Team USA Notes: Durant, Beal, Grant, Tatum

Team USA has started with a fairly stunning 1-2 record in exhibition play, losing a shocker to Nigeria in the opener. After that, it was another loss, this time to Australia, considered a true contended for the gold at the Tokyo Olympics.

Finally, the Americans were able to overtake Argentina to at least show some promise. The Games begin July 23, and if you ask Nets forward Kevin Durant, there is no major reason for concern.Kevin Durant

“We’re a team that’s still coming together and trying to find our identity,” Durant told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. “We have so many great players that you can play so many different ways, and we are indecisive at times on defense and offense.

“In the midst of us figuring it out, these teams are established and they’re running their sets. We’re working on our sets. The stars were kind of aligned for us to lose early on.”

Team USA has two exhibition games remaining — a rematch with Australia on Friday and vs. Spain on Sunday.

With the likes of Durant, Damian Lillard, Zach LaVine, Draymond Green, Bam Abedayo and others, the talent is undoubtedly there. But as Durant said, it’s may just be a matter of getting the time to put it together.

More on Team USA

  • In case you missed it, Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal is in the U.S. basketball health and safety protocol and his status for the Olympics seems to be in doubt. Beal tied Durant with a team-high 17 points vs. Argentina.
  • After that game, Beal said coach Gregg Popovich has been sending out reminders about international play. “The biggest thing we have to realize is that it’s not the NBA, and coach Pop keeps reemphasizing that to us every single day,” Beal said. “It’s more physical. These guys have been playing together for five, 10-plus years, so they have experience and chemistry. We’re trying to develop that in a short period of time.”
  • Pistons forward Jerami Grant has joined Beal in the Team USA health and safety protocols, per Shams Charania and Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Grant has not tested positive for the coronavirus, however.
  • Celtics forward Jayson Tatum remains day-to-day with what is believed to be only a minor right knee injury. There’s a chance he could be held out until the Olympics. Point guard Jrue Holiday (Bucks), small forward Khris Middleton (Bucks) and shooting guard Devin Booker (Suns) are all still expected to join after the Finals.

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