It’s France vs. Team USA all over again. The undefeated French squad will look to take the gold medal to Paris where the next Olympics will be hosted. To do that, Rudy Gobert and company need to hurdle the Americans, who are aching to avenge their earlier loss to France.
Catch this game live on August 7 at 10:30 am, Manila time.
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Nando de Colo
- SG: Evan Fournier
- SF: Nic Batum
- PF: Guerschon Yabusele
- C: Rudy Gobert
The last time France faced off with Team USA in a gold medal match in the Olympics, Le dunk de la mort happened. But the French should have a better stand against the Americans this time around. They have already beaten Team USA in this same tournament, scoring an 83-76 win over Kevin Durant and company in group play.
The French connection in the backcourt of Nando de Colo and Evan Fournier is going to be crucial for France, to say the least, in the championship game. Fournier embarrassed Team USA’s defenders in the first meeting with 28 points on 11-of-22 shooting from the field while de Colo put up 13 points, five assists, and two steals.
They don’t have the accolades of their American counterparts, but on the international stage, Fournier, de Colo, Nicolas Batum, and Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot can hold their own against the best. Batum and Rudy Gobert, meanwhile, will anchor France’s defense. The two combined for eight blocks in their 90-89 win over Slovenia in the semifinals. France is allowing just 75.8 points per game in the tournament.
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Jrue Holiday
- SG: Damian Lillard
- SF: Devin Booker
- PF: Kevin Durant
- C: Bam Adebayo
The Americans just need one more win to maintain the usual order in the world of basketball. After losing to France in the opener, Team USA took out its frustrations on its next four opponents, crushing Iran, the Czech Republic, Spain, and then Australia in the semifinals. Team USA found their backs on the ropes in the first half of the Australia game but turned up the heat in the final two quarters to score a 97-78 victory.
That’s the inevitable struggle for any team facing the Americans. France needs to play elite basketball from beginning to end on offense and defense. Team USA just needs to string a couple of baskets together to turn a tight contest into a blowout, just like it did against the Boomers. Sure, Team USA lost to France, but the odds of beating the Americans twice in the same tournament do not look too promising for the French.
Durant is going to get his buckets no matter what. He only scored 10 points in the loss to France, but that’s another reason to believe he’s going to have a good game in the gold medal game. He scored 30 in the last two gold medal games he took part in. Team USA won both of those games in 2012 and 2016.
Spread: Team USA isn’t going to play around in this game. It would be total domination for the Americans. Take Team USA to cover (-12).
Over/Under: France’s defense has been impressive, but it’s about to crumble here. Team USA will score at least 100 points to help the total hit the Over (175.0).