August 10, 2016, 8:49 pm
The game of the day was undoubtedly the matchup between undefeated Australia and powerhouse Team USA. Australia controlled much of the game but a fabulous effort from Carmelo Anthony was too much to handle in the end. Melo cemented his status as one of the best Olympic basketball performers in history and surpassed LeBron James in all-time scoring today in a tremendous showing for the four-time Olympian.
After a slow start against Venezuela, the Americans got a very real scare from a tenacious Australian squad. There’ll be easier games ahead but Team USA will surely file away what they saw out of the Boomers tonight. It felt a lot like an NBA game with the big names and a sneaky tendency to lean on Iso-ball but was terrific fun throughout.
Day 5 actually gave us a trio of close games with two going down to the final possessions. Let’s check it out.
France 76 vs. Serbia 75
USA 98 vs. Australia 88
Venezuela vs. China
Spain 89 vs. China 68
USA 110 vs. Serbia 84
Canada 68 vs. Senegal 58
France 76 vs. Serbia 75
France was rolling to start, hitting their first eight shots and getting out to a 20-4 lead in the first five minutes. Serbia battled back thanks to big bench contributions from Miroslav Raduljica (#13) and Bojan Bogdanovic to trim the deficit to just four headed into halftime. The strong play carried over in the third as Serbia ended the quarter on a 14-4 run to take their first lead of the game. France wouldn’t regain the lead until Tony Parker hit a fadeaway jumper on a broken play with 31 seconds to go. Serbia had a chance but Bojan Bogdanovic pounded the air out of the ball and turned it over with a telegraphed pass with 8 seconds left. France foolishly attempted an alley-oop and the ball ended up back in Bogdanovic’s hands but his deep heave rimmed out and allowed France to escape.
France was carried early and late by Nando De Colo (#12). De Colo authored perhaps the finest individual performance of the Olympics so far with 22 points and numerous huge baskets down the stretch as well as three steals and a perfect 8-8 day from the charity stripe. He once again usurped lead guard duties from Parker, who finished with just 6 points in 21 minutes despite his late game heroics. Nicolas Batum had a great first half with 9 points but would only score 2 more the rest of the game. His late game defense on Bogdanovic was superb, as he didn’t allow Serbia’s sharpshooter any room to rise and fire. Joffrey Lauvergne chipped in with 12 points off the bench and looked good in a secondary scoring role but still has work to do as a defender. Boris Diaw was in triple double territory with 11-9-8 and ran the offense masterfully while he was on the floor. He grabbed a key offensive rebound late in the fourth and was a huge part of France’s second win of the tournament.
Serbia came out with a new look starting lineup perhaps in an attempt to take advantage of a weak French bench. Nikola Jokic started instead of leading scorer Miroslav Radujlica (#13). It’s a curious rotation decision, but maybe Serbia wanted Jokic’s range to pull Rudy Gobert out of the paint and free up Radujlica to take on weaker defenders. Jokic picked up four first half fouls but played extremely smart in the second half in grabbing some timely boards and making good passes to offset his lowly 2 point output. Radujlica was still a force, finishing a team-high +18 with 16 points on 7-9 from the floor. Milos Teodosic (#4) went for 10 points and 9 assists and helped spark a late 3rd quarter surge. Serbia did well to chip away at the lead but were done in by some poor final possessions. Bogdanovic froze in the closing seconds but did chip in three first half triples to get Serbia back in it. While they drop to 1-2 with the loss, Serbia still seems like a safe bet to advance to the medal round.
France Serbia Points De Colo 22
Batum / Diaw 11
Bogdanovic / Teodosic 10
Rebounds Diaw 9
Markovic / Radujlica / Stimac 3
Assists Diaw 8
Heurtel / Batum 3
Four with 1
Nedovic / Bogdanovic 2
- Radujlica ate Joffrey Lauvergne alive for a stretch of the fourth quarter and it’s a bit surprising that Rudy Gobert didn’t check back in earlier to wall off the paint.
