JO Tokyo 2021

Everything you need to know about the Men’s Olympic Basketball Tournament in Tokyo

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Temps de lecture : 4 mn đź•—

(Japan) – It's time for the FIBA Men's Olympic Tournament to finally tip-off! Here is everything you need to know about the event in Tokyo, including a group-by-group analysis.

What is needed to win gold, what else is at stake?

The tournament takes place between July 26 and August 8, with a total of 12 nations competing in three groups and trying to make it to the knockout stages. Up until 2016, there used to be two groups of six teams.

The change to three groups also means that the nation that gets to take the title will now do so by playing six, rather than eight games. Meanwhile, the Quarter-Finals pairings will be determined by a draw during the tournament. Check out the Competition System.

What is the history of the FIBA Men's Olympic Basketball Tournament?

have dominated the last three editions, and have a chance to win four straight for the first time since the 1960s. Russia and Serbia, medalists in 2012 and 2016, aren't here, so we will see new faces on the podium.

Overall, the USA won the event 15 times, with one silver and two bronze medals also to their name. Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Argentina are the only other teams to win gold, while Spain picked up three silver medals and one bronze.

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Where can I follow the action?

Games will be shown on television and online depending on the country where you live and which broadcasters have purchased the rights. You can follow all the latest updates across all FIBA channels, including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – also using #Tokyo2020 and #Basketball hashtags. We also have an Olympic Basketball LIVE BLOG running throughout the tournament.

Group A – Iran, France, USA, Czech Republic

Favorites: Going with any other team than the USA would be silly. Coach Gregg Popovich and his staff put together a solid team with Kevin Durant and Damian Lillard ready to lead the scoring. Also keep in mind that newly crowned NBA champs Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton are joining the team just hours before the event starts, along with Devin Booker who also played in the NBA Finals. France did defeat the USA in the Quarter-Finals of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019, but their preparation camp for the 2020 Olympics showed a lot of worrying signs for coach Vincent Collet.

Underdog: Iran last won a game at the Olympics back in 1948, losing all five of their games back in 2008. However, one win could be enough for them to reach the Quarter-Finals, since two third-placed teams will also advance to the next round.

Key Game(s): First Game Day. Czech Republic need a win over Iran to prevent the upset, USA need a win over France to steer their ship in the right direction on the path to their fourth straight gold.

Five to Watch: Damian Lillard (USA), Kevin Durant (USA), Rudy Gobert (FRA), Tomas Satoransky (CZE), Hamed Haddadi (IRI)

Young Gun(s): Keldon Johnson (USA)

1. USAUSA 1. USA 781.8 0
7. FRAFrance 4. FRA 656.0 -1
12. CZECzech Republic 8. CZE 585.4 -1
23. IRIIran 2. IRI 432.1 0

Group B – Australia, Germany, Italy,

Favorites: The Boomers reached the Semi-Finals in both the 2016 Olympics and the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019. Coming into the tournament with wins over the USA, Nigeria and Argentina in Las Vegas, USA, it is clear that Australia want to be even better in Tokyo. They were the number one team in the Power Rankings, a confirmation of their fine form in 2021.

Underdog: Germany. They may be feeling good having won the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Split, Croatia, knocking out heavily favored Croatia and Brazil, but they are set to face Nigeria's strongest generation ever, Australia's highly-ambitious dirty dozen, and then there's also Italy – another underdog, but one which was reinforced by Danilo Gallinari over the three weeks between the OQTs and the Olympics. Germany will enjoy their role as an longshot contender. After all, that's the same role that got them to Japan.

Key Game(s): Germany and Italy facing off on Game Day 1 will be big, because it could either send a team to the top or push it towards the edge. The loser will have a hard time trying to make something happen against Australia and Nigeria in the two remaining games, the winner could get so comfortable and confident to go and win the entire group.

Five to Watch: Maodo Lo (GER), Patty Mills (AUS), Jock Landale (AUS), Danilo Gallinari (ITA), Gabe Nnamdi Vincent (NGR)

Young Gun(s): KZ Okpala (NGR), Precious Achiuwa (NGR), Nico Mannion (ITA), Isaac Bonga (GER), Josh Green (AUS)

3. AUS Australia 1. AUS 667.0 0
10. ITA Italy 7. ITA 596.4 +2
17. GER Germany 13. GER 513.4 0
22. NGR Nigeria 1. NGR 439.3 0

Group C – Argentina, Japan, Spain, Slovenia

Favorites: This could be the last chance for Spain to run it back. The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 winners have got all of their superstars together, led by the Gasol brothers and Ricky Rubio. Memories of FIBA Basketball World Cup 2006 will be somewhere in the back of their minds where they  won their first world title right here, in the Saitama Super Arena.

Underdog: Japan. They have to break the curse of the hosts, since Brazil and Great Britain both failed to reach the Quarter-Finals in 2016 and 2012, respectively.  Only three times has it happened that the host nation ended up on the podium – twice with the USA, once with the Soviet Union.

Key Game(s): Any Slovenian game.The  FIBA EuroBasket 2017 champions made the Olympics for the first time ever and they have a man named Luka Doncic on their team. All three of their games will be key games because it seems they could finish first, second, third or fourth in this group.

Five to Watch: Luka Doncic (SLO), Rui Hachimura (JPN), Ricky Rubio (ESP), Facundo Campazzo (ARG), Luca Vildoza (ARG)

Young Gun(s): Usman Garuba (ESP), Leandro Bolmaro (ARG)

2. ESP Spain 1. ESP 721.3 0
4. ARG Argentina 2. ARG 662.4 0
16. SLO Slovenia 12. SLO 521.2 0
42. JPN Japan 8. JPN 260.6 -1


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