Adebayo steady, Booker inconsistent through three games in Tokyo

Alex Weberabout 2 months

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Aritcle written by:Alex WeberAlex Weber

@alexweberKSR

Bam Adebayo
@USABasketball
Pool play wrapped up for Team USA on the basketball court early this morning as the Americans won their second of three group stage games, this one coming against the Czech Republic. The United States took a surprising loss to France in their Olympic opener but rallied to pummel Iran and the Czechs to advance to the playoff rounds. The three Wildcats on the Team USA roster have had quite different experiences through three games. As expected, Keldon Johnson -- who barely made the team after unforeseen dropouts by guys like Bradley Beal and Kevin Love --  hasn't seen a ton of playing time, but the experience will be worth it whether he plays 30 minutes a game or zero. Keldon has taken not zero, not two, but one shot in each game so far. He missed and scored zero points in games vs. Czech and France, but converted a bucket vs. Iran and added a pair of free throws for his only four points. Bam Adebayo has been the most steady performer of the three Wildcats, although I admire Keldon's one-shot-per-game precision. Bam's averaging roughly 20 minutes a night as the only true center on the roster besides Javale McGee and he's scoring when the opportunity presents itself while trying to hold this horrid defensive roster together on that end of the floor. Given the lack of size and elite bigs in the American pool, it's possible Adebayo becomes a cornerstone Team USA guy if he remains consistent as a defender/rebounder. Lastly, I'm surprised Devin Booker can make it through these games. He has to be enduring some exhaustion following the longest basketball season of his life, an epic run to within two games of a championship only to half-circumnavigate the globe for Olympic play a day later. He's scored four and five points in two of the games, but against Iran, he nailed six of nine shots and finished with 16 points and five assists. Unfortunately for Booker, he's going to be relied on quite a bit for Team USA despite the wear and tear of his Suns season. Why? Team USA selected three players to the team who have experience playing point guard, and only four guards in total. Booker is the second-most reliable ball-handler on the team, and he's a better passer than Damian Lillard. So...Devin Booker may be the primary distributor and point guard presence this team is missing. Hopefully, D-Book has the legs to help this USA team limp to Gold.

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2021-09-25

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