Duke basketball: Jayson Tatum moved to bench as Team USA regroups

Duke basketball forward Jayson Tatum (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Duke basketball forward Jayson Tatum (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Former Duke basketball standout Jayson Tatum was moved to the bench for Team USA. 

After a stunning loss in their Olympic opener, former Duke basketball sensation Jayson Tatum and Team USA looked to rebound against Iran early Wednesday morning.

In a game that started just after midnight on the East Coast, head coach Greg Popovich tweaked his starting lineup, moving Tatum and Draymond Green to the bench in favor of Devin Booker and Jrue Holiday.

Despite the move to the bench, the former Blue Devil logged 17 minutes, and his shooting numbers improved, finishing the 120-66 victory with a 5-for-11 performance.

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The two-time NBA All-Star posted 14 points, four rebounds, two assists, and a block but did struggle shooting from 3-point range once again, going just 2-for-7.

Tatum also made both of his free throw attempts in the victory.

Jayson Tatum’s 14 points were the third most for Team USA on Wednesday, only trailing Damian Lillard’s 21 points and Devin Booker’s 16 points.

Through two games in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Tatum is averaging 11.5 points and 2.5 rebounds per game while shooting 40.0-percent from the floor yet just 25.0-percent from beyond the arc.

Former Duke basketball standout still with big games looming this week

While the Americans can sleep calmly after registering their first victory of the Olympics, there is still work to be done in order to advance to the quarterfinals.

Team USA will play its final group stage game on Saturday, July 31 at 8:00am EST against the Czech Republic, and the winner of Saturday’s game will advance to the knockout round while the loser could see its dream of a gold medal come crashing to an end.

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The Czech Republic defeated Iran in its first game of Group A pool play, 84-78, before falling to France on Wednesday, 97-77.

All USA Basketball games can be seen on NBC’s streaming platform, Peacock.

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