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Which Olympic basketball teams does Team USA need to watch out for? – The Daily Campus

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Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) shoots against Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell (1) and forward Anthony Davis during the second half of an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

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Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) shoots against Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell (1) and forward Anthony Davis during the second half of an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

When thinking about dominant basketball squads on the international scale, the first country that comes to mind has to be the United States. The U.S. basketball team has brought home the gold medal in the past four Olympics. In fact, the U.S. has won 16 of the 19 Olympics they’ve appeared in. It’s no secret why or how they’ve won. American players make up a majority of the NBA and such careful cultivation of a “dream team” allows Team USA to come out on top. 

However, the NBA has also seen a surge in international players in recent years. Players born outside the U.S. or who have ties to international countries make up 23.5% of the NBA.  

With that being the case, an important question to ask is whether this will be the year other countries prove their dominance in the Olympic basketball games. 

With the recent announcement of Team USA’s 41-player pool, including players like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis and Joel Embiid, it’ll be no surprise if they can power through the 2024 Paris Olympics. 

France, Japan, South Sudan, the United States, Canada, Germany, Serbia and Australia have already been selected to appear in the Olympics. While not every country has announced their player pool yet, three teams are already looking strong enough to put up a fight against the Stars and Stripes. 

FRANCE 

Playing in their home country, it’s certain that this team will have a winning mentality. In the 2020 Olympics (played in 2021 due to COVID-19), USA and France played for the gold medal. While the U.S. came out on top with an 87-82 win, the French players put up a strong fight. 

Victor Wembanyama, the top pick of the 2023 NBA draft, has proved to be an incredible player. He’s currently averaging 20 points per game while also doing incredible things on the floor, most recently recording the league’s first 5×5 game since 2019. At 7’4″ and an 8-foot wingspan, his versatility allows him to play center or power forward. 

Bilal Coulibaly, selected seventh in the 2023 draft and a former teammate of Wembanyama, is averaging 8.3 points but 26.9 minutes per game so far for the Wizards. He’s becoming more comfortable on the court with every game he plays.  

Evan Fournier, a shooting guard for the Pistons, has also expressed interest in playing for France. He played in the 2020 Olympics, averaging 25 minutes and 17 points per game. However, he’s been on and off the court this season, dealing with injuries and personal situations that might jeopardize his Olympic participation. 

Center Rudy Gobert has played in the last two Olympics and is interested in playing for France in 2024. While he’s not having the best season of his career, the three-time NBA All-Star’s Olympic experience will help France’s younger players. 

France’s strengths lie in their center and defense position, a department Team USA has been known to lack. With the possible addition of Wembanyama and Coulibaly, France’s offense will improve too, giving them as good a shot to knock off Team USA as they’ve ever had.  

CANADA  

Canada last appeared in the Olympics basketball in 2000, when they found themselves in seventh place. However, the team has significantly grown since then. They might not have the Olympic experience that Team USA has, but their player pool is strong.  

Some of their most notable players include Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, a point guard with undeniable talent. Currently averaging 31.2 points and 34.5 minutes, the NBA MVP candidate’s ability to knock down shots will prove helpful in the Olympics against the USA’s offensive dominance. 

Jamal Murray, another point guard, is averaging 47% from the field and 40.6% from three, improving his career stats. He also helped out Denver’s championship win, averaging 26.1 points and 39.9 minutes during the playoffs. 

Dillon Brooks’ hustle and 39 points against the USA in the recent FIBA Cup also proved him to be a necessary component for Canada. The Rockets wing will be crucial in helping make winning plays for the Canadian side.  

Despite not playing together or in the Olympics, once they get comfortable on the court, their offensive strength can become a threat against the USA. 

GERMANY 

Germany proved itself strong against some solid opponents in the 2023 FIBA Cup; though  they’ll have to rework their strategies against bigger competition. 

Some of their key players include Dennis Schröder, a point guard who averaged 19 points and 28 minutes in the FIBA Cup. This NBA season, he is currently averaging 43.4% made field goals and 35.2% made threes. On the court with Schröder will be Franz Wagner, a small forward who averaged 16.8 points and 29.6 minutes in the FIBA Cup. This duo can put the USA in trouble if they get hot. 

Like France, Germany has center and defensive depth with Moritz Wagner, a center who averaged 11.9 points and 17.6 minutes in the FIBA Cup and Johannes Voigtmann, who averaged six rebounds per game in the 2023 FIBA Cup. That duo is exactly what Germany needs against the USA. Voigtmann and Moritz appeared in the 2020 games, so their knowledge in international play will be helpful as new Olympic players take the court. 

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Javier Medina

¡Hola! Soy Gabriel Salcedo, su fuente confiable de todo lo relacionado con noticias automotrices y más en ElMundoIberico.com. Con pasión por los automóviles y dedicación a mantenerlo informado sobre las últimas tendencias y desarrollos en la industria automotriz, me esfuerzo por brindarle artículos interesantes que alimenten su pasión por conducir. Únase a mí mientras navegamos juntos por el apasionante mundo de los automóviles.

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