USA vs Czech Republic
July 31, 2021 8:00 am EDT
The Line: USA -23.5
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USA and Czech Republic meet Saturday morning in the 2020 Olympics in a basketball meeting at the Saitama Super Arena. USA is 1-1 through two games after an absolute beatdown of Iran. Czech Republic are also 1-1 and are coming off a 20-point loss to France.
USA is coming off a dominating performance over Iran, the sort of win that could get this club back on track. In the winning effort, USA shot 55.3 percent from the field and 48.7 percent from three. Damian Lillard led USA with 21 points and two rebounds while Devin Booker had 16 points and four rebounds. Jayson Tatum was the third double-digit scorer and Zach LaVine grabbed four rebounds. Defensively, USA allowed 37.3 percent shooting from the field and 34.6 percent shooting from three. Team USA looked like the team we expected to see from the start, as they had six double-digit scorers and were getting after it defensively. Everybody knows what the Americans are capable of, it’s just a matter of putting it together and playing with effort at both ends.
Czech Republic beat Iran and lost to France, so a win here is needed to improve its chances of advancing. In the losing effort, Czech Republic shot 53.4 percent from the field and 47.1 percent from three. Jan Vesely led Czech Republic with 19 points and five rebounds while Ondrej Balvin had 18 points and eight rebounds. Patrik Auda was the third double-digit scorer and Tomas Satoransky grabbed three rebounds. Defensively, Czech Republic allowed 55.9 percent shooting from the field and 43.3 percent shooting from three. Czech Republic shot great percentages its last time out, but it also turned the ball over 17 times and didn’t play a lick of defense. Czech Republic has shown flashes of being better than advertised, but this will be the ultimate test for where this country stands.
USA won the only meeting against Czech Republic, which came in the 2019 World Cup. USA won the game by 21 points, as Donovan Mitchell led the Americans with 16 points and two assists.
I’m still iffy on Team USA given the spotty play, but we’re getting to the point in the games where it’s do or die. The Americans can’t afford to mess around anymore with the knockout stages around the corner. Czech Republic has shown promise at times, but it lacks the depth to compete with the big boys. Czech Republic also has no chance if the defensive effort from last game emerge here.
Thick number, but USA covers if it plays to its potential and doesn’t slack off.