Best of Day 2 at the Tokyo Olympics: USA basketball stumbles out of the gate | NBC Sports


NBC Sports 25 July, 2021 - 02:35pm 45 views

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The 2020 Tokyo Olympics basketball competition commences on 25 July when 24 teams (12 in the men's competition and 12 women's tournament) embark on their journey for a place on the podium. There will be three groups composing four teams with each team playing their group opponent once. AS EnglishTokyo Olympics basketball 2021 schedule: games, dates, bracket

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When did 3x3 basketball become an Olympic sport?

standouts. Eighty-five years after basketball's debut in the Olympics, at the 1936 Berlin Games, a twist on the sport makes its Olympic debut in Tokyo. Three-on-three basketball, or 3x3 as the sport's world governing body refers to it, promises a faster version than the traditional form. The New York TimesThree-on-Three Basketball at the Olympics: What to Watch For

Pandemic looms largely over start of Olympics

ABC News 25 July, 2021 - 07:01pm

3-on-3 basketball at the Tokyo Olympics: Everything you need to know about new Olympic sport

USA TODAY 25 July, 2021 - 07:01pm

Everything you need to know about 3-on-3 basketball as it makes its Olympic debut at this summer's Tokyo Games.

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WNBA players Stefanie Dolson, Katie Lou Samuelson, Allisha Gray and Kelsey Plum teach you everything you need to know about Olympic 3x3 basketball. USA TODAY

Dates: July 24-28 

What to know: It still will have the classic backyard or pickup game vibes that come with any 3-on-3 basketball game. Except for a few days, 3-on-3 will be played on the biggest stage in international sports. 

The format has gained popularity not just in the United States but internationally over the past few decades. And not just in a casual sense, but competitively. With the introduction of other "street" sports in Tokyo — skateboarding, for example — 3-on-3 basketball's Olympic debut this cycle makes sense. 

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) adopted formal 3-on-3 rules 14 years ago, and it was first played competitively at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. FIBA has organized a 3-on-3 World Cup since 2012, and in 2017 it was selected as an Olympic sport for Tokyo. 

Contests will take place at Aomi Urban Sports Park, a waterfront venue with views across the Tokyo Bay that will later host the sport climbing competition. 

How it works: The basics and rules of basketball carry over into the 3-on-3 format. Dribbling, shooting, rebounding and defense remain the core tenets — and players must be able to excel in all phases of the game. With rosters set at four players per team, versatility is key and substitutions/rotations are frequent. 

3-on-3 is played on half of a normal basketball court. The shot clock is set at 12 seconds, half of the 24-second clock in the NBA and much lower than the 30 seconds in college basketball. And the game hardly stops after fouls or made baskets. 

There is no tip-off. Rather, a coin flip decides first possession. Winners are determined by the first to 21 points or whoever is leading after 10 minutes. If the score is tied after 10 minutes, overtime will be played — the first team to score two points wins.  

Shots made from beyond the traditional three-point line count as two points, and baskets made inside the arc count as one. Free throws count as one point, and are awarded for fouls committed inside the arc. 

The 3-on-3 game uses a ball that is size 6, compared to size 7 balls used in 5-on-5 games. The smaller size of the ball suits the speed of the game. 

Players in 3-on-3 have more responsibility when it comes to strategy, since coaches are not allowed courtside. 

Path to gold: Team USA boasts dominance on the basketball court, but the men will not be winning 3-on-3 gold — they didn’t even qualify. 

Only eight teams make the Olympics, for both the men's and women's tournaments. The U.S. women will certainly have a shot at gold, although there is no runaway favorite. 

Each team will play the other seven over four days (two games on the first three days). After the final "pool phase" game, the teams in seventh and eighth place will be eliminated. 

The semifinals and medal games take place on the same day. 

A 2017 national champion at the University of South Carolina, Gray led all U.S. players with 39 points during last month’s qualifying tournament in Austria. Gray will play in Tokyo alongside Stefanie Dolson, Kelsey Plum and Katie Lou Samuelson. 

International Athlete to Watch: Dusan Bulut, men’s 3-on-3, Serbia  

FIBA ranks him as the No. 1 3-on-3 player in the world. Known for his passing, he also can create his shot and knock down 3-pointers. Serbia, which has grown the 3-on-3 game separate from its 5-on-5 endeavors, has won four of six World Cups since 2012.

