USA vs Czech Republic: Olympic Men's Basketball TV Time, Live Stream, Prediction

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2021

SAITAMA, JAPAN - JULY 28: Khris Middleton #8 of Team United States high fves teammate Jayson Tatum #10 and Damian Lillard #6 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)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

There are still plenty of questions surrounding Team USA and its pursuit of a gold medal in men's basketball, but it'll get its next opportunity to work things out against the Czech Republic in the final group-stage game.

The Americans stumbled out of the gates with an 83-76 loss to France in their Olympic opener. However, they bounced back with a 120-66 win over Iran, taking off some of the pressure by winning in dominant fashion.

That pressure will come back quickly if they don't once again dominate against a Czech Republic squad that is ranked 12th in the latest FIBA world rankings.

The matchup will represent the United States' final opportunity to get in sync before the quarterfinals begin. The top two teams in each group will move on with the final two spots going to the third-place teams with the best point differential.

Given the United States' lopsided result against Iran, it is likely already in, but this game won't be about winning and losing, it will be about preparation for the knockouts. Here's all the info you need to catch the game.


Olympic Men's Basketball

Who: United States vs. Czech Republic

When: Saturday, July 31 at 8 a.m. ET

Where: Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan

Live Stream: NBCOlympics.com and Peacock



After shooting a middling 10-of-32 from the three-point line against France, the US unleashed a barrage of three-pointers against Iran. Burying their opponent with 19-of-39 shooting from deep as a team.

That movement was led by a 7-of-13 performance from Damian Lillard, who led all scorers with 21 points.

Lillard credited that success to a shift in attitude that came after talking to Draymond Green.

"We spoke about it, and it was simple. I just said 'I should have shot it,' and it won’t happen again," Lillard said in reference to their conversation after the France loss, per Joe Vardon of The Athletic. "I'm gonna come correct going forward."

USA Basketball @usabasketball

How about 13 (!) first half 3-pointers 🔥 @Dame_Lillard 18 PTS, 6 3FG #Tokyo2020 #Basketball https://t.co/MLhrd4QXcA

Green's leadership might exceed what he's putting up in the box score right now. He's one of the few players on the roster with previous Olympic experience. He was on the gold medal-winning 2016 squad and is a three-time NBA champion.

Perhaps the most encouraging developments against Iran were signs of life from Khris Middleton and Devin Booker. Both were late arrivals to Tokyo as they went through protocols after the NBA Finals. The duo went 1-of-8 from the field against France.

With a few days to adjust to being in Tokyo and playing with the team, they looked much better. The pair of Finals' foes put up 26 points and went a combined 10-of-15 from the floor against Iran.

A sentiment that seems to be echoed by those within Team USA is the need for their scorers to be more aggressive when it comes to shooting their shot.

"We were a bit too unselfish early on, and it bit us," Kevin Durant said after the Iran win, per Brian Windhorst of ESPN. "Tonight, guys came out super aggressive. It may look bad when the shots don't go in, but we still had great intentions ever since we got together."

Whether that shift in thinking equates to beating the teams who are the same level as France remains to be seen. The knockout stage will see them once again take on teams with multiple NBA players and even potentially stars like Luka Doncic and the Slovenians.

For now, they are preparing to face a team in the Czech Republic that lost to France by 20 and is led Jan Vesely and Tomas Satoransky. The United States' sheer firepower should get them through this one.

Prediction: USA 95, Czech Republic 73