Olympic Basketball 2021: Men's Semis TV Schedule, Live Stream and Odds

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistAugust 4, 2021

Slovenia's Luka Doncic (77) celebrates score during men's basketball quarterfinal game against Germany at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, in Saitama, Japan. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

Kevin Durant and Luka Doncic have emerged as the primary stars of the Tokyo Olympics men's basketball tournament over four games. 

Durant and the United States overcame an opening loss to France to win three straight games and earn a semifinal showdown with Australia, while Doncic will put his 17-0 mark with Slovenia on the line against the French team. 

The United States and Slovenia are favored in their respective matchups, although the Americans have a much larger spread in their favor.

Slovenia has a slight margin on its side going into Thursday's semifinal round.


Olympic Men's Basketball Semifinal Schedule

Thursday, August 5

Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook

United States (-11.5) vs. Australia (12:15 a.m. ET, Peacock)

Slovenia (-2) vs. France (7 a.m. ET, Peacock)

Games can be live-streamed on NBCOlympics.com and NBC Sports app



United States vs. Australia

Australia and the United States will face off in a rematch of an Olympic warm-up game won by the Aussies in Las Vegas. 

Australia received the perfect boost ahead of its showdown with the roster loaded with NBA superstars when it defeated Argentina by 38 points on Tuesday. 

The Boomers held the South American team to 59 points in one of the most dominant performances of the Olympic basketball tournament. 

Patty Mills has been the driving force of the Australian offense in Tokyo and was the team's leading scorer in three of four games. He eclipsed the 20-point mark in two group-stage games against Nigeria and Germany.

The problem for the 32-year-old on Thursday is he faces a team led by his former NBA head coach, Gregg Popovich. He signed as a free agent with the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday after playing under Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs from 2012-21. 

Mills could also be limited by the defensive prowess of Jrue Holiday, who was massive on that side of the ball during the Milwaukee Bucks' NBA Finals run. 

According to StatMuse, Mills averaged 8.5 points per game in 21 career NBA matchups against Holiday. He averaged 1.7 three-point makes off 4.6 shots from distance per contest. 

Additionally, Joe Ingles, who is Australia's other top shooting guard, has been held under 10 points per game in 17 clashes with Holiday in his career. 

If Holiday locks down the perimeter, the Americans can limit the Boomers' offensive production and create difficult shots for their opponent. If that occurs, the U.S. could dominate the rebound battle and beat its opponent back in transition. 

The Americans possess a more robust scoring attack, led by Durant, that could overwhelm the Australian defense. The Nets star is coming off a 29-point performance against Spain and is the best individual player left in the four-team bracket. 

If Durant takes over for stretches and the United States plays strong perimeter defense, it should have a chance to cover as an 11.5-point favorite. 


Slovenia vs. France 

Doncic set the tone for Slovenia's success in Tokyo with 73 points in the first two group-stage games against Argentina and Japan.

In the last two games, though, the Dallas Mavericks star has not been the leading scorer within his squad. Vlatko Cancar took that honor in the victory over Spain and Zoran Dragic produced 27 points in the blowout win over Germany in the quarterfinal round. 

Doncic had 20 points, 11 assists and was two rebounds shy of a triple-double in the 94-70 victory. If he can be that productive in other stat categories while scoring around 20 points, Slovenia should be in good shape. 

Dragic and Mike Tobey combined for 40 points and seven three-point makes, five of which came from the former, to support Doncic in the triumph over Germany. 

If Slovenia produces a similar level of scoring depth, it can go head-to-head with France and potentially extend the winning streak with the 22-year-old on the floor. 

France comes into Thursday's matchup with the same 4-0 mark as Slovenia. After beating the United States to open the competition, it easily beat Iran and Czech Republic and eliminated Italy by nine points. 

The paint play of Rudy Gobert will be critical to France's success in the rest of the tournament.

The Utah Jazz star put up 22 points and nine rebounds in the win over Italy, and Slovenia needs to either contain him or Evan Fournier to push its way into the gold-medal contest. 

Fournier has been one of the best shooters throughout the tournament. The new New York Knicks arrival had 21 points with a trio of three-pointers in the last round. 

If Slovenia's guards frustrate the 28-year-old beyond the arc, they will force Nicolas Batum or others to fill the scoring production. Batum was the only other French player with 15 or more points against Italy. 

Fournier and Gobert are a lethal one-punch when they get going on the offensive end. If Slovenia slows them down for even one stretch of the contest and Doncic increases his output, it could feature in its first-ever gold-medal game.


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