Team USA cancels scrimmage vs. Australia after Bradley Beal enters COVID-19 protocols


Yahoo Sports 15 July, 2021 - 10:36pm 21 views

Who is going to replace Bradley Beal?

News of Beal's potential replacement comes as Pistons forward Jerami Grant, who was also one of the 12 players selected to represent the U.S. in men's basketball at the Tokyo Olympics, has also entered Team USA's health and safety protocols, per USA Basketball. Sports IllustratedTeam USA to Replace Beal, Grant Enters Health and Safety Protocols

Dan Wetzel, Pat Forde, Pete Thamel

USA Basketball announced its men's team would not face Australia for a second time Friday, citing "an abundance of caution." The exhibition between the USA women's team and Australia is still on.

Beal had started all three exhibition games in the USA backcourt alongside Damian Lillard. It remains unclear who will replace him on the roster — Trae Young seems interested — while his starting spot could go to Zach LaVine or one of Devin Booker or Jrue Holiday once they report to the team.

The development is the latest blow to a nightmare start for Team USA as it prepares for its trip to Tokyo.

The team's exhibition schedule began with a thud when it lost to Nigeria 90-87 in its opener. Things became even more dire after a 91-83 loss to Australia, reminiscent of the 2019 exhibition loss that prefaced the team's disastrous FIBA World Cup showing.

Team USA finally added a win against Argentina, but even two exhibition losses is basically post-Dream Team in modern USA basketball history. And now, the team is missing its fourth exhibition and a chance at a rematch against Australia after losing a player who averaged 31.3 points per game this season.

The Americans are still the overwhelming favorites to win gold in Tokyo at -400 with BetMGM, the team undeniably has some things to work through before tipping off against France on July 25.

Young shared a less-than-subtle social media message about his omission from the Team USA roster.

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Bradley Beal: Team USA guard ruled out of Tokyo Olympics due to coronavirus protocols

Sky Sports 16 July, 2021 - 01:26am

Later on Thursday evening, USA Basketball announced the men's exhibition scheduled for Friday against Australia was cancelled "out of an abundance of caution."

Beal was placed under Covid-19 protocols on Wednesday in Las Vegas, where Team USA has been practicing and scrimmaging in advance of the Games.

"I'm dying for him," coach Gregg Popovich said. "We all are."

Reports said Team USA is now working to replace Beal on the Olympic roster.

One option would be a guard from the Select Team that is practicing with the Olympic group in Las Vegas; candidates could include Darius Garland of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Keldon Johnson of the San Antonio Spurs and Saddiq Bey of the Detroit Pistons.

Beal started each of Team USA's first three exhibition games this month and scored 17 points in the win over Argentina on Tuesday.

The Wizards star is coming off a career scoring season in which he finished second in the NBA behind only Steph Curry with 31.3 points per game, along with 4.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists.

US forward Bam Adebayo said he had checked on Beal, who told him that he had no symptoms. Still, his news was a tough blow to the players who said they have been following safety recommendations and hoped for good health.

"It still definitely gives you PTSD, somebody catching COVID," Adebayo said. "I remember when I had it, just one of those things I wouldn't wish on anybody."

Beal was expected to play for the Americans two years ago in the Basketball World Cup in China, but had to withdraw from consideration before training camp for family reasons.

After scoring just two points in the Americans' loss to Nigeria in their opener, he followed with 12 points against Australia and then had 17 on Tuesday against Argentina in the first US victory.

"Bradley, there's no doubt, he's a huge loss. He was playing every well, understanding everything and fit in well with the group," Popovich said. "So there's no next Bradley Beal."

The Americans are still scheduled to play Spain on Sunday before heading to Tokyo, with their opening game against France set for July 25.

COVID fears put paid to Boomers-US clash

Yahoo Sport Australia 15 July, 2021 - 11:21pm

The Boomers were set for a rematch with the Olympic champions in Las Vegas on Saturday (AEST) after shocking the USA in their first warm-up match on Tuesday.

A decision to abandon the game came hours after the US confirmed Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal is out of the Olympics after being placed into health and safety protocols.

The team also said another player was under a COVID-19 cloud.

Australia haven't reported any COVID-19 concerns among players or officials since their 91-83 victory over the US.

They trained on Thursday while remaining under tight restrictions in their pre-Games camp.

But USA Basketball deemed the repeat match a risk.

"Out of an abundance of caution, the USA men's national team exhibition versus Australia on Friday has been cancelled," USA Basketball tweeted.

The women's clash between the two countries, also on Saturday AEST, will still go ahead.

While it hasn't been confirmed that Beal tested positive to COVID-19, Detroit's Jerami Grant has also "placed under COVID-19 health and safety protocols".

USA coach Gregg Popovich remained hopeful that Grant would be able to stay with the team.

Beal was a starter in the US Olympic team's first three exhibition games that included shock losses to Nigeria and Australia followed by a victory over Argentina.

They have yet to name a replacement for the guard.

The United States' final exhibition game is scheduled for Monday AEST against Spain, with a charter flight to Japan set for Tuesday.

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Team USA-Australia pre-Olympics men's basketball game canceled because of protocols

USA TODAY 15 July, 2021 - 10:58pm

The U.S. men’s basketball pre-Olympics tune-up game vs. Australia scheduled for Friday night has been canceled because of health and safety protocols.

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USA TODAY Sports' Tom Schad explains how the recent decision to bar spectators in Tokyo leads to the first Made-for-TV Olympic Games. USA TODAY

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The United States’ men’s basketball exhibition game against Australia scheduled for Friday night in Las Vegas has been canceled because of health and safety protocols.

USA Basketball cited “an abundance of caution” in making the decision Thursday night. The U.S. women’s game against Australia will be played as scheduled Friday in Las Vegas.

The decision to cancel the game came hours after Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal was ruled out of the Olympics after being placed into health and safety protocols. The team also said Detroit Pistons forward Jerami Grant also was in health and safety protocols “out of an abundance of caution.”

The Americans are still scheduled to play Spain on Sunday before heading to Tokyo, with their opening game against France set for July 25.

The U.S. lost its opening two exhibition games to Nigeria and Australia and beat Argentina in the third Tuesday night.

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