The United States will square off against Serbia and the winner will take home the gold. This will be a rematch from the 2014 FIBA World Cup final where the U.S. emerged victorious.
The two-time defending champions, the U.S.A. can win their third consecutive gold medal and extend their eight-year dominance in international basketball competition. Team USA showed a bit of inconsistency in this tournament by barely beating France and Serbia during the group stage, trailing Argentina by ten early in the quarterfinals, and being pushed around the court by Venezuela in the first quarter, but they were able to keep it together enough to stay alive in this tournament. Kevin Durant leads the team with an average of 17.9 points per game. The U.S. defeated Spain 82-76 to advance. 82 points is the lowest points scored by the U.S. in a semifinal game since the 2004 Olympics, where the U.S. was defeated by Argentina.
Serbia scored a huge upset when they defeated Australia 87-61 to advance to the finals for the first time. The Serbian defense held the tough Australian offense to 33 percent shooting overall. Miroslav Raduljica averages 15.9 points per game and he makes 62 percent of his baskets. Serbia is perfectly capable of giving the U.S. a run for their money.
The U.S. and Serbia both met earlier in the tournament in group play. The U.S. escaped with a 94-91 win.
Team USA has averaged 101.6 points per game while Serbia has averaged 85.6. Both sides have a field goal percentage of 48 percent. The U.S. has allowed an average 80.1 points per game and Serbia has allowed 75.9.
The USA is the favorite to win. For Serbia, win or lose, they’ll go home happy because they’ve never won a medal in basketball before. But as far as the Americans go, they’ll fight hard to bring home the gold for the third consecutive time.