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The US basketball team will play on Tuesday, July 31 against Tunisia in a game that is considered purely procedural. The NBA starts showed their authority and superiority against France (98-71) and now they will play against weak Tunisia that lost in the first game against Nigeria (60-56).
US is the favorite to win the gold and in this game they can ratify the image showed in the first Olympic games. Today’s game will be a good opportunity to correct some of the mistakes made against France, such as the series of triples that were missed at the beginning of the game (first six were failed). LeBron James was one the players that showed his nonconformist face and showed his wanting to improve: “It wasn’t perfect. We’ve still got room for improvement. We had too many turnovers, too many fouls and we had a couple of defensive rebounds we could have come up with.”
This game will also bring the opportunity to adapt to the meticulous referees. US players complained about how the ref whistled during the meeting with France. “There were calls being called that didn’t seem right,” said the NBA star Carmelo Anthony.
On the other side of the field will be Tunisia, which will aim to lose the less amount of points. They might make the surprise of the Olympics, but it will be tight, especially taking into account that from the 12 teams in the Olympic basketball tournament, they are the only country that that does not have at least one current NBA player.
Although winning it is important, the US also has the obligation to play like any team could ever do. Coach Mike Krzyzewski said that playing well creates good habits: “It’s about our performance,” he said. “We should beat Tunisia, but we want to play well against Tunisia. When you play games in your pool and you’re a significant favorite, you don’t want to just win, you want to maintain and build good habits. We don’t want to overlook anybody because then we overlook ourselves. And in short period of time you can fall into a bad habit that will have its impact on a game where you’re not a significant favorite.”
The US and Tunisia have only played each other once in their histories. It was in the 2010 World Championships in Turkey and the US won by a clear 92-57.
Kobe Bryant said that this US team could beat the Dream Team from 1992. Today’s game could be a great chance to play like angels and show that this team has nothing to envy from the team from ’92.