Arch-rivals Spain and the USA will clash in the quarter-finals of the 2021 Men’s Olympic basketball tournament on Tuesday, August 3rd. Both sides have a 2-1 record heading into this contest.
Spain claimed wins in their opening two games against hosts Japan and Argentina before losing to Luka Doncic’s Slovenia in their last group-stage game. Ricky Rubio and Co. lost that tie 85-97.
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Meanwhile, the USA suffered a surprise defeat to France in their opening game of the 2021 Olympics. However, they bounced back in style against minnows Iran and Czech Republic. Both of those wins were blowouts. They beat the Czechs 119-84 in their last group-stage fixture.
Fixture – Spain vs USA | Tokyo Olympics 2020 Basketball.
Date & Time – Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021 1:40 PM JST (Tuesday, 12:40 AM ET).
Venue – Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan.
2019 FIBA World Champions Spain have been one of the best defensive teams in the 2021 Men’s Olympics basketball tournament.
However, they crumbled against the in-form Slovenia in their last group game. The Spaniards allowed the Slovenians to grab 51 rebounds, 10 more than their own tally. 15 of them were on the offensive end, which helped the Slovenians score 34 points in the paint and 17 second-chance points.
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Spain will need to be more alert in the next game against the USA as they boast one of the best offensive units in the world. The Spaniards have size advantage and can dominate the paint on both ends of the floor. They will need to be defensively sound on the perimeter, though, as the USA have been lethal from the three-point line in their last two matches.
Ricky Rubio will be a key player for Spain. He has scored 21.3 points and 7.3 assists per game so far. The rest of his teammates will need to step up on the offensive end to give Spain a healthy chance of beating the USA.
Team News: Spain
Spain are expected to field their strongest starting five against the USA.
Rick Rubio and Rudy Fernandez will likely start as guards, while Alberto Abalde, Victor Claver and Marc Gasol will complete the rest of the lineup.
Meanwhile, Sergio Lull, Sergio Rodriguez and veteran Pau Gasol are expected to play the most minutes off the bench for Spain.
Spain Predicted Lineup
Point Guard – Ricky Rubio | Shooting Guard – Rudy Fernandez| Small Forward – Alberto Abalde | Power Forward – Victor Claver | Center – Marc Gasol
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Team USA have been an unstoppable force in their last two Olympic games. They seem to have found their groove after an unexpected losing start against France.
In their last game, the USA flaunted their star depth in style. Damian Lillard and Devin Booker had quiet outings. However, Kevin Durant and Jayson Tatum rose to the occasion and led the Americans to another win. The USA seem to have found a way to tackle their lack of size issues against opponents with dominant bigs.
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Their three-point shooting has been phenomenal, but they still need to find a way to get to the paint. Spain has one of the most adaptable and elite defensive units. So, making apt in-game adjustments to dominate the game offensively will be key for the Americans to beat their arch-rivals and qualify for the semi-finals of the 2021 Men’s Olympic basketball tournament.
Team news: USA
The USA haven’t changed their lineup in their last two games. They could make one change this time, though, and opt to include Jayson Tatum as Kevin Durant’s frontcourt partner instead of Devin Booker.
Tatum had 27 points in the last game, and his 6’8″ frame can always come in handy. Meanwhile, Damian Lillard and Jrue Holiday will likely start in the backcourt, with Kevin Durant and Bam Adebayo slotting into the 4 and 5, respectively.
Zach LaVine, Draymond Green and either Devin Booker or Jayson Tatum (depending on who starts) will likely play the most minutes off the bench.
USA Predicted Lineup
Point Guard – Jrue Holiday | Shooting Guard – Damian Lillard | Small Forward – Jayson Tatum | Power Forward – Kevin Durant | Center – Bam Adebayo.
Spain vs USA Prediction
The USA and Spain are both very good sides and are ranked as the top two teams in the world for a reason. It makes it difficult to pick a clear favorite. However, the USA’s star depth could be the difference between the two teams, giving Kevin Durant and co. a slight edge against their opponents.
Nonetheless, Spain are a gritty side to go up against. If they do manage to capitalize on their strong defense, the tie could swing in their favor.
Where to watch Spain vs USA game
Eurosport will have extensive coverage of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics in Europe, as will Discovery +. Over in America, the games are being shown exclusively on NBC and their various streaming platforms. Meanwhile, in India, the Sony Sports Network and OTT platform Sony Liv will broadcast the action.
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