The U.S. basketball team is in crisis ahead of the 2020 Olympics. Gathered a gray lineup around Kevin Durant

The NBA has entered a transition period. Only LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony continue their careers from the 2003 draft, which brought the league four future members of the Hall of Fame, and in 2021 the Lakers star flew off in the first round of the playoffs, and the Portland striker has not penetrated for four years. 20 points per game. Legends are being replaced by a multicultural cast of new stars. The percentage of Americans among the young tops is constantly falling.

Take the NBA-2021 Finals – Milwaukee is run by Greek Yannis Adetokumbo, and under the basket he is stopped by Phoenix center Deandre Ayton from the Bahamas. First place in the Eastern Conference was taken by “Philadelphia” of Cameroonian Joel Embiid, “Utah” with Frenchman Rudy Gobert was the leader of the West, and Serb Nikola Jokic took MVP. We must not forget about the main hope not only of Slovenia, but also of Dallas – Luka Doncic.

Each of the listed aliens is giving away stellar stats. In the 2020/21 season, Jokic, Doncic, Adetokumbo and Embiid entered the top 10 NBA players in points per game, Gobert came in second in block shots and Ayton in 11th in rebounds. Back in January 2020, league commissioner Adam Silver confessed that he was jealous of the world’s love for football. The ethnic diversity in the main tournament brings basketball closer to the global level.

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On the other hand, a diverse cast of stars hits the US national team. Gregg Popovich’s team no longer matches dream-team status. The 2020 Olympics could consolidate the decline.

The US Olympic roster boasts only two superstars – Kevin Durant and Damien Lillard. Not comparable to the 2012 squad, where LeBron and KD were assisted by Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, James Harden, Oklahoma-era Russell Westbrook and New York-era Carmelo. Even in 2016, Kyrie Irving, Clay Thompson and Jimmy Butler filled out the application.

Who will accompany Durant and Lillard in Tokyo? Three will arrive late in Japan: Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday and Chris Middleton are closing the NBA Finals. In the main league series, the Phoenix star gives out 30 points per match, the 22nd number, the Bucks, 25.4 each, and his partner point guard gives the most powerful defense for 1.8 interceptions and 0.8 block shots. But everyone runs for almost 40 minutes per game – with such exhaustion and without a training camp, it will be difficult to give the maximum at the Olympics.

Bam Adebayo, Jeramie Grant, Draymond Green and Javal McGee – a grayish set of big men will play in the paint of the Americans. The first did not support the top level, which he set in the playoffs-2020, and in the next post-season slipped in points, rebounds and average throws accuracy. McGee closed the 2020 campaign with 46 appearances, 33 of which were at nondescript Cleveland, while Grant wasted 22.3 points at Detroit from last in the East. Only Green handed out versatile 7 points, 7.1 rebounds, 8.9 assists, 1.7 steals and 0.8 blocks per game.

The gloomy set is diluted with young stars: Zach Lavigne and Jason Tatum. The Chicago defender has been increasing his points per game (from 16.7 to 27.4) and accuracy from beyond the arc (from 34% to almost 42%) for the fourth season in a row, but will not make it into the playoffs. The Boston forward has amassed a post-season dunk collection through LeBron and 50 points to the formidable Brooklyn.

Bradley Beale was supposed to complement a number of eastern stars. The Washington leader finished the NBA regular season second in points per game (31.3), but left the national team due to the coronavirus. Instead of a defender, Popovich called in Keldon Johnson, a roleplayer from his native San Antonio.

To summarize, at the 2020 Olympics, Durant and Lillard will be helped by tired NBA finalists, dubious big men, two younger stars and a shy San Antonio guy. Classic dream-teams boasted an ultra-quality start and close reserve, built around defining players of generations (Jordan in the 90s, LeBron in the 10s) and crushed rivals with status. You can’t say the same about the 2021 roster.

The disintegration of the US basketball team began at the 2019 World Cup. Then the Americans flew out of the main draw in the quarterfinals and caught only seventh place. After the tournament, Popovich burst out into public: “They want to shame us for seventh place. This is a disgusting, childish approach that is characteristic of people who do not respect their rivals. “

Two defeats in four control games before the Olympics are also not encouraging. In the last match against the Spaniards, Popovic noticed the increased pace and movement of the ball, but warned: “We only had six trainings. As a result of friendly matches, we want to become better at both ends of the site, to understand how to play with each other – let me remind you that these guys have never played in the same squad. “

In the group stage of the Olympics, the United States will clash with France, which they lost at the 2019 World Cup, the Czech Republic and Iran. Durant’s national team was lucky with the seeding: Nigeria and Australia, which defeated the Americans in their comrades, gathered in neighboring group B, Spain (world champions) and Slovenia (Doncic’s team) – in group C. Popovic’s guys will face the main challenges in the playoffs. Will they survive is the main intrigue of the Tokyo 2020 basketball tournament.

Test: name all sports at the 2020 Olympics
The organizing committee did not rule out the cancellation of the Olympics at the last moment


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