bam adebayo, blue, white, and red flag
Photo by Luke Michael on Unsplash

Bam Adebayo, Team USA Make Statement With Win Over Iran

SAITAMA, Japan – Team USA got its first win of the 2021 Olympics thanks to a dominating win over Team Iran Wednesday morning.

Team USA started fast and furious out the gate and cruised to a 120-66 victory, lifting their record to 1-1 in Olympic pool play.

The outcome of the game was never in question with Team USA taking a 60-30 lead into halftime.

Starting center Bam Adebayo, a native of Newark, New Jersey, scored six points on three-of-six shooting, had three blocks, an assist and a steal in 13 minutes of action.

Furthermore, Adebayo contributed to Team USA’s big win in many ways that do not translate to the box score.

Adebayo set several devastating screens against Team Iran which left teammates like Damian Lillard (21 points) and Devin Booker (16 points) wide open.

Adebayo also played spectacular defense, denying the Team Iran big men in the paint and switching onto their guards when necessary.

Lillard’s 21 points led Team USA, but every member of the team scored and six were in double figures.

Coach Gregg Popovich talked about the importance of the players finding a niche within the team to achieve success.

"Each of these guys scores 20 or 25 points for their teams; we can't play like that, and so we don't," Popovich said in an interview after the win. "Everybody in a sense is a role player now; we don't need heroes."

Team USA came in focused and determined knowing it was a must win game after losing to France 83-76 on Sunday.

The loss to France snapped a 25-game winning streak for Team USA in Olympic play.

Bam Adebayo and Team USA Look to Advance

Now with the win over Iran, Team USA controls its own destiny to advance to the next stage.

Team USA will play the Czech Republic in the final game of pool play on Saturday.

A win would guarantee Team USA a spot in the quarterfinals which are played in a single-elimination format.

Team USA tips off against the Czech Republic on Saturday at 8 a.m. on Peacock or the NBC Olympics app.

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