The upcoming men's Olympic basketball schedule includes another opportunity for the United States to get on the right track and for Luka Doncic to continue to take over Tokyo.
The United States' gold medal bid seems like it's on shaky ground in what has been a rough stretch of games. After going 2-2 in preparation friendlies for the grand stage, it opened with a loss to France before routing Iran in pool play.
The Czech Republic squad isn't expected to give the United States' assembly of talent much trouble, but it will be important to see how well Team USA's offense comes together as it seeks to lock up a quarterfinals spot.
In the evening action, Spain's women's team will look to sweep Pool A with a win over Canada in a battle of top-five teams in the FIBA rankings.
The main event may be the one going down in the 4:20 a.m. slot, with Luka Doncic looking to lead a red-hot Slovenia squad against one of the most talented rosters in the tournament in Spain.
Below is a schedule for the day with all the live broadcast info. The United States vs. Czech Republic matchup will also re-air on NBC at 4 p.m. ET.
Olympic Basketball Schedule
Saturday, July 31
Men's: United States (-24) vs. Czech Republic, 8 a.m. ET, Peacock, NBCOlympics.com
Women's: Canada vs. Spain (-2.5), 9 p.m. ET, NBC Sports App, NBCOlympics.com
Sunday, August 1
Men's: Argentina (-10) vs. Japan, 12:40 a.m. ET, NBC Sports App, NBCOlympics.com
Men's: Spain vs. Slovenia (-2.5), 4:20 a.m. ET, USA Network, NBCOlympics.com
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The United States' men's team's less-than-dominant road in the Olympic tournament is indicative of two things: Putting together an Olympic squad essentially on the fly is hard, and the rest of the world continues to catch up.
The U.S. was forced to put together this team under the unusual circumstances of the compressed NBA schedule and other COVID-related obstacles. Three key members of the team didn't even show up in Tokyo until just before the opening game with France.
It's a far cry from the days in which the Dream Team showed up, obliterated the field and won the gold-medal game by 32 points. It's a reality that center Bam Adebayo said his teammates have embraced.
"We don't go in every game thinking we're going to beat everybody by 50," the big man said, per Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press (h/t NBA.com). "It definitely keeps us on edge and, you know, shows that we can't mess around."
While teams like Slovenia, Australia and Spain are going to still present the U.S. with problems, the Czech Republic should not be that caliber of team. The squad is highlighted by Jan Vesely and Tomas Satoransky and lost to France by 20.
The Canadian women's team rebounded well from a surprise loss to Serbia with a 74-53 win over South Korea. Canada will see a tough test from Spain, which is 2-0 behind strong performances from Astou Ndour. She's posted 48 points and 18 rebounds in the two wins.
Host nation Japan will likely get its last crack at notching a win in these Olympics. It's been a tough road for Rui Hachimura and Yu Watanabe. The pair have posted good individual numbers, but the Japanese have been outscored by 46 points in their first two games.
They'll take on an Argentina squad that has continued a slow decline since capturing the Olympic gold medal in 2004. It has also gone 0-2 but was only outscored by 28 against the same opponents.
The highlight of the schedule is the men's matchup between Slovenia and Spain, though. Luka Doncic's Olympic debut has the Slovenians slotting in as a serious medal threat. After putting up 48 points in his first game against Argentina, he had 25 points, seven rebounds and seven assists against Japan.
Facing the best opposition in the group, it's going to take a special effort for Doncic to lead his nation to a win. He's given every indication he can do it, though.
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