The star-studded line-up of Team USA suffered a shocking defeat at the hands of the Nigerian team. Nigeria ousted their opponents 90-87 and dished out a wake-up call in the process.
Team USA’s glittering history against their Nigerian compatriots did not help their case on the court. Despite their string of impressive successive wins, the USA team gave away a ten-point lead to lose the contest.
The team made a last-ditch effort to secure the contest but failed to even get off a shot to tie the contest off their last play.
Team USA started five All-Stars on the court together, but their rustiness and lack of chemistry was evident in a manner.
The likes of Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal and Damian Lillard were far from their best during the bout on the court. Durant struggled initially and was only able to convert two of his first eleven shots. However, he emerged as the top scorer for the side with 17 points.
Jayson Tatum notched 15 points and 7 rebounds during the contest and lamented the lack of training and chemistry as a unit.
“None of us have ever played with each other, we’re just trying to figure it out. We don’t have three to four weeks. This is good for us, we’ll learn a lot from the film and we’ll regroup.” Tatum said
Team Nigeria currently has in its squad, a total of 7 NBA Players. The expertise showed on the court along with a dominant physical display. Moreover, the perks of practice and planning were on show as well with the Nigerian unit having already assembled for Olympic preparations on June 27.
The underdogs’ recipe to win was certainly their three-point shooting as they managed to down 20 three-pointers in the contest.
Team USA coach Gregg Popovich expressed his delight that their team experienced an early setback.
“In a way, I’m kind of glad it happened. It means nothing if we don’t learn from it. It could be the most important thing in this tournament for us. To learn lessons from this.” he said
Team USA are heavy favourites to win their fourth successive Olympic gold medal. On the other hand, Nigeria are underdogs heading into the Olympics in Tokyo.