USA Basketball

Celtics well-represented on 2020 U.S. Olympic basketball team finalist list

Celtics well-represented on 2020 U.S. Olympic basketball team finalist list

A quartet of Boston Celtics players represented USA Basketball at the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

We could see as many as five Celtics representatives at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Gordon Hayward are among the 44 finalists who could make the 2020 U.S. Men's Olympic Team.

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Here's the full list:

With five players on the list, the Celtics are tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for the most well-represented team. Walker, Smart, Tatum and Brown all made the FIBA World Cup squad, with Walker (13.4 points, 5.0 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game) leading the way for a USA team that finished a disappointing seventh.

Several American NBA stars declined to play in that tournament, though, and the Celtics' contingent should face stiffer competition to make the Olympic roster, which typically includes the best NBA talent. (None of the current Celtics were on the U.S. team that won gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.)

But Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich has spoken glowingly about each C's player on his FIBA World Cup roster -- especially Tatum -- so it's possible Boston could land one or two players on the final 12-man roster.

Team USA will announce its final roster "later this year," according to USA Basketball. Celtics fans also could see two more familiar faces at the 2020 Olympics: Daniel Theis represented Germany at the FIBA World Cup, while Vincent Poirier could suit up for France.

The 2020 Olympics begin on July 24 in Tokyo.

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Jayson Tatum (ankle) ruled out for Team USA vs France at FIBA World Cup

Jayson Tatum (ankle) ruled out for Team USA vs France at FIBA World Cup

Jayson Tatum, who is working on coming back from an ankle sprain, will reportedly went through shootaround for Team USA and is a game-time decision for their FIBA World Cup quarterfinal against France. 

Tatum suffered a left ankle sprain late in an overtime win over Turkey last week. There was uncertainty on whether he'd play again in the FIBA World Cup given the upcoming NBA season, but it appears Tatum is healthy enough to give it a go. 

This is good news for the Celtics, who will rely heavily on Tatum this season after the departures of Kyrie Irving and Al Horford. 

Team USA enters the knockout stage of the World Cup at 7 a.m. EST on Wednesday against a French team that features All-Star center Rudy Gobert and new Celtics center Vincent Poirier. The US has played well as of late thanks to the efforts of Kemba Walker and Jalyen Brown, but now is the time where's it's win or go home. 

UPDATE (7 a.m. ET): Tatum officially has been ruled out, per The New York Times' Marc Stein.

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Team USA Basketball vs. France: How to watch FIBA World Cup game

Team USA Basketball vs. France: How to watch FIBA World Cup game

Team USA aims to follow up its victory over Brazil with another impressive showing vs. France in the 2019 FIBA World Cup quarterfinal.

Celtics star Jayson Tatum (ankle) reportedly is a game-time decision after participating in shootaround. The 21-year-old suffered an ankle sprain late in USA Basketball's win over Turkey last week.

Tatum's C's teammates Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart should see significant playing time as Team USA looks to remain undefeated.

Here's how to watch Team USA vs. France

When: Wednesday, Sept. 11, 7:00 a.m. ET
TV: ESPN 2
Live stream: ESPN+

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