Saturday, January 29

US Olympic Basketball Scenarios: Here’s What Happens If The Americans Win Or Lose Against The Czech Republic

The US men’s basketball team isn’t used to playing high-pressure matches in the group stage of the Olympics, but that’s exactly what they’re doing in 2021.

After losing their first overall game to France and beating Iran, Team USA is currently tied for second in their group with the Czech Republic. The two countries will face each other and the winner will get what will likely be second place in Group A at the Olympics.

And the loser? Well, they’ll be sweating to see if they make it to the quarterfinals of the men’s basketball tournament.

Eight of the 12 basketball teams advance to the single elimination category in the tournament, and the USA team is usually a shoo-in for this portion of the event. However, in 2021, they could find themselves on more shaky ground than usual before their showdown against the Czech Republic.

This is the Czech Republic’s first appearance at the Olympics. They only have one NBA player, Tomas Satoransky of the Bulls, on their roster, but the team overcame tough competition to get to Tokyo. They beat Canada and Greece (minus Giannis Antetokounmpo) to win the final of 12 qualifying spots. They beat Iran by six before losing by 20 to France.

Team USA it should They beat the Czechs comfortably, but nothing has been easy for them so far this Olympic campaign. Here’s a look at all the possible scenarios for Team USA as it hopes to move on to the single elimination phase of the men’s basketball tournament.

MORE: 2021 Olympic Draw, Tournament Format Explanation

What if Team USA beats the Czech Republic?

Team USA will advance to the quarterfinals of the event with a victory over the Czech Republic on Saturday. Plain and simple.

Where it gets complicated is the potential seeded for the quarterfinals. If the Americans win, they are likely to finish second in their group. However, if Iran somehow defeats France and Team USA wins, they would advance to the top of the group. Given the Olympic draw setup, with the three teams in first place and the best team in second placed in the strongest pot for matchup selection and the remaining four teams placed in the weakest pot, that could benefit the team from USA

This is how the quarter-final draw will work after group play is completed, according to FIBA ​​guidelines:

The group winners (3 teams) and the second-ranked team with the best result (1 team) from the Group Phase are placed in a pot (D), while the 2 remaining second-placed teams and the 2 best third-placed teams in another boat (E). Teams from the same group in the group stage cannot draw each other in the quarterfinals.

Of course, Iran lost by 54 points against team USA, so it seems unlikely that Iran will defeat France.

Still, if Team USA finishes second, they will automatically advance to second in the group. They would have five points, in this scenario, and would expect to qualify as the best team in second place (again, to be placed in the most favorable pick pool). For that to happen, they would need to win and have a greater point difference than the winner of the Slovenia vs Spain game.

Currently, this is what the point spread looks like for each side.

Country Point spread
Slovenia +53
United States +47
Spain +21

As such, the United States should probably be backing Slovenia, as the United States team would be guaranteed a better point differential than Spain if Slovenia wins. They would not necessarily be guaranteed a better points difference than Slovenia if the team led by Luka Doncic loses.

If Team USA wins, they will most likely finish fourth or fifth in the draw among the remaining teams. They have an outside shot at the No. 2 or No. 3 seed, but that would involve France losing to Iran. They can’t get the No. 1 seed no matter what, as Spain or Slovenia will go 3-0, win six points and finish ahead of the United States.

However, the US could drop to sixth place even with a win, but as if it were one of the top three, that’s unlikely. The simpler path that results in the United States as the sixth seed would require Australia to win and Italy to beat Nigeria by 41 plus the margin of victory that the United States would have over the Czechs. It would be a huge task for the Italians.

DECOURCY: Kevin Durant, Team USA clearly cares about winning

What if the United States team loses to the Czech Republic?

Team USA can still advance with a loss. They would have four points instead of five, as Olympic basketball awards two points for a win, one point for a loss, and zero points for a loss. Their prospects would get a bit more difficult, but it would still be very likely that they would succeed.

If Team USA loses on Saturday, the Czech Republic and France will advance in first and second place (in some order) in Group A. As such, the United States would have to be the best or second best from third place. . teams in competition. They would also have to make sure that Iran does not overtake them in the group rankings, but that is practically impossible.

Iran would need to beat France and make up a 107 point difference between them and the United States. That almost certainly won’t happen, so Team USA would have to focus on beating the other third-ranked in the competition.

Team USA already has an advantage over third place in Group C. The winner of Japan vs. Argentina will finish third in that group, but the teams have point differences of minus-46 and minus-28 respectively. Unless Argentina wins and regains the 75 point difference between itself and the United States, it will not be able to overtake Team USA.

Group B is a slightly bigger potential problem for the United States. Italy and Germany each have three points and do not face each other. If Italy beat Nigeria and Germany beat Australia, each team would have five points, as would Australia. That would give Group B’s third-place team an advantage over team USA.

But again, unless the United States suffers a massive loss at the hands of the Czechs and sees Argentina crush Japan (or vice versa), they would still advance to eighth place. That is, unless the unthinkable happens and Iran erases a 107-point differential between itself and the United States against France.

So can America be eliminated at a loss? If there is a possibility. But is it going to happen? It almost certainly will not. They can erase all doubts and potentially set up a better quarter-final showdown with a win, but if they lose, don’t worry too much. Most likely they are not yet out of the Olympics.

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