NBA Analyst Explains Why Australia Could Topple Team USA in Tokyo Olympics Semifinals

Published 08/04/2021, 10:23 AM EDT


The men’s basketball event at the Olympics is livelier than ever, with no clear cut favorites among the Final 4. Will Team USA extend its Olympic domination with their fourth straight gold medal? As they head into a semi-final matchup with Team Australia tomorrow, a spot in the Gold medal game looks all but guaranteed for KD and company.

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Team Australia have cruised these Olympics, winning all 4 of their matchups in their road to the semi-finals. And even though they recorded comprehensive victories over Nigeria Germany, Italy and Argentina, the United States is a different animal. That said, experts have called a close game, ultimately defined by defense and perimeter shooting.

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Australia pose a legitimate threat to the Americans, with a rather cohesive style of team basketball. Built on team offensive/defensive rotation and interior play, they play like an old-school team, making them tough to beat.

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Task cut out for Team USA

Does Australia have what it takes to end the American dream in Tokyo? Irrespective of their own talent, beating Team USA in a high stakes game tomorrow will be an upset make no mistake about it! In fact, NBA Insider Brian Windhorst believes that – “This is the biggest game in Australian basketball history.”

Having elucidated over their recent performances in National basketball, Windhorst said – “They’ve been building to this not only did they beat the Americans, a couple of weeks ago, they beat them in an exhibition three years ago, these guys are not going to be scared.”

Windy, on Sports-Center leading up to tomorrow’s matchup dwelled over the Aussies’ conventional style of basketball. He gave a take saying – “They had 22 baskets in the paint, in a 40 minute game against the Americans in Las Vegas. So look for them to attack the interior and look for them to be totally jacked for this game.”

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While the Vegas exhibition matchup will be relatively fresh in heads of Kevin Durant and Co, his new Nets teammate Patty Mills will back himself for another upset. The Spurs veteran has been sensational these Olympics, leading the scoring throughout this campaign.

Winner takes all

Brian Windhorst hit the nail on the head as he said – “The last couple games against the Czechs and then yesterday against the Spanish, the Americans were a little lethargic coming out. That is not going to be acceptable against the Australians. They got to play for 40 minutes. It’s going to be really enjoyable to watch. Maybe one of the toughest games to us is seen in the Olympics.”

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It’s go big or go home for both countries. While U.S. breezed past Iran and the Czech, their perimeter shooting will be an area of concern, considering the Australian defensive ability. Are Australia the giant killers of the modern era? We shall find out soon enough!

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Nikhil Naik

170 articles

Nikhil Naik is an NBA writer at EssentialySports. Having completed his bachelor's degree in Hospitality, he has worked with the Indian Hotels Company Limited, at the Taj in Mumbai. Nikhil has been playing basketball since 2014.

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