U.S. men's basketball team places Bulls star Zach LaVine in health and safety protocols


USA TODAY 19 July, 2021 - 03:25pm 7 views

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Who is replacing Bradley Beal on Team USA?

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, San Antonio Spurs forward Keldon Johnson and Denver Nuggets center JaVale McGee will replace Beal and Love in the summer games. Johnson, who's been playing with the USA select group, has made a major impact on decision-makers and USA staff, per Wojnarowski. Sports Illustrated2021 Olympics: Team USA Replaces Bradley Beal, Kevin Love

LAS VEGAS -- Team USA guard Zach LaVine was put into health and safety protocols on Monday and didn't travel with the rest of the team on its flight to Tokyo for the Olympics.

USA Basketball said in a statement that it hoped LaVine would be able to join the team in Japan later this week.

He is the third player to be affected in the past week, as Bradley Beal had to leave the team because of the protocols and Jerami Grant was in contact tracing quarantine for four days.

The situation is a potential blow to the team, which will now travel with just eight players. LaVine had started the past two exhibition games in place of Beal and had looked strong through the Olympic run-up. He averaged 10.3 points in the four exhibition games, third on the team behind Damian Lillard and Kevin Durant, and had several impressive transition dunks.

Team USA is waiting on Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday and Devin Booker to finish the NBA Finals before traveling. Coach Gregg Popovich said Sunday that the players could arrive in Japan just 24 hours before the first pool-play game Sunday against France.

Deep in guards once the Finals reinforcements arrived, the team replaced Beal and the injured Kevin Love with forward Keldon Johnson and center JaVale McGee. Now, it finds itself potentially thin on the perimeter.

Read full article at USA TODAY

Tokyo Olympics | Coach Staley

WCNC 20 July, 2021 - 10:00pm

What to know about basketball at the Tokyo Olympics

The Washington Post 20 July, 2021 - 12:00pm

Basketball at the Tokyo Games will play out in a slightly different tournament format from prior competitions, with the same structure for the men’s and women’s game.

In the group stage, 12 qualifying teams are divided into groups of four and compete in a round robin format, with each team playing all other teams in its group for a total of three games each.

The first and second-place teams in each group and the two best third-place teams overall advance to the knockout rounds.

A draw will then take place to determine the pairings in the knockout rounds — the quarterfinals and beyond. The winners of each of the three groups and the second-place team with the best results will be placed in one pot. The remaining two second-place teams and the two best third-place teams are in another pot. Teams who come from the same group in the group phase will not play each other again in the quarterfinals.

Olympic basketball abides by rules set by FIBA, the sport’s international governing body. Although some rules like the shot clock — which is 24 seconds across international and U.S. domestic play — are the same, there are a few significant rules differences viewers may notice.

The tournaments run July 25- Aug. 8.

The men’s group stage ends Aug. 1 with the quarterfinals beginning Aug. 3, the semifinals set for Aug. 5 and both medal games scheduled for Aug. 7 — though the gold medal game will air on Friday, Aug. 6 in the United States.

The women’s group stage ends Aug. 2 with quarterfinals beginning Aug. 4 and semifinals set for Aug. 6. The bronze medal game is Aug. 7 with the gold medal game Aug. 8 — though the gold medal game will air late Friday, Aug. 7 in the United States.

Find the complete schedule here.

Group A consists of the United States, France, the Czech Republic and Iran. Group B is Australia, Nigeria, Italy and Germany. Group C is Argentina, Japan, Spain and Slovenia.

Group A consists of Korea, Serbia, Canada and Spain. Group B is Nigeria, Japan, France and the United States. Group C is Australia, Puerto Rico, China and Belgium.

Saitama Super Arena, which is about 20 miles north of Tokyo’s National Stadium, where the opening and closing ceremonies will take place.

USA Basketball Managing Director Jerry Colangelo spoke in a news conference with reporters in early July about how much of a triumph it was to get a dozen of the NBA’s most talented players to commit to playing in Tokyo this year. Those on the U.S. men’s roster are coming off a condensed, draining NBA season, will compete in the Olympics after a shortened offseason and then must report for training camp ahead of the 2021-22 NBA season in late September. Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton have even more packed schedules than the rest — each is playing in the NBA Finals, which could end July 22, just three days before Team USA plays its first game.

