Can The Men’s and Women’s USA Basketball Teams Win The Gold in Tokyo?
If there is a fact that is true and constant when it comes to the Olympic Games for sporting fans who like to know how to bet on the Olympics, it’s that the USA is always considered as a powerhouse in many of the disciplines practiced in the jousts. While a few categories usually stand out like swimming and gymnastics, the USA is always expected to not only put on a show but dominate when it comes to basketball and with ample reasons. The USA hosts the two best professional basketball leagues in the world with the NBA and WNBA, so of course it’s a given for fans to always want to pick the American teams as favorites for the gold.
Well, in Tokyo 2020 the constant remains as both the men’s and women’s American basketball teams sit comfortably at the top of all lists of favorites to end up winning Olympic gold. But with factors like slow starts in exhibition games as well as the COVID-19 pandemic still causing struggles all around, can the men’s and women’s American basketball teams win the gold in the upcoming Olympic games? Here’s our take.
US Men’s Basketball Is Favorite, But Will They Dominate?
Ever since the irruption of the legendary and magical 1992 Barcelona Olympics “Dream Team”, the US Men’s national basketball team has always been considered the top favorite to snatch the gold in every Olympics since. In the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics the favoritism is still there, with the US being pitted by experts as the top team to go for the gold, which would make it the team’s fourth consecutive gold medal triumph. The defending three-time champions will be led into battle in Tokyo by the likes of superstars of the caliber of Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Devin Booker, Jayson Tatum. While the team had to let go of stars like Bradley Beal because of health and safety concerns and Kevin Love because of a calf injury, as well as not being able to count on some of the NBA’s most polarizing stars like Lebron James, Anthony Davis, Steph Curry and James Harden who all withdrew from participating from early on, this team looks as good as ever for a run for the gold in Tokyo.
Now, while if looking at the roster and the coaching staff led by Greg Popovich and Steve Kerr one can assume that the Olympics basketball tournament will be a cake in the park for the Americans, their 0-2 start to their exhibition games, losing to Nigeria and Australia, doubts have begun to arise that this team might have it harder than usual to go for the gold again. Of course, while these two losses can be taken as red flags and signs for concern, taking into account that this team was riding on a 78-0 winning streak, a couple of losses to bring some humility into the squad and to get the competitive juices boiling might just be the key for this team’s success in Tokyo. Their win against Spain in the last exhibition game prior to the Olympics worked out perfectly as a catalyst to regain trust and reassure fans and experts that this team will be looking for the gold regardless of their rocky start in the exhibition rounds.
With the scoring prowess that players like Durant, Lillard, Booker and Tatum can bring to the team as well as the defensive skills that role players like Bam Adebayo, Draymond Green and JaVale McGee, there’s no real questioning of the Americans favoritism here. As long as the USA can keep teams like Spain, Australia and the surprising Slovenia led by Luka Doncic in check, there shouldn’t be any real issues in their way to another gold medal.
The US Women’s Basketball Team Might Just Be Too Good To Compete
Unlike the men’s basketball team, the American women’s basketball team is as dominant of a force as ever with some of the absolute best players in the WNBA all being part of the US’s roster for the Tokyo 2020 games. Led by the likes of players like veterans Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi and with Olympic rookies A’ja Wilson and Jewell Lloyd this team is stacked to the brim with talent, and it shows in the lists of favorites to take the gold with the Americans sitting comfortably at the top with any and all competitors not even close to them in any way possible.
With their lineup filled with most of the top players in the WNBA there’s no real question if the American women’s team will dominate, this is more about just making sure you’re able to watch every game because they will most likely be top class basketball clinics and exhibitions given by the Americans. A couple of concerns did arise after the Australian women’s basketball team handed the Americans their first defeat against the Aussies since 2010 in an exhibition played in Las Vegas. Even without their biggest star, Liz Cambage who decided to withdraw from the Olympics in order to focus on personal mental health issues, the Australians were able to hand the Americans their first loss, one that humbled the team and shun a light upon the fact that while being the overall best team around, one cannot simply lean on dominance to do all the work towards looking for a gold medal win.
Veterans Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi will come into these Olympics looking to join some very elite company as they will be part of a select group of only six other athletes that have competed in at least five Olympic basketball tournaments. This added to the sheer power that current WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson as well as Napheesa Collins, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Ariel Atkins and Chelsea Gray will bring to the team, makes this team probably the safest bet in all of the Olympics when it comes to winning the gold, reassuring the basketball world that the best women’s basketball team in the planet comes from the USA.