25 July, 2021
07 August
7 Kevin Durant (USA)
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USA men's basketball ready for rematch vs. Australia

MIAMI (United States) - The United States remain firm in their goal of conquering their fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal - the seventh in the last eight games - and it seems that they have found their best rhythm to reach the goal.

After an uncertain start in Tokyo 2020, with a setback against France in the first game, those led by Gregg Popovich have recovered the favorites spot for the Semi-Final duel on Thursday against Australia.

The Americans dominated Spain, the current world champions, 95-81 in the Quarter-Finals. It was an authoritative victory, against one of the strongest and most traditional opponents, which served to boost morale and regain confidence.

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But USA will now face an opponent who already dominated them (91-83) before the start of the tournament in Tokyo, in a preparation match in Las Vegas, and a team that has shown they have what it takes to be a serious gold contender.

The key for the United States is to be able to take wide shots from long range. It's no secret that the 3-point shot has been the team's primary weapon, with a tremendous 43 percent effectiveness in the competition, averaging 36 attempts per game. Zach Lavine (50%), Jrue Holiday (50%), Kevin Durant (46%), Jayson Tatum (41%) and Damian Lillard (38%) are a complete threat from that line.

Another determining aspect will be to limit the points in second chances of the Australian weapons Jock Landale and Nick Kay. At least they won't have to worry about Aron Baynes, who is out with an injury since the second game. Bam Adebayo and Draymond Green will have more defense responsibilities. But when it comes to rebounding, it needs to be all hands on deck.

On the other side, Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, Matthew Dellavedova and company also have a lot of points on their hands, especially behind the arc (40% in the competition), so the defense in general of the United States will be tested. Unlike the game in Las Vegas, Popovich will now be able to count on Jrue Holiday, his best perimeter defender and Khris Middleton, who also gives a very good hand in that area.

The winner will go straight to the gold medal battle, with the winner of the other Semi-Final between France and Slovenia.