Team USA basketball is known to be the best team in the entire world as they consist of the best NBA players and should roll over the competition.
However, their first two exhibition games have not gone the way we would expect.
They lost to Australia and Nigeria in the first two games.
Both are big upsets.
Australia takes down Team USA.
They have now lost back-to-back exhibition games for the first time since pros started playing in 1992. pic.twitter.com/qnwixFbHO3
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 13, 2021
They have one of the greatest head coaches of all time in Gregg Popovich.
This roster is meant for greatness, but that is not what is going on.
There has to be a problem here.
Fans need to be in a panic with the losses.
A team like this is too good for this.
This team should not be losing to inferior competition, but they simply are.
The panic needs to be real and here is why.
There Is Zero Level Of Chemistry
This roster does not fit in a normal basketball situation; at least the styles wouldn’t.
There are a plethora of scorers on this team and hardly any playmakers.
Draymond Green might be the best distributor, but we have seen him struggle in international play before.
Tatum, Durant, and Lillard are all great individual players.
However, as a trio, it does not mesh well.
The defense is also troublesome with Bradley Beal and Lillard in the backcourt.
The collection of talent is extraordinary.
As a team, there is no chemistry.
Teams like Australia and Spain have played together for several years.
They know the tendencies and how to play with one another.
Team USA was built on a whim with no style of play being considered.
Three players on the team are not even there yet due to them playing in the NBA Finals.
Their first game is July 25 and they don’t have their full roster yet.
The lack of cohesiveness is alarming.
The Rules Are Different
NBA players are creatures of their habits.
They are used to playing a certain way and that is it.
The foul calling has been the biggest problem with Team USA so far.
Players in the NBA are used to drawing easy fouls at all times.
The pump fake and throwing your body into the defender for three free throws is a norm in the NBA of today.
However, international play is not like that.
Players are confused as to how to get fouls during these games.
Several players on Team USA are still adjusting to FIBA officiating, per @ChrisBHaynes
"Throughout the games, multiple players, from Jayson Tatum to Bradley Beal, have been staring down the officials following no-calls as they’re accustomed to receiving touch fouls." pic.twitter.com/XZzm44UYqa
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) July 13, 2021
The fouls are simply not coming.
They are not able to get into their rhythm due to the officiating.
Team USA needs to find a way to play their game without worrying about foul calls.
Unfortunately, that is the NBA now.
Foul-baiting is a legit skillset in the NBA.
The problem is that the Olympics are not going to fall for it.
Playing great basketball is the only way for this team to win the gold.
Sure, they are still the favorites to win it all.
There still should be some panic after these exhibition games.