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A Miami Heat viewer’s guide to the Tokyo Olympics: How to watch and what to know

·3 min read

Miami Heat fans have plenty to root for during the Tokyo Olympics.

That’s in part because there isn’t an NBA team with more players from their season-ending roster participating in the Olympics than the Heat. The Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Milwaukee Bucks and Dallas Mavericks each have three players in the Olympics.

Bam Adebayo will play for Team USA, and Precious Achiuwa, KZ Okpala and Gabe Vincent will represent Nigeria. Achiuwa was born and raised in Nigeria before he moved to the United States in middle school, Okpala grew up in California but was born to Nigerian parents, and Vincent also grew up in California and has a Nigerian father.

That means there will be plenty of Heat connections to follow in Tokyo. So here’s an Olympics viewer’s guide for Heat fans:

In the preliminary group stage, 12 qualifying teams are divided into three groups of four and compete in a round-robin format. Each team faces all other teams in its group once for a total of three games to decide which countries advance to the knockout rounds.

The Czech Republic, France, Iran and the United States make up Group A. Group B consists of Australia, Germany, Italy and Nigeria. And Group C includes Argentina, Japan, Slovenia and Spain.

The schedule for USA Basketball’s three games during the group stage: vs. France on Sunday at 8 a.m. (Peacock, NBCOlympics.com), vs. Iran on Wednesday at 12:40 a.m. (Peacock, NBCOlympics.com), and vs. the Czech Republic on July 31 at 8 a.m. (Peacock, NBCOlympics.com).

The schedule for Nigeria’s three games during the group stage: vs. Australia on Sunday at 4:20 a.m. (NBC Sports App, NBCOlympics.com), vs. Germany on Tuesday at 9 p.m. (NBC Sports App, NBCOlympics.com), and vs. Italy on July 31 at 12:40 a.m. (NBC Sports App, NBCOlympics.com).

Group play runs from Saturday through Aug. 1, with the teams that finish first and second in each group joining the two best third-place teams in advancing to the quarterfinals. The quarterfinal games will be played on Aug. 2 and 3, the semifinals will be played on Aug. 5, the gold medal game will be played on Aug. 6 and the bronze medal game will be played on Aug. 7.

A draw will take place following the end of the group phase to determine the quarterfinal pairings. The three group winners and the top second-place team from group play will be placed in one pot. The two remaining second-place teams and two best third-place teams are in another pot. Teams that come from the same group in the group phase will not play each other again in the quarterfinals.

Since Team USA and Nigeria aren’t in the same group, a matchup between Adebayo and his three Heat teammates isn’t possible on the Olympic stage until the quarterfinals, at the earliest.

All games will be played at Saitama Super Arena, which is about 20 miles north of Tokyo’s National Stadium, where the opening ceremony took place.

The U.S. men’s basketball team is seeking a fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal and enters the competition ranked No. 1 by FIBA. And Nigeria is looking to become the first African men’s basketball team to ever advance past the preliminary round of the Olympics.

All dates and times based on the Eastern Time Zone. Tokyo is 13 hours ahead.

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