Team USA just lost their Tokyo Olympics opening game to France, and as usual for losing teams, there's a lot of finger-pointing. Sure enough, veteran head coach and San Antonio Spurs tactician Gregg Popovich has been on the receiving end of such criticisms.
According to Joe Vardon of The Athletic, even the players of Team USA were frustrated by the result and the way they performed against France. They were reportedly heard expressing their dissatisfaction on the offense being run by Coach Pop.
To be clear, Popovich is horrified by his own record coaching this team. He dwells on it and hates the losing. The players are frustrated, too, grumbling on their way back to the locker room about “running the San Antonio offense” when apparently they feel like there are better ideas. Pop has said, because of the truncated nature of Team USA’s training camp, the offense would be based on “concepts” instead of set plays.
While Team USA's loss didn't come as a surprise, especially after losing two games in their pre-Olympic exhibitions, it certainly doesn't look good that the squad isn't aligned when it comes with the way they want to play. It's just a recipe for disaster.
There were a lot of things that went against Team USA's way in their 83-76 defeat to the Frenchmen. The unfamiliarity with the FIBA rules was obvious, and the lack of chemistry–likely due to the short preparation time–was glaring.
Unfortunately, Team USA has no time to blame each other, as they are now just one loss away from getting knocked out of the competition. Instead of talking about what went wrong, Gregg Popovich and his squad will need to focus on finding solutions to their offensive woes.