Another day of olympic basketball is in the books. Team USA marches on even after looking weirdly vulnerable in the first half thanks to looking nigh unstoppable in the second. Luol Deng and Great Britain narrowly lost to a solid Brazil team and could easily have won had Deng not seemingly forgotten how to make shots for much of the game. But now we should get to the other games.
USA 110, Tunisia 63
Having already given you an overview above, I’ll let my colleagues give you the details. Just know that Anthony Davis’ performance in that game would have had me on the New Orleans Hornets bandwagon faster than Usain Bolt fleeing from police if I hadn’t jumped on quite some time ago. I’ve been on so long that I’ve been driving it for the last few days. Please, climb aboard! The more the merrier! Especially with what’s been going on with the Bulls lately.
Brazil 67, Great Britain 62
Again, I gave you the overview, but you should go read this if you want details.
Russia 73, China 54
Russia is starting to feel like they could be a dark horse medal contender. They’ve got some NBA talent; Andrei Kirilenko, Timofey Mozgov of the Denver Nuggets (who is, of course, most famous for being rudely introduced to Blake Griffin’s crotch back in 2010), former Bull Victor Khryapa, Sasha Kaun and Minnesota Timberwolves signee Alexy Shved all play for them and combined for 60 of their 73 points. Admittedly, China isn’t exactly a juggernaut, but they destroyed Great Britain, who then looked pretty competent against Brazil. So although it’s unlikely to amount to much, there’s a lot to like about Russia. Well, their basketball team, anyway.
This was pretty much a cakewalk. Russia trailed 4-3 around the 8 minute mark in the fourth quarter before taking a 5-4 lead shortly thereafter. They wouldn’t trail again. Yi Jianlian scored 16 points for China but got basically zero help.
Spain 82, Australia 70
Spain is generally considered to be the main threat to the US’s gold medal aspirations, so a 12 point victory over lowly Australia seems kind of disappointing. But take out a rough finish to the first quarter and a fourth quarter that was basically 100% garbage time, and you see a slightly different story. After trailing by five at the end of the first, Spain hit the afterburners and left Australia eating its dust. Over the second and third quarters, they outscored Australia by a combined 49-23. That’s more like it.
Pau Gasol scored 20 points in just 18 minutes to lead Spain and Rudy Fernandez added 17 on 6/7 shooting. Australia featured Patty Mills, Joe Ingles and Brad Newley in double figures, but shot just 37 percent as a team and got outrebounded by 17.
Lithuania 72, Nigeria 53
Lithuania rebounded from a rough first showing by beating down an overmatch Nigerian squad that shout just 24% from the field. No, I’m not making that up. Actually, that stat just makes me sad, so we’re gonna go ahead and move on.
France 71, Argentina 64
Don’t sleep on France. They may have been dismissed easily by the US, but they’re another team to keep an eye on. Tony Parker didn’t shoot well, but he’s still probably the best non-US point guard in the olympics. And that matters a lot in olympic basketball.
Argentina got 26 points from Parker’s NBA teammate Manu Ginobili and 16 from Luis Scola, but nobody else stepped up. France, on the other hand, had five guys in double figures. Argentina is still a legitimate contender, but they’re going to need more from people who are not Ginobili/Scola.