Nic Batum says Team USA can be beat

Moments after Team USA’s men’s basketball team fried the French yesterday, 98-71, in its Olympic opener yesterday before 12,000 at Olympic Park’s basketball arena, Nicolas Batum wasn’t convinced.

The Frenchman and rising NBA star said the American juggernaut can be beaten — not by only one Olympic club, but several.

“You have to play a 40-minute game [to do it],’’ said Batum, who plays for the Trail Blazers. “Rebound, take care of the ball and play good defense. Some team can do it. I think some team can beat them, really. Spain, Argentina, Brazil. A lot of teams can beat them.’’

Oh those French. USA looked invincible after the first quarter as it forced France into 18 turnovers and outrebounded it, 56-40, to get off to an Olympic start as sweet as fresh French pastry.

But a 27-point win against a good French club wasn’t good enough for Batum, who may want to watch when the Americans face Tunisia tomorrow in what will be the Olympics’ biggest mismatch.

– Reported by Marc Berman of the New York Post