USA came out strong in their opening Olympic Basketball win against China, and they’ll hope to build on that momentum in Monday's 6 p.m. ET matchup against Venezuela. The game will be available to watch on NBC Sports Network and via live streaming here.
Monday night’s game will be a rematch of USA’s second-to-last game on their pre-Olympic tour, an 80-45 victory that should serve as a reminder of how large the talent gap is. The red, white and blue shot just 42.4 percent from the field en route to the 35-point victory, but it was the first game in the exhibition slate in which they failed to score 100 points or more.
Shooting should improve, but Team USA has a strong defensive base to build from even without their best performance on the other end. Strong perimeter defense was on display in the opening win against China, with their opponents frequently struggling to get past the three-point line. The second unit is a nightmare for other teams, with ball-hounding players like Jimmy Butler, Paul George and Kyle Lowry providing fits for any would-be drivers.
NBA fans also got a small preview of what it might look like when Kevin Durant debuts for the Golden State Warriors. Durant was the team’s leading scorer with 25 points in the opener, capitalizing on open look after open look from the perimeter. Draymond Green was happy to make the extra pass to his new teammate on several occasions, a sight basketball fans will have to get used to.
If we’re nitpicking, the only area USA really needs to improve upon is from the perimeter. 10-for-27 from deep is a respectable figure for a normal NBA team, but the expectations here are a bit higher. The bench went 0-8 from downtown against China, a feat they’ll be hoping not to repeat. Aside from that, building on what’s already working should be the primary objective.
As for Venezuela, anything short of a small miracle will leave them on the losing end of this one. Even with top-end stars like Stephen Curry and LeBron James staying home, Venezuela don’t have players to compete with the USA juggernaut. Expect the battle for leading scorer to be more exciting than the final result.
USA vs. Venezuela info
Place: Caricoa Arena 1
Time: 6 p.m. ET
TV: NBC Sports Network
Streaming: NBC Sports
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