The postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo means that it will now take place between July 23 and August 8, 2021.
Among the most keenly awaited events is basketball, where a new 3×3 format will be introduced. However, what many people want to know is whether the American teams will continue their dominant form in the main events.
Men’s Olympic Basketball History
The US has the highest winning percentage in men’s Olympic basketball games, at 0.965. This comes from a hugely impressive record of 138 wins and just 5 losses. Behind them, the Soviet Union sits with a win percentage of 0.824. Of the countries that will compete in the next games, Argentina, Italy, and Brazil are the next best.
Looking back, we can see the American team has won gold on the last 3 occasions, with Argentina scooping the top prize at the 2004 event in Athens. The South American team beat the US 89-81 in the semi-final that year before easing past Italy 84-69 in the final.
While it was a surprise that the American team only got bronze, the fact is that a number of top players declined invitations and the roster included rookies like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
Women’s Olympic Basketball Records
The records here are similar to the men’s events, with the US winning 66 games and losing just 3 for an overall win percentage of 0.956. Australia, France, and Russia are among the other countries that could claim that their record justifies classing them as second-favorites.
1992 was the last time that the American women didn’t take home gold. This came at the games in Barcelona, Spain when a powerful unified team from the former Soviet Union won the gold. The US team’s 79-73 loss to the unified team in the semi-final was their last-ever lost game at the Olympics.
A Look ahead to the Men’s Tournament
All eyes are on whether Team USA will be able to pick their strongest roster, as this would make it extremely difficult for other teams to beat them. The first stage was completed earlier this year, with 57 names put forward. This initial selection will be whittled down to a 12-man team in time for the Olympics.
Among the big names expected to sit it out is two-time gold medal winner LeBron James. After an injury-hit end to the season, he is expected to focus on promoting the Space Jam 2 movie while the Games take place. Check out some other basketball movies for fans: edge.twinspires.com/nba/top-10-basketball-movies-every-nba-fan-should-watch/
Anthony Davis is another NBA star who we don’t expect to see there.
This could give the chance for top players like Stephen Curry and Chris Paul to shine. It still seems certain that the Americans will have the strongest team in Tokyo. While countries like Spain, Australia, and Argentina all have good records in recent times, it would be a major surprise if the gold medal didn’t go to the US team.
Women’s Olympics Team Predictions
The Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo will also see a strong American women’s team taking part. The top seeds for the tournament are the US, Australia, and Spain. The US won the 2018 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Spain, beating Australia 73-56 in the final while the host nation took third place.
At the time of writing, the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup is being played in Puerto Rico. The US team has looked powerful, with Aliyah Boston standing out in the early games. This event will go a long way to showing us whether the other nations have managed to cut the gap between them and the Americans, or if we can expect the US team to bring home another gold medal.