The women’s roster is an equal mix of veterans and newcomers who will try to win the United States an unprecedented seventh consecutive gold medal. Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, former college teammates at Connecticut who have since become two of the most decorated players in the WNBA, are expected to lead the group as they join a small club of five-time Olympians in basketball. Only Team USA’s Teresa Edwards and Brazil’s Adriana Moises have competed in as many Olympic Games on the women’s side. On the men’s side, Spain’s Juan Carlos Navarro, Brazil’s Oscar Schmidt, Australia’s Andrew Gaze and Puerto Rico’s Teófilo Cruz have done so.

Booker, Holiday and Middleton have all pledged to be in Tokyo as soon as possible after the end of the last Finals game, whenever that may be. Team USA has arranged private travel for the trio should the series go a full seven games — a hypothetical Game 7 would take place July 22, three days before the United States is scheduled to face France.

If Booker, Holiday or Middleton arrive at the Games injured or simply in need of more than 72 hours of rest, Colangelo said Team USA is prepared to go with nine players in its first game on July 25.

No. The WNBA always builds in a break during an Olympic year; this year play will pause July 15 — Aug. 11.

There’s a sizable contingent of NBA players headed to the Summer Games who won’t be playing for Team USA. France boasts a particularly significant group, highlighted by MVP candidate Rudy Gobert. Clippers forward Nicolas Batum, Celtics forward Evan Fournier, Nets guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina will all join him.

Spurs guard Patty Mills, Jazz sharpshooter Joe Ingles and 76ers guard Matisse Thybulle will play for Australia; Bulls guard Tomas Satoransky became a hero for the Czech Republic when he banked in an overtime game-winner to beat Canada in the semifinals of their Olympic qualifying tournament; Ricky Rubio and Pau and Marc Gasol will represent Spain; and Luka Doncic will lead the Slovenians.

The host country will make its first Olympic basketball appearance since 1976 behind Raptors forward Yuta Watanabe and Wizards forward Rui Hachimura, who is also set to be one of Japan’s flag bearers at the opening ceremonies.

From the WNBA side, Team Canada features Minnesota Lynx forward Natalie Achonwa and Phoenix Mercury guard Kia Nurse as well as college standout Aaliyah Edwards, a sophomore from Connecticut. Washington Mystics guard Leilani Mitchell will play for Australia. Emma Meesseman, who was the 2019 WNBA Finals MVP with Washington, will lead Belgium.

There is a host of reasons many of the most recognizable NBA stars won’t be at the Summer Games. Some are recovering from injury, some opted to have more recovery time between the end of a condensed 2020-21 season and the next NBA campaign, and some cited personal reasons for staying home.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul will be staying home, as will Philadelphia 76ers swingman Ben Simmons.

The Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell, the Nets’ James Harden and Kyrie Irving, and the Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard are all nursing injuries. Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis said they will both sit out Tokyo in the hopes of regaining full strength after injury-laden seasons.

Bradley Beal was included on Team USA’s roster but his Olympic dream was cut short after he entered into coronavirus protocols at training camp in July.

In the men’s tournament, six of the top-10 ranked teams in the world will be competing in Tokyo. The FIBA top 10 is as follows:

The women’s tournament is a bit chalkier — nine of the top-10 ranked teams in the world are competing, with No. 7. Turkey standing as the lone absence. Puerto Rico, ranked No. 23 in the world, is the only Olympic contender ranked outside of the top 20 by FIBA. Here’s the top 10:

Both U.S. teams will arrive in Tokyo as defending Olympic champions. The U.S. men beat Serbia, 96-66, for the program’s third consecutive gold medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. The U.S. women beat Spain, 101-72, for the program’s sixth straight gold medal — which was also their 49th consecutive Olympic victory.

The Tokyo Olympics begin officially July 23 with the Opening Ceremonies and end August 8. Here’s what you need to know about the Games.

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