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Next Up for Team USA: The Czech Republic

It’s do or die time for the US.

United States v Iran Men’s Basketball - Olympics: Day 5
SAITAMA, JAPAN - JULY 28: Jrue Holiday #12 of Team United States defends against Islamic Republic of Iran during the first half of a Men’s Preliminary Round Group A game on day five of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Saitama Super Arena on July 28, 2021 in Saitama, Japan.
Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The US faces the Czech Republic Saturday morning and while pool play is not typically do or die, it is this time: the loser will be out. It’s not a normal situation for Team USA.

The US is obviously going to be favored and has been a different team since Jrue Holiday, Devin Booker and Khris Middleton arrived after the NBA finals and started to become factors.

The Czechs are ranked #12 in FIBA and has just one NBA player, Tomáš Satoranský of the Chicago Bulls. They just barely beat Iran, 84-78, a team the US beat 120-66.

On the other hand though, the Czechs took out Canada in the qualifying tournament in a dramatic overtime win which suggests the team has cohesion and in a tight game, we’ll always bet on a cohesive team vs. a more talented one.

Why?

Simple. Because when it’s time to be ruthless, the cohesive team will have more confidence and the more talented one will get tense.