In case you missed it over the weekend, Team USA dropped its first exhibition game, losing to Nigeria 90-87 Saturday night. It was the first of five tune-up games and came after only four practices, but served as an embarrassing start to Team USA’s preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games, which start a week from Friday. The Americans were favored by 29.5 points and ended up being outrebounded 46-34, giving up 20 threes en route to only Team USA’s second loss in 33 exhibitions dating back to 2005. Not great!
Tonight, Team USA will look to get back on track vs. Australia. The game tips off at 8 p.m. ET at Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, and will air live on NBC Sports. Former Cat Bam Adebayo got the start vs. Nigeria, finishing with 11 points and 5 rebounds in 17 minutes. Keldon Johnson was added to the exhibition roster from the US Select Team to help fill in for Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday, and Khris Middleton as they finish the NBA Finals but did not play Saturday. Unfortunately, fellow former Cat Isaac Humphries had to leave the Australian National Team roster late last month due to a knee injury.
Australia is No. 3 in the FIBA World Rankings behind the US and Spain (Nigeria is No. 22). The Boomers’ roster includes seven current NBA players: Dante Exum (Houston Rockets), Matthew Dellavedova (Cleveland Cavaliers), Aron Baynes (Toronto Raptors), Josh Green (Dallas Mavericks), Joe Ingles (Utah Jazz), Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs), and Matisse Thybulle (Philadelphia 76ers). The Aussies are 1-5 vs. Team USA in previous exhibitions, the lone win coming in 2019 in Melbourne, and 0-8 vs. the Americans at the Olympic Games. On Saturday, they beat Argentina 87-84 in their first exhibition thanks to a three at the buzzer from Patty Mills:
PATTY MILLS FOR THE WIN pic.twitter.com/VYIpbgu6ek
— CJ Fogler (@cjzer0) July 11, 2021
Despite Saturday’s performance, Draft Kings has Team USA listed as a 17.5-point favorite. You going over or under?