• The day kicked off with a huge rivalry game that delivered on its promise of drama and excitement. Spain looked like Spain but they might’ve gotten an assist from a lifeless effort out of the entire Lithuanian team. Croatia overestimated their opponent and fell apart after a strong start, allowing Nigeria to get in the win column after playing well for most of the tournament.

    Group B got even more muddled today, so dive in for the details.

    Today’s Results

    Men’s

    Argentina 111 vs. Brazil 107 (2OT)
    Spain 109 vs. Lithuania 59
    Nigeria 90 vs. Croatia 76

    Women’s

    Australia 74 vs. Belarus 66
    Turkey 79 vs. Brazil 76 (2OT)
    Japan 79 vs. France 71

    Argentina 111 vs. Brazil 107 (2OT)

    Argentina hung on for dear life in what was undoubtedly the game of the tournament so far. Argentina got out to a quick start before being throttled by the Brazilians in the second quarter that began with a 24-8 run. Brazil looked to be in good position to take home a victory before Andres Nocioni hit a game-tying three pointer in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter. The two teams played to a stalemate in the first overtime before Argentina ripped off an 8-0 run to start the second session that proved too much to overcome. This game had some ugly moments but was a complete roller coaster- tons of swings, big shots and missed opportunities that were only heightened by a tremendous crowd that was out in full force for a major international rivalry game.

    Argentina received an all-time performance from Andres Nocioni. He carried Argentina when they had nothing going on and hit the clutch triple to send the game to overtime. He finished with 37 points, 11 rebounds and 7 triples on 11-19 from the field. He came up big all night long before fouling out in the extra sessions. Facundo Campazzo (#7) also brought his A game today, notching 33-4-11 with 4 steals and 5 triples of his own. He was the sole contributor in the Argentinia backcourt and joined Nocioni in the big shot parade to erase a 6 point Brazil lead in the final minutes of the fourth. He got some tunnel vision in double overtime but was really the only reliable scoring threat beyond Nocioni and Luis Scola. Scola pitched in 14 and 10 before fouling out and the team really seemed to struggle when he was on the bench in regulation. Patricio Garino (#29) also had 5 big points in the second overtime on a three and a clutch offensive putback after Campazzo missed a runner.

    Manu Ginobili was generally bad today. He made just 4-14 from the field while going 0-8 from deep and 5-10 from the free throw line. He hoisted up a number of bad shots that threatened to end Argentina’s day early and there were a few instances where he totally fell asleep on the defensive end and got lucky when Brazil missed open looks and easy shots. And yet Manu stepped up in the game’s closing seconds, grabbing an offensive rebound off of a missed free throw and sinking two of his own to extend the lead to four with just 2.6 seconds left. It was mostly a game to forget for Ginobili, but you can’t deny his impeccable sense of timing.

    Brazil roared back to lead for almost the entirety of the final three quarters on the back of Nene. After some nondescript games out of the forward, Brazil decided to use him to attack Luis Scola down low and it paid off in a big way. A 24-11 line led the way in a great day for Nene. Brazil’s massive second quarter was led from the bench, as Vitor Benite (#8) shot 5-6 in the quarter to pour in all 13 of his points. Giovannoni (#12) connected for 10 points of his own while former Pelican Alex Garcia (#10) went for 14-8-3. Brazil got tons of contributions from all over the roster in a game that was right there for the taking.

    Leandro Barbosa was downright awful for the first 45 minutes of action. Reduced to a spectator role, Barbosa returned in double overtime after changing into his Brazilian Blur supersuit. He scored Brazil’s first 11 points in the frame and kept Argentina from pulling away after they opened with an 8-0 run of their own. Some earlier contributions might’ve been helpful but there’s no denying that he delivered late. Marcelo Huertas fouling out in overtime was the beginning of the end for Brazil, as Raul Neto couldn’t inspire the same ball movement that worked to exploit Brazil’s size advantage down low. The offense dried up until Barbosa took over. Brazil could’ve really helped out their medal round chances with a win but might have to hope for outside help now.

    I encourage you to find a replay of this game if possible. NBC Olympics has free replays on their website if you’re in the States. This was a classic game that deserves a second look from anyone who considers themselves a basketball fan.

    Top Performers

    Argentina Brazil
    Points Nocioni 37
    Campazzo 33
    Scola 14
    Nene 24
    Huertas / Garcia 14
    Benite 13
    Rebounds Nocioni 11
    Scola 10
    Garino / Campazzo 4
    Nene 11
    Garcia 8
    Giovannoni 6
    Assists Campazzo 11
    Ginobili 4
    Four with 1
    Neto 4
    Huertas/Marquinhos/Garcia 3
    Nene 2

    Stray Thoughts:

    • Brazil has a clear size advantage; Argentina made them pay with threes but it’s an area that they’ll need to shore up with strong team defense
    • Huertas knows how to maximize every screen; such a smart player
    • Huge first half from Brazil’s bench
    • Brazil just 4/19 in Q4; couldn’t capitalize on 5 Argentina turnovers in the quarter
    • Marquinhos had a really rough game; travel in 2OT, missed free throw in OT, some poor shots and sloppy ball control
    • Ginobili and Scola missed key free throws; Ginobili in particular is having a tough time at the stripe so far in Rio
    • Campazzo got some tunnel vision late but was sensational for most of the game
    • 2 big offensive rebounds; one that led to Nocioni’s game tying shot in Q4 and Ginobili off Delfino’s 0/2 free throws at the end of the game
    • Garcia has a weird looking shot; his feet turn perpendicular to the shot, if that makes sense
    • Garcia didn’t box out on that final free throw; huge mistake at the worst time

Fantasy News

  • Mitchell Robinson
    C, New York Knicks

    Knicks owner James Dolan tested positive for Coronavirus on Saturday.

