Brief & comprehensive review to the Olympics and Predictions
There are 12 teams participating in the Olympics. To advance to the quarterfinals, the first two-placed teams advance as well as the two best third-placed teams.
Iran, France, United States, Czech Republic
Australia, Germany, Italy and Nigeria
Argentina, Japan, Spain and Slovenia
The most balanced and competitive group for me is in Group B followed by Group A and C. Australia are the Favorites to finish 1st in Group A but they will face a tougher and reinforced Italy with momentum. The USA are the favorites despite their short preparations and their recent performances. Spain is poised to continue on their run as gold medalists in the world cup.
Floor and Ceiling for these teams
Iran - Iran looks to be the weakest team in the Olympics. Most of their players are old now especially their golden trio of Haddadi, Bahrami and Kamrani. They lost to Spain miserably twice in their preparation games. Recently they also lost to Japan twice. Conclusion, It is hard to see Iran replicating their near upset to Spain in 2019. Thus, Their floor is 12th while their ceiling is that they can at least beat any of their group opponents for one quarter. I expect them to be blown out.
France - France may have lost twice to Spain in their preparation games but they could have easily won those twice as well. As always they have a very solid roster. Expect a strong team that has no weaknesses that I can think of per position. It will come down to coaching and execution for a team like this. Floor for them will be the Semis while their Ceiling is Gold.
USA- The most talented roster in the competition. This team is worth hundreds of millions. If this was a one on one game then no team can come close but as always basketball is a team sport. They looked horrible in their exhibition games and it all thanks of their 1 week preparation before their games. They have the shortest preparation out of all teams. In their first two games, their offensive sets was awful. All they did mostly was poor forced inefficient isolation attempts. In their third game against Argentina they looked a whole lot better even if all they did was some basic Pick and Roll sets. I will still take that over a contested iso jumper. The short preparation really hurts them because most of these players are the number 1 or 2 options in their teams. They are not used to settling picks, role player stuff. Chemistry on the court has to be developed fast. Love and Beal is now out and they are replaced by Mcgee and Keldon. Most people would probably like this development but in my opinion this team got better because for me they need role players. Mcgee was a player under Kerr and Keldon was under Pop, so expect more fluidity. Floor will be silver and Ceiling will be Gold. Nothing less but Gold will be a failure, no matter how much I dislike their preparations I will still have to consider their prestige and talent so they should at least for me be in the final game but I do believe that they will underperform and meet a similar fate to the Canadians in the OQT. I won't be surprised if they got knocked down to the bronze medal game.
Czech Republic - This is a team that proves that talent can be overtaken by chemistry and effort. I never expected them to be the winner of the Victoria OQT. I always thought that Canada or Greece will win it. At that time I leaned more to the Greeks than the Canadians because of their chemistry and preparation but I at least thought that they would meet in the finals. Czech Republic surprised a lot of people including myself. They are in the Olympics for a reason and they deserve their place. I can see them at least in the quarterfinals while their ceiling will be the semis.
Will continue on this topic later with Group B and C.