Team USA fell apart against France to open the Tokyo Olympics, allowing a 16-2 run to close the game in a brutal 83-76 defeat. While many may view this is a surprising and humiliating loss, Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich doesn’t see it that way.
Instead, Pop is simply disappointed with the loss and wants France to get the proper credit:
USA Coach Gregg Popovich on Tokyo Olympic opening loss to France: "When you lose a game, you're not surprised. You're disappointed. I don't understand the word 'surprised.' That sort of disses the French team, as if we're supposed to beat them by 30. That's a hell of a team."
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) July 25, 2021
France is definitely a good team with Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier leading the way. Fournier was on fire in this game, torching Team USA to the tune of 28 points and hitting a clutch 3-pointer in the final minute to take the lead for good. There are several other NBA players on the French roster as well, so it’s not like this is a team of scrubs. This is a squad that can win gold.
Still, Team USA was a massive favorite in this game and held a seven-point lead with just under four minutes to play. They had this one in the bag and just completely choked. They kept firing up miss after miss from 3-point range and failed to attack the paint offensively, all while not getting enough key stops on the other end.
It has been a rough go for Popovich and Team USA so far. They lost their first two exhibition games in Las Vegas and now just lost their Olympic opener. There’s time to regroup and still win the gold medal, but there are clearly a bunch of issues with this team, even with all the talent involved. Pop is going to need to figure this out, otherwise this could be an even bigger disaster than 2004.