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|Team||Point Spread||Total||Money Line|
|O 178.5 (-134)
|U 178.5 (+100)
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The Spanish National Team are looking to overcome their fiercest rivals one last time with the Gasol brothers leading them. While Spain’s interior attack is tough to defend, the United States have found their range and their pace can’t be matched.
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|USA vs Spain Information|
|Teams||USA vs Spain|
|Location||Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan|
|Time||12:40 AM EST, August 3rd, 2021|
|How to Watch||NBC, NBC Sports, NBC Sports App|
|Gregg Popovich||Head Coach||Sergio Scariolo|
|2-1 (2nd in Group A)||Standing||2-1 (2nd in Group C)|
|Won 2||Form||Lost 1|
Leaders (Per Game)
|J. Tatum (21.6)||PPG||R. Rubio (21.3)|
|K. Durant (5.0)||RPG||V. Claver (5.7)|
|Z. Lavine (5.3)||APG||R. Rubio (7.3)|
|J. Holiday (1.7)||SPG||R. Fernandez (2.0)|
|B. Adebayo (1.3)||BPG||P. Gasol (1.0)|
|K. Durant (.516)/J. Tatum (6.0)||FG%/FGM||R. Rubio (.469)/R. Rubio (7.7)|
|K. Middleton (.500)/D. Lillard (4.0)||3P%/3PM||R. Rubio (2.3)/R. Rubio (2.3)|
The United States are as dangerous as ever, despite the fact that they lost their opening match to France. If anything, the loss was a wake up call for the United States. With the pressure of elimination breathing down their neck, the USA needs to rely on their strength.
The USA are second in the tournament in scoring, averaging 105.0 points per game on 51.4% shooting. They’re also tremendous from deep, converting on 43.4% from deep and are averaging 16.3 threes per game.
Spain are an organized unit, but as seen through their pre-Olympic exhibition with the USA they struggle with the running game. With athleticism at every position, the USA can overwhelm the Spanish with speed.
The United States has more firepower than any other team in this tournament. While they are incredible as a unit, their best scorer is Kevin Durant. The NBA superstar will take on a critical role in the Olympic elimination rounds.
Durant is averaging just 14.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game. However, after scoring 23 points on 8 of 11 shooting in his last game against the Czech Republic, Durant became the United States’ all-time leading scorer.
With the threat of elimination at the end of every match, Durant needs to take a leadership role on the offensive end of the court. While the USA are flush with offensive talent, Durant is truly unguardable.
Spain have their hands full when they face off against the United States. Contrasting in their styles of play, the winner will likely be the team that enforce their game plan best. But in terms finding success against the United States, the Spanish need to get out to the line and limit their opponents’ three-point shooters.
In the USA’s only loss of the tournament, they struggled to convert from deep despite almost half of their attempts coming from deep. Marc Gasol may not be the intimidator at the rim that Gobert is, but he is defensively adept enough to backup his team’s aggressive closeouts.
How they fare on the defensive end is crucial for Spain. Their offence is better than they’ve shown through the tournament, especially as led by Ricky Rubio and Sergio Llull. By containing the Americans in the halfcourt, Spain can give themselves a great chance to win.
While the stars of this Spanish team are the Gasol brothers, it has been Ricky Rubio who has carried the Spaniards to their success. His willingness to attack the rim and create for teammates has opened up opportunities for the entire roster.
Rubio is coming off of his weakest game of the tournament, where he scored 18 points and collected nine assists on 30.4% shooting from the floor. While he was unable to find his shooting rhythm in his last game, Rubio won’t face the most stout defender in Damian Lillard.
The veteran point guard will be asked to ensure the USA’s versatile defence can’t catch up with their ball movement. Being aggressive from the point of attack and finding teammates for open looks can help Spain overcome the USA’s explosive scoring. Rubio will be crucial in their efforts.
Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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