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Tokyo Olympics: Luka Doncic is undefeated in FIBA career and Team USA could have to beat him for gold medal

It has been urged that this is likely to be the hardest gold medal route the U.S. males’s basketball workforce has needed to navigate since NBA gamers joined the Olympic occasion in 1992. The People received by way of the primary of a three-round dash on Monday, defeating Spain, the second-ranked workforce on the earth, within the quarterfinals. 

Subsequent up is Australia within the first semifinal — set for Thursday morning (late Wednesday night time, for all intents and functions, in the USA) at 12:15 a.m. ET. If the People cross that check, they will be on to the gold medal recreation, the place they’d face both France, which beat them lower than per week in the past of their group-stage opener, or Slovenia, which employs a relatively good participant by the identify of Luka Doncic. 

It will not be straightforward for both Doncic or Group USA to advance to the ultimate. Australia went 4-0 by way of its group stage and has overwhelmed the U.S. the final two instances they’ve confronted off (2019 World Cup exhibition and a 2021 Olympic exhibition), whereas France, as talked about, defeated the People in Tokyo, additionally went 4-0 in group play and possibly has a greater top-to-bottom roster than Slovenia. 

However who’s betting towards Doncic proper now? He’s 17-0 in his FIBA career, and he is led Slovenia, which got here into the Olympics because the Sixteenth-ranked workforce on the earth (that is deceiving, however a reality nonetheless) to a 4-0 file in Tokyo to this point. By way of the group stage, Doncic averaged 28.3 factors, 10.7 rebounds, seven assists, 1.7 blocks, one steal per recreation. 

Doncic had 48 factors in Slovenia’s win over Argentina to kick off the group stage, the second-highest single-game output in Olympic historical past. He barely missed a triple-double in Slovenia’s win over Spain (12 factors, 14 rebounds, 9 assists) — a feat that hasn’t been completed in Olympic play since LeBron James in 2012. He practically did it once more with 20 factors, 11 assists and eight boards of their quarterfinal win over Germany.

Doncic joined the Slovenian nationwide workforce when he was a teen in 2017, and he instantly led his nation to gold on the Turkey EuroBasket. Slovenia, which has by no means certified for the Olympics till this yr, has been the most effective worldwide offense on the earth since that point. 

With a win over France, Slovenia would guarantee itself of changing into the primary workforce since Croatia and Lithuania in 1992 to win a medal in its inaugural Olympics. Even when Slovenia loses to France, they’d nonetheless have a shot on the bronze medal towards the Australia-USA loser. There are nonetheless two video games to go, however are you able to think about Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard and firm going face to face with Doncic with a gold medal on the road? Signal me up. 

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