USA Men's Basketball Schedule, Matchups for Tokyo Olympics Group Play Revealed

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJuly 5, 2021

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) shoots as Milwaukee Bucks forward P.J. Tucker (17) defends during the second half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series, Monday, June 7, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
AP Photo/Kathy Willens

The United States men's basketball team is grouped with Iran, France and the Czech Republic in the preliminary round of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

The field for the event was set Sunday after the Czechs downed Greece in their qualifying tournament. Team USA will tip things off July 25, the second day of action in Japan.

Team USA Preliminary Round Schedule

  • vs. France on July 25 at 8 a.m. ET
  • vs. Iran on July 28 at 12:40 a.m. ET
  • vs. Czech Republic on July 31 at 8 a.m. ET

The top two teams in each of the three groups and the two-best third-place finishers move on to the quarterfinals.

At least in the group stage, France figures to be the stiffest competition for Team USA, with Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier, Nicolas Batum and Frank Ntilikina representing Les Bleus. The French sit seventh in FIBA's men's ranking.

Anything short of a gold medal will be considered a disappointment for the United States. Since the Dream Team in 1992 signaled the debut of NBA players in the Olympics, Team USA has won gold in six of seven Olympics.

A bronze-medal finish in 2004 was such a disaster it led to major changes at USA Basketball.

As he enters his first Summer Games in charge, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich doesn't have what you'd consider the optimal roster. LeBron James, Anthony Davis, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Curry are among the most notable absences.

Still, talent shouldn't be an issue for Team USA. Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Draymond Green, Damian Lillard and Jayson Tatum will headline the squad in Tokyo.

Prior to the Olympics, the team will hold a training camp from July 6-18 in Las Vegas. As part of the camp, the U.S. will compete in five exhibitions, the first of which is July 10 against Nigeria.