Team USA proved to be too good for the Boomers, as they take home a decisive 97-78 victory in the semifinal.
The Boomers started strongly in the match led by Joe Ingles. He began on fire, hitting his first two 3-pointers of the match.
In the opening minutes, it looked to be a back and forth contest, with the Aussies defense holding the American superstars at bay.
The end Boomers ended the quarter with momentum, finding themselves up 24-18 at the end of the first break.
Great signs early from our Boomers 🏀
We lead Team USA at quarter time!
— 7Olympics (@7olympics) August 5, 2021
With the absence of Baynes, Bam Adebayo took full advantage grabbing multiple offensive rebounds in the opening quarter. Multiple opportunities on offense would prove to be an issue for the Boomers all night, with excellent defensive possessions being spoilt by offensive rebounds for Team USA.
The 15 point lead proved to be the reality check that Team USA needed, as they ramped up their pressure and effort. They scored 5 points in a row, which caused the Aussies to start to rush their passes and shots.
With multiple missed open shots and unnecessary turnovers, the Americans were able to claw their way back into the match and found themselves only down by 3. The score at halftime, 45-42.
Their improved defense led to more open looks, with Team USA's star players being too good to miss that many open opportunities. 32 points for the quarter led to a 19 point lead by the end of the term which was too large for the Aussies to overcome.
Despite a strong start, the Boomers were ultimately outplayed by Team USA in the second half.
We know the Boomers will be utterly disappointed with the end result, but will regroup and prepare for the Bronze medal match on Saturday night.
— Basketball Australia (@BasketballAus) August 5, 2021
Despite the loss, there is still plenty to be excited about for basketball fans. While the Boomers aren't guaranteed a medal, this year still presents the team with an excellent opportunity to obtain their top 3 finish at the Olympics.
The current Boomer's team has been building and improving for the past 13 years. Their journey started all the way back in 2008.
At the Bejing Olympics, they came into the tournament as an underdog and scraped their way through the group stages.
Qualifying last in their group, the Aussies had to play a tough quarter-final against the winner of the other group... Team USA.
In a team led by Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Carmelo Anthony the Americans were stacked and hungry for gold after failure in the 2004 Olympics and the 2006 world championships.
This tournament was the first international play of Australian flag bearer Patty Mills. He put teams on notice, scoring 20+ points multiple times including 20 against Team USA in the quarterfinals.
It was abitter pill for the Boomers to swallow as they bowed out to the best team in the tournament so early.
The Boomers went to London with one of their strongest teams of the decade. They were without big man Andrew Bogut, but still had Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, and Matthew Dellavedova.
They began the group stages with 2 losses, meaning that making the finals would be difficult. After stabilising with a couple of solid wins, our last game of the group was against the undefeated Russians.
In a tight contest, the Boomers managed to edge ahead by 2 winning 82 - 80. Their reward for winning... another quarterfinal matchup against Team USA.
In 2012, Team USA was somehow more stacked than the previous year. As well as still having Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony, they added Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, and Chris Paul.
The Boomers were never really in this match, but Kobe's six straight 3-pointers in the second half sealed the game for the Americans.
Patty Mills was once again the Boomer's best player, this time leading all scorers in the tournament with 21.2 points per game. This included 39 against Great Britain in the group stages and 26 against Team USA in the Quarterfinals.
Four years later the Boomers headed to Rio in a momentous opportunity for the Boomers, eventually finishing with their equal best result.
In 2016 Australia found themselves in the same group as Team USA. It provided a great opportunity for the Boomers to advance further in the tournament, by potentially not having to face America in the finals until the gold medal match.
The Aussies managed to get within 10 points of Team USA in the group stages losing 88-98. Mills was once again elite, scoring 30 points against the Americans.
By winning the remainder of their group matches, the Boomers were given a preferable finals draw.
The quarterfinals matchup was against Lithuania, with the Aussies being too strong. Mills and Bogut stamped their authority on the game early and never let the Lithuanians get close.
The Semi-Final match was against Serbia, which presented Australia with their best opportunity to medal since the Sydney Olympics. The Boomers came out slow only managing to score 14 in the first half compared to their opponents' 35. Miloš Teodosić and Nikola Jokić proved to be too good for the Aussies, winning 87-61.
The Boomers still had the opportunity to medal, playing Spain in the Bronze medal match. In a back and forth contest, Pau Gasol and Patty Mills battled it out with the two scoring 31 and 30 respectively.The extra point from Gasol would prove to be important as Spain came out victorious 89-88.
This was the closest the Boomers have made it to obtaining an Olympic medal, and the best run from the Patty Mills led the team.
The Boomers entered the Tokyo Olympics as one of the best teams in the tournament.
After going undefeated in the recent warm-up matches, including a victory over Team USA, the Australians were in red hot form.
The Boomers swept the group stages of the Olympics with victories over Nigeria, Germany, and Italy. Mills, Jock Landale, Ingles, and Nick Kay all managed to hit the scoreboard and keep the offence flowing.
In the quarterfinal against Argentina, the opening term was a close contest. In the second quarter, however, the Aussies ramped up their defense while managing to damage the opposition on the other end of the court.
With a whole team effort, the Boomers managed to blow out their opposition winning 97-59.
This led to another matchup against the archrival and Achilles heel for the Boomers at the Olympics... Team USA.
While recent play might say otherwise, the difference of talent between the two sides is quite noticeable.
BOOMERS | The Boomers are off the bus and ready to face the USA for the right to play in the gold medal match.
— AUS Olympic Team (@AUSOlympicTeam) August 5, 2021
For comparison, Team USA players are expected to fetch $309,745,765 USD in the 2021/2022 season.
The Boomers currently have 4 players signed to the NBA at $24,087,703 USD with Landale, Exum, and Baynes likely/have been offered NBA contracts. The remaining players are either in the NBL or playing in European leagues.
It's not all lost for the Boomers though. They can still seal a bronze medal which would be a groundbreaking achievement for Australian mens basketball.
One more win.