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Dawn Staley | Tokyo 2020 Olympic Profile

Yahoo! Sports 25 July, 2021 - 07:01pm

U.S. men's basketball falls to France for first Olympics loss since 2004

Los Angeles Times 25 July, 2021 - 09:17am

Damian Lillard never looked much past the toes of his sneakers, the weight of his disappointing Olympic debut pushing his head toward the floor. U.S. coach Gregg Popovich coldly stared ahead, leaving his fifth loss in his team’s last eight behind him.

And Kevin Durant jogged until his opponents got in his way. Late Sunday night, there he stood, stopped by the French once again.

How did this happen, the U.S. losing at their sport to a good-but-not-great opponent in their Olympic opener? How did the nation that houses the best league and creates most of the best players choke away a seven-point lead late in the fourth quarter?

It was all just, well, surprising.

“There’s nothing to be surprised about; that’s the part that confuses me a little bit,” Popovich said after the 83-76 loss, deciding to focus on semantics. “I don’t understand the word ‘surprise.’ That sort of disses the French team, so to speak, as if we were supposed to beat them by 30 or something. That’s a hell of a team. They’ve got a great coaching staff. They’ve got NBA players and other talented players playing in Europe [who have been] together for a long time.

“I don’t know why that would be a surprise. I think that’s a little bit of hubris — if you think the Americans are supposed to just roll out the ball and win.”

It’s unfortunate that Japanese swimmer Rikako Ikee’s return to the Olympics after a grueling battle with leukemia won’t be cheered on by fans.

Although this isn’t the Dream Team, the Redeem Team or even the Wake Up Early to Stream Team, the U.S. starting five has 22 combined All-Star game appearances. The NBA players on every other team at the Olympics have been to nine fewer.

No one is expecting the U.S. to just show up and win, not with the quality of international players and teams. But what people do expect is for the U.S. to at least show up.

Instead, for 40 minutes Sunday night, we saw Durant foul out with only 10 points on four-of-12 shooting, The best from the U.S. being outscored by Nando de Colo? That’s not like Kevin Durant.

It forced the U.S. to rely on Jrue Holiday. Yes, the same Jrue Holiday who is still probably sweating out Champagne after the Milwaukee Bucks won the NBA title last week. He, Devin Booker and Khris Middleton didn’t arrive in Japan until late Saturday. And including three players from the NBA Finals does kind of sound like you’re expecting to just roll the ball onto the court and win.

It almost was good enough. The U.S. had a big lead and then blew it, only to reclaim it thanks to Holiday’s fourth-quarter brilliance. But in the game’s most important moments, the U.S. missed shot after shot — the bounces off the rim echoing through the mostly empty arena. By the time the clanging had stopped, the better players had lost.

That may be true now, but historically that’s almost never been the case.

On Aug. 9, 1936, the U.S. men’s team beat Estonia 52-28. It took them 36 years to lose again and another 16 to lose after that. They’d won 25 straight games since scuffling in 2004 (Popovich was an assistant on that team) before losing Sunday.

Unable to draw energy from crowds because of COVID-19 restrictions, athletes at the Tokyo Olympics try to overcome the ‘uncomfortable’ situation.

It’s Popovich’s fifth loss as the U.S. coach, a stretch that includes no medal at the FIBA World Cup in 2019 and two exhibition losses prior to these Games that seem more like prophecies than tune-ups. He cannot escape responsibility for that even if the pandemic, the NBA schedule and so many other circumstances have put the U.S. team in this position.

“We have to continue to get better,” Draymond Green said. “Obviously, we haven’t been together that long, but you know, we’ve been together long enough to have consistency.”

No one reasonably should believe that this team could be consistent, not with the late additions of five new players since the start of training camp — the Finals trio plus Keldon Johnson and JaVale McGee replacing Bradley Beal and Kevin Love.

But still. This is the USA. It’s basketball.

And if those losses don’t feel like a surprise, then the team has some major problems.

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Dan Woike is the Lakers beat writer for the Los Angeles Times after spending two seasons covering the league as a whole, with an emphasis on Los Angeles’ teams.

Follow along for the latest news, results and features from The Times’ team of 12 reporters covering the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The Tokyo Olympic Games will feature 613 American athletes vying for gold, with more than 80 hailing from cities and towns in Southern California.

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