clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Olympic Basketball: A Look At France

France is going to be good and will likely medal in Rio

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at San Antonio Spurs
Jan 16, 2015; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker (9) shoots the ball as Portland Trail Blazers small forward Nicolas Batum (88) defends
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The U.S. has a distinct advantage in international basketball because there is a nearly endless pool of brilliant talent.

It looks like Argentina and Spain, for instance, have either aged or are missing key players. Their top-line players are as good as any in the world - think Manu Ginobli or Serge Ibaka - but take a few out and it really hurts.

Here we plug in Draymond Green and Jimmy Butler, or whoever, and are still seen as favorites (although the U.S. had its own time in the wilderness) and expected to roll over everyone.

Talent's not the only thing, but not many teams can challenge the U.S. on talent.

France probably can, at least with the starters.

Many of the French names are already familiar to basketball fans - Nicolas Batum, Rudy Gobert, Boris Diaw, Joffrey Lauvergne and most of all Tony Parker, NBA players all.

We thought Evan Fournier (Orlando Magic) would be on the roster, but he's a free agent and is skipping to protect his career. Understandable.

Parker in particular is dangerous. He's 33 but still an elite player. He's had years of experience and has won NBA titles. He's a leader.

But Gobert is a young player still - just 23 - and he's shown immense potential and can change the game as a shotblocker.

Batum and Diaw are versatile and solid defenders. There’s enough talent there to defend the U.S. and we’re not sure anyone else can say that.

The rest we don't know as much about, but certainly we respect CSKA Moscow and expect that Nando De Colo is a solid player. He did play for the Spurs and the Raptors but didn't stick for long.

Les Bleu has a number of guys back from 2012 also - Parker, Batum, Gelabale, Pietrus and Diaw lost to Spain in the quarterfinals.

France is in Pool A with the U.S., Australia, China, Venezuela and Serbia and Les Bleus opens with the Boomers, another team with serious NBA talent. That game should be a lot of fun.

The U.S. plays France on August 14th. If things go the way we think they will, depth and defensive pressure will wear the French team down.