France overpowered Team USA, snapping their 25-game Olympic winning streak in the Olympic opener, 89-79, Sunday.

No Longer the Gold Medal Favorite

According to Sports Illustrated, the U.S. men's basketball team lost to the French basketball team on Sunday was not a surprise. Team France, headed by NBA sensations Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier, and Nicolas Batum, alongside a roster of players that have been playing together since they were teenagers, just took down the team of NBA stars.

Despite being headed by NBA scoring machines, Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, and Jayson Tatum, Team USA was no longer considered the favorite team to win the gold medal at Tokyo Games. The American basketball team is now considered by sports analysts as a group composed of great players who still did not have an idea of how to play as a team.

Team USA's talents were ranked on top compared to other players in the world, but their lacking team chemistry was exposed by the French team, and they may not have enough time to figure it out.

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The French Team

The 34-year-old French sniper and also former NBA player, Nando De Colo, started the Olympic opener alongside another NBA sensation, Evan Fournier, for France's backcourt. Guerschon Yabusele, who was last seen playing during garbage time minutes with Boston, joined Gobert and Batum in the frontcourt of the French team.

There was a talent gap between the two powerhouses, but Team France compensated for the talent difference. The French team displayed a total team effort. France moved the ball well on the offensive end and was connected defensively.

Even U.S. coach Gregg Popovich, who was also the coach of the San Antonio Spurs, admitted during an interview that the gap in terms of talent at the international basketball scene shrinks every year. The Team USA coach, who was also popular for picking international players during NBA drafts, stated that there were more and more great players all over the world.

The game was close, with under a minute to play. Team USA was only down two points, but they could not finish the job.

Team USA would always have better players, but it was still not clear if those players have enough time to play as a team.

Portland Trail Blazers' main man Damian Lillard called the developing chemistry of Team USA's "No. 1 challenge." However, Popovich cited that Team USA needed to be more consistent in every game.

Golden State Warriors' key defender, Draymond Green, stated that they need to continue getting better. Green added that they have not been together that long, but Green said that the time that they have been together was already long enough to have that consistency. Aside from consistency, Green stated that they have to defend better down the stretch in closing out their games.

Miami Heat Center Bam Adebayo also shared that everybody wants that feeling of getting that gold medal. Adebayo added that they just can't rely on talent all the time. He also said they need to execute and get stops on the other end.

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Written by Jess Smith

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