This statement may sound crazy, but it’s true: The U.S. men’s basketball team really needs a win right now.
Team USA is looking to avoid a three-game losing streak heading into Tuesday night’s contest against Argentina. The Americans surprisingly fell to Nigeria and Australia in its first two exhibition games, leaving plenty of fans concerned with the Tokyo Olympics fast approaching.
But Team USA coach Gregg Popovich doesn’t sound too concerned, as he is focused on process over results.
“I was pleased. I thought we got better tonight,” Popovich said after the loss to Australia. “After a short time together, there’s a lot of things that have to be covered, but the first half and the second half were two different beasts. In the first half, we defended the way we wanted to defend, the way we did not defend against Nigeria. We were more physical. We sustained the defense longer. We rebounded better. We moved the ball better at the offensive end and had more pace.
“The second half, we tired out. When that happens, you get hit mentally a little bit, too, and we didn’t sustain the board the same way. The defense wasn’t the same. Our pace wasn’t the same. … In general, we need more conditioning, which is totally understandable. We’re just sticking with the process of trying to get better with every game. And we did that tonight, so I was pleased with what I saw.”
Can Team USA avoid yet another upset?
Sporting News will provide live updates and highlights from the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team’s exhibition game against Argentina. Follow along right here.
USA vs. Argentina score
USA vs. Argentina live updates, highlights
(All times Eastern)
End of third quarter: USA 81, Argentina 62
7:30 p.m. — Team USA is firmly in control after another strong quarter. The effort and execution on both ends of the floor has been much better.
7:20 p.m. — Bam Adebayo pushes Team USA’s lead to 23 points with a two-handed slam in transition.
7:15 p.m. — Important note: Luis Scola is still balling at 41 years old. The big man has a team-high 13 points and five rebounds.
Halftime: USA 58, Argentina 42
7 p.m. — Kevin Durant beats the buzzer with the pull-up jumper. The Nets star has 14 points, five rebounds and two assists.
6:45 p.m. — That’s two-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion Zach LaVine rocking the rim.
6:30 p.m. — Jerami Grant is apparently hoping to join the U.S. men’s volleyball team.
End of first quarter: USA 33, Argentina 19
6:20 p.m. — Team USA catches fire from the outside in the opening period, hitting six of its first nine 3-point attempts.
6:10 p.m. — A great start for Team USA. The Americans have quickly jumped out to a double-digit lead.
6 p.m. — The starters for each team…
- USA: Damian Lillard, Zach LaVine, Bradley Beal, Kevin Durant, Bam Adebayo
- Argentina: Facundo Campazzo, Patricio Garino, Nicolas Brussino, Luis Scola, Marcos Delia
6 p.m. — A Damian Lillard logo shot in slow motion? Beautiful.
5:40 p.m. — Team USA announces that Jayson Tatum will not play against Argentina.
Jayson Tatum will not play tonight vs. Argentina due to right knee soreness. He is day to day, Team USA says.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 13, 2021
How to watch USA basketball
All five USA Olympic men’s basketball exhibition games will be broadcast live on NBCSN before the Americans head off to Tokyo.
You can also stream Team USA games online with fuboTV, which offers a free seven-day trial.
|Date||Game||Time (ET)||TV channel|
|July 10||USA vs. Nigeria||8 p.m.||NBCSN|
|July 12||USA vs. Australia||8 p.m.||NBCSN|
|July 13||USA vs. Argentina||6 p.m.||NBCSN|
|July 16||USA vs. Australia||6 p.m.||NBCSN|
|July 18||USA vs. Spain||9 p.m.||NBCSN|
When do the Olympics start?
The opening ceremony at the 2021 Olympics is July 23. The men’s basketball tournament tips off two days later on July 25 and ends with the medal games on Aug. 6-7.
Team USA is one of 12 teams to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. It will be playing in Group A. Its group-play opponents will be France, Iran and the Czech Republic.
|July 25||USA vs. France||8 a.m.|
|July 28||USA vs. Iran||12:40 a.m.|
|July 31||USA vs. Czech Republic||8 a.m.|
|Aug. 3||Men’s basketball quarterfinals||TBD|
|Aug. 5||Men’s basketball semifinals||TBD|
|Aug. 6||Men’s basketball gold-medal game||TBD|
|Aug. 7||Men’s basketball bronze-medal game||TBD|
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