Tokyo Olympics

HIGHLIGHTS: USA vs Czech Republic – Tokyo Olympics Men’s Basketball

JR Isaga
HIGHLIGHTS: USA vs Czech Republic – Tokyo Olympics Men’s Basketball

USA Basketball Twitter page

USA Basketball Twitter page

Team USA shoots for a quarterfinal berth against Czech Republic in the Tokyo Olympics men's basketball tournament

After a humiliating Tokyo Olympics opening game against France, Team USA got back to its old, dominating ways with a 120-66 decimation of Iran last Wednesday, July 28.

Unfortunately for the Americans, it was a lopsided rout seen coming a mile away even from more casual fans of the sport, as the low-ranked Iran is led by lumbering 36-year-old big man Hamed Haddadi and a bunch of guards and wings who provide complementary shooting.

As such, Team USA will have to showcase a repeat performance near that magnitude in its final group phase game at 8 pm on Saturday, July 31, against Czech Republic, not because it needs the point differential or anything, but because it needs to make a true statement against better opponents.

(UPDATE: Record-setting Durant, Team USA crush Czech Republic to reach Olympic quarterfinals)

United States indisputably has the world’s best collection of talent, but as the France game showed, it is completely plausible for pure talent to fall flat in the face of cohesive teamwork. More importantly, from here on out, the Americans can expect no more cakewalks like they had against Iran.

Yes, they are still not out of the running if they lose, but that is a scenario they simply cannot let happen with the rest of the world’s true contenders looking on, hungry for blood as the fate of the gold medal hangs in the balance.

Will Team USA prove that it can dominate its way through higher levels of competition, or will Czech Republic mount another massive roadblock on the Americans’ golden path?