Team USA might indeed win its fourth consecutive Olympic gold next month in Tokyo.
But if the Americans do, it will be a story of overcoming adversity.
They lost their second consecutive exhibition Monday, this time bested by Australia 91-83 in Las Vegas. Dating to the 2019 World Cup, where they finished seventh, Team USA has lost four of its past five games. It also has lost two in a row now to Australia, a team expected to contend for the gold in Japan.
It was a better showing than the loss to Nigeria on Saturday, but just reading those words is a little mind-boggling considering the pedigree of this roster and coaching staff. Their chemistry and execution, particularly in late-game situations, is holding the Americans back in their early stages of defending their title.