pam Adebayo center did not shine with a height of 206 cm. Not taller than others: Draymond Green (198 cm), Kevin Love (203 cm) and Jerami Grant (203 cm). It is not surprising that Popovich uses Durant as a center, although he is unwilling to do so and may struggle against heavier positions. Another puzzle is harmony: the talent is a lot, but the other teams are not less. Simply “being stronger on paper” may not be enough. But the progress can be seen: after the knockout strikes against Nigeria and Australia, came a convincing success against Argentina: more ball movement, more accurate defense, more energy: If they play this way they are undefeated.

Surprise: Slovenia. With a very good peace from Nigeria. In the quintet, Nigerians could play Monty Morris, Josh Okoji, Al Farouk Aminu, Og Anonubi and Jalil Okafor: three elite-level defenders, good ground age, a good player in position, plus a decent seat. Morris and OJ will be the top scorers in a team that is not distinguished by its attacking values. And it is not at all clear that a shooting performance like this against the United States will be repeated: No, with all due respect Moving to Slovenia Luka DoncicWith all due respect, we repeat, for the African team, which now appears to be the closest to getting a medal.

For the Slovenes, this is the first appearance at the Olympics. The former Real Madrid, along with Vlatko Kancar and Mike Toby, led them into the playoffs, and they are not here in existence. The Klemen Prepelic has long been among Europe’s most famous shooters, and the Siege of Cedevita Olimpia Ljubljana is more than favourable. There’s also no question about the former Triestine Zoran Dragic. Problem: They ended up in the most difficult group. The third group also included Argentina, Japan and Spain. After overcoming this hurdle, however, Nobody wants to catch Doncic in a dry race: Everyone who has seen him play knows how offensively he can dominate in a single game.

Possible podium: United States, Argentina, Spain. It is clear that Argentina, Spain, France and Australia are on the next “level” to the level that includes only Team USA. Then Slovenia, Nigeria, and finally Italy. The Argentines, as at the beginning of any international tournament, are underestimated: Two years ago, they eliminated Serbia led by Nikola Djokic and France led by Rudi Gobert. What has changed since the World Cup? Many players have improved: Dick, Campazzo and Vildosa, to name a few. One Generacion Dorada is still: the immortal Luis Scola. For the rest, a good part of the collection is the same as the silver one in China.

If there’s one thing the latest international reviews have taught me, it’s it Never give up Spain to die. Scarello’s men will be in a tough Group C, but they will also be strong: There are Gasols, with Pau showing this year he can still show something internationally. Juancho Hernangomez is absent, but the list remains very strong between the experience of two Sergio, Rodriguez and Yue, and the young streak of Osman Garuba.

Is it Italy? Sacchetti’s men have already won by making it to the Land of the Rising Sun, but since they are there, there will also be a group to beat: that is the goal of our national team, which is to reach the quarter-finals. To do this, Danilo Galinari who will replace Awudu Abass. There are finally players at the Euroleague level (Polonara and Fonteque), as well as Serie A, ready to serve as coaches in Gallo: Australia, Nigeria and Germany were warned, although the first players outnumbered the staff.

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