    Dolan is in self-isolation and fortunately has "little to no symptoms". The Knicks' press release said that Dolan "continues to oversee business operations" which is hopefully, a good indicator that Dolan is feeling well.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter

  • Paul Reed
    SF, College

    Paul Reed declared for the 2020 NBA Draft on Saturday.

    The junior small forward out of Depaul was named to the All-Big East Second Team this past season while averaging 15.1 points, 10.7 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 2.6 blocks. Reed is likely to be drafted late in the first round. He was an efficient scorer in college (51.6 percent from the field in 2019-20) and if his shooting, rebounding and defensive stats translate to the NBA he could be a sneaky fantasy value. Keep an eye on Reed next season in case he is in a role where he can get minutes in the upper-20s.

    Source: Paul Reed on Twitter

  • Zeke Nnaji
    PF, College

    According to CBS' Jon Rothstein, Arizona Wildcat power forward Zeke Nnaji will declare for the 2020 NBA draft.

    Nnaji is a potential late first-round pick in the draft, given that it's a guard-heavy field and some teams may be in the market for some size. That said, it's far too early to make any hard predictions and draft boards remain fluid. With averages of 16.1 points and 8.6 rebounds per game on .570 shooting from the field, Nnaji has the base to be a fantasy-friendly big man, should he earn meaningful minutes on the team that eventually takes him.

    Source: Jon Rothstein on Twitter

  • Aaron Nesmith
    SF, College

    Vanderbilt player Aaron Nesmith has announced that he will be entering the 2020 NBA Draft.

    Nesmith, whose 2019-20 NCAA season was cut short by foot surgery, will be foregoing his junior year in order to join the draft. He's 6'6" and weighs in at 213 pounds. Playing small forward for Vanderbilt, Nesmith posted averages of 23 points and 4.9 rebounds while shooting 52 percent from beyond the arc in the 14 games he managed to play.

    Source: ESPN

  • Killian Hayes
    SG, International

    Killian Hayes, a highly touted 18-year old point guard who has played three years professionally in France and Germany, has declared for the 2020 NBA draft after submitting the paperwork to the NBA league office.

    Measuring in at 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds, Hayes has been on scouts' radars for quite some time after riding some very impressive YouTube highlight videos to prospect relevancy. In his most recent season, with ratiopharm Ulm in Germany, Hayes averaged 12.8 PTS, 6.2 AST, 2.3 REB and 1.5 STL while seeing his NBA draft stock rise as a result. He is a very talented shooter and it is seemingly more and more likely that Hayes will see his name called in the lottery when draft night arrives.

    Source: ESPN.com

  • Patrick Williams
    SF, College

    Patrick Williams, a 6-foot-8, 225-pound small forward out of Florida State, has declared for the 2020 NBA draft after a shortened freshman season off the bench, averaging 9.2 PTS, 4.0 REB and 1.0 AST while not starting a single game for a deep Seminoles squad.

    The intriguing aspect of Williams' draft aspirations lies in his dimensions; particularly his 7-foot wingspan. He had modest numbers but that can largely be attributed to how deep their rotation was in 2019-20, similar to fellow 'Nole Devin Vassell, who also declared for the draft recently. Williams has incredible athleticism and has made himself into an intriguing prospect who could find himself landing in the first round if his draft stock maintains momentum.

    Source: Patrick Williams on Twitter

  • Rudy Gobert
    C, Utah Jazz

    The Utah Department of Health has cleared both Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, meaning they no longer pose a risk of infection to others.

    Both Gobert and Mitchell tested positive for COVID-19, and although Gobert mentioned that he briefly lost his senses of taste and smell, the duo seems to be fully recovered. This is great news as we wait for word on when or if the NBA season will be able to continue.

    Source: Tim Bontemps on Twitter

  • Reggie Bullock
    SG-SF, New York Knicks

    Reggie Bullock will likely return to the Knicks for another season, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post.

    If the Knicks chose not to bring back Bullock for next year, the team would suffer a $1M cap hit. That means that bringing him back for another season will only have a cap hit of $3.2M. That amount is only 2 percent of the projected salary cap for next season. The Knicks appear to be focused on creating cap flexibility for future years in the hopes that they can land some big-name free agents. Continue to monitor this situation as it develops but it appears likely that Bullock will be in a Knicks uniform for at least one more season.

    Source: The New York Post

  • Damyean Dotson
    SG, New York Knicks

    According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, Damyean Dotson's time with the Knicks could come to an end after this season and the Jazz, Bucks and Warriors are among the teams that are expected to have interest in signing Dotson for the 2020-21 campaign.

    Dotson saw his role with the Knicks evaporate towards the end of the season as he received a DNP-CD for eight of the Knicks' final nine contests. Interim head coach, Mike Miller, chose to play veterans Wayne Ellington and Reggie Bullock over the 25-year-old that they drafted in the second round of the 2017 draft. Dotson will look to land in a situation that will give him a more consistent role as a three-and-D wing as he enters his fourth season in the association.

    Source: The New York Post

  • Malik Fitts
    SF, College

    Malik Fitts announced on Twitter that he is declaring for the 2020 NBA Draft.

    Fitts was the second leading scorer for a Saint Marys' team that was top-10 in offensive efficiency. He averaged 16.5 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.4 steals while shooting .472 from the field and .408 from beyond the arc. Fitts is an under-the-radar draft prospect who will likely be a second-round pick at best. He is likely to have a limited role if he makes an NBA roster next season, but his 3-point efficiency and steals are two fantasy skills that translate well from college to the pros. He could be a threes and steals specialist if he gets minutes in the upper-20s.

    Source: Malik Fitts on Twitter