‘Chemistry Issues’: American Sportswriter Reveals Why Team USA is Struggling in the Pre-Olympic Games

Published 07/12/2021, 11:00 PM EDT


Donning the jersey of Team USA is equivalent to winning a Gladiator’s armour that has seen brutal wars and yet came out victorious. It’s the legacy of the Dream Team from Michael Jordan’s era and the Redeem Team from the Kobe Bryant era on the line. However, the present-day American Men’s Basketball Team seems to be doing injustice to it.

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First against the Nigerian National Team and now against the Australian side, the US team has lost both the exhibition games. This meant they lost four of their last five games going back to World Cup 2019 that Spain won. So what’s going wrong with this star-studded Olympics team?

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Why are Kevin Durant and men fairing so poorly?

In a recent interview with Rachel Nichols, American Sportswriter Brian Windhorst, gave his honest remarks on the recent losses. He first discussed how coach Gregg Popovich tried to downplay the humiliation against Nigeria. Brian expressed, “They tried to play this off, okay? They tried to say this is part of our process. Nigeria said three weeks ago that we’ve had four days together, you could obviously see that. But nine years ago, the US played Nigeria in the Olympics and won by 83. Five years ago they played them in an exhibition and won by 43. Granted, there were seven NBA players in this Nigerian team.”

He was pointing towards LeBron James’ 2012 team that had demolished the Nigerian team in a record win. However, the tables have turned and this team looks better on paper but worse on-court than the 2004 team that had won Bronze.

As the 43-YO added, “there were seven NBA players in this Nigerian team. You guys are right, they were playing against their peers. But US started five All-NBA players and there was a lot of isolation basketball, there were chemistry issues, they didn’t know where to go with the ball. The play they ran, down three points, inside 10 seconds, with Damian Lillard and Kevin Durant on the floor, was an abomination. So this is a reminder that getting a Gold medal will be really hard…”

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What are the weak points in Team USA Men’s Basketball Team?

For one, their chemistry issues were visible with Kevin Durant and Damian Lillard wasting possessions searching for Zach LaVine against Nigeria. Also, as Brian Windhorst noted, Kevin Love was a clear weakling.

The reporter responded to Richard Jefferson and pointed, “It’s your former teammate Kevin Love. He is under pressure, he was a controversial bet. He played five minutes in the first game and three fouls, no impact.”

Later, Brian’s words that the Australian Team is a tough side proved wrong as they defeated the US 91-83. 

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This was the first time that Team USA lost consecutive exhibition games since the professionals began participating in 1992. Prior to this, they were 54-2 and now two recent losses came in a gap of two days.

Do you think this team can get their acts together and win the Gold? Help us know in the comments.

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Watch this story – Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, and the Complete Team USA Men’s Basketball Team Roster

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Sourabh Singh

1441 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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