- Teodosic can’t guard a lick; he’s a nice offensive player but gives everything back right away
- De Colo feasted on Teodosic late, attacking him at will and getting no resistance
- France turns the ball over way too much to be a gold medal threat
- Diaw’s passing is impeccable; he’s like a massive point guard for the French
- First half free throws; France 11-13, Serbia 1-2
- Parker was quiet but showed up in the clutch; sticking him in the corner doesn’t seem like the best way to use him but he was in the right place at the right time to nail a very tough shot in crunch time
April 20, 2019, 6:26 pmBlake Griffin - F - Detroit Pistons
Blake Griffin (left knee soreness) is feeling "much, much better" according to coach Dwane Casey and is will go through warmups to determine his status for Saturday's game.
Detroit has not been able to make the first two games of this series competitive and it would make sense for them to let him give it a go for the home crowd. Either way, the Bucks look to be in total control of this series.
Source: Keith Langlois on Twitter
April 20, 2019, 6:22 pmSpencer Dinwiddie - G - Brooklyn Nets
Spencer Dinwiddie scored 18 points with four boards and one steal in Saturday's 112-108 loss to the Sixers.
Dinwiddie continues to play well off the bench along with his fellow guards Caris LeVert and D'Angelo Russell. The Nets let this one slip away and will now have to win in Philly to keep their season alive.
April 20, 2019, 6:17 pmJarrett Allen - C - Brooklyn Nets
Jarrett Allen scored 21 points with seven rebounds, six assists, two steals and one block in Saturday's Game 4 loss to the Sixers.
Allen had a nice final stat line, but he was getting worked by Joel Embiid all game. He also had a costly turnover at the end of the game when Tobias Harris, Embiid and Ben Simmons trapped in on the block – Harris may have gotten away with a foul.
April 20, 2019, 6:10 pmD'Angelo Russell - G - Brooklyn Nets
D'Angelo Russell scored 21 points with six assists, seven boards, two steals, one block and four 3-pointers in Saturday's loss to the Sixers.
Russell played well in this game outside of his 2-for-10 shooting on two-pointers, and even hit a few clutch shots down the stretch. He continues to give the Sixers fits on offense, but the Nets came up just short in this one.
April 20, 2019, 6:04 pmCaris LeVert - G - Brooklyn Nets
Caris LeVert played 42 minutes in Saturday's Game 4 loss scoring 25 points with five rebounds, six assists, one setal and three 3-pointers.
LeVert was expected to play more in this game after only logging 23.7 minutes per game over the first three. He once again looked healthy and commanded the game at times. After watching today's game you could not have guessed he suffered a gruesome injury earlier this season.
April 20, 2019, 5:53 pmJoel Embiid - F/C - Philadelphia Sixers
Joel Embiid was unstoppable in the Sixers' Game 4 win posting 31 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists, two steals and six blocks on Saturday.
Jarrett Allen had absolutely no chance against a one-legged Embiid. He's clearly the best player on the floor in this series and the Nets will have to get creative in defending him, or hope for an injury, if they want any chance at coming down from a 3-1 deficit.
April 20, 2019, 5:49 pmTobias Harris - F - Philadelphia Sixers
Tobias Harris tallied 24 points, eight boards, six dimes, one block and one steal in 43 minutes of work in Saturday's win against the Nets in Game 4.
Harris seemed fairly quiet in this one but he still managed to come away with a great line, as he does sometimes. We'll see if he's tired for Game 5, but they will get an extra day of rest for travel.
April 20, 2019, 5:41 pmMike Scott - F - Philadelphia Sixers
Mike Scott logged 27 minutes and hit a go-ahead three with 19.7 seconds left in the game and the Sixers held the lead to take a 3-1 series lead.
Scott also grabbed eight boards in this one and played a lot down the stretch with Jimmy Butler out due to ejection. The Sixers could not get past the four or six point mark for most of the game but finally closed the gap and took the lead towards the end. This game was surely the most exciting of the playoffs so far.
April 20, 2019, 5:00 pmJimmy Butler - G/F - Philadelphia Sixers
Jimmy Butler was ejected in Game 4 in the third quarter for escalating a fight started by Jared Dudley, who was also ejected.
Butler was protecting Joel Embiid after Dudley shoved Embiid following a foul on Jarrett Allen. Butler was 4-for-6 from the field with 11 points, four boards, four assists and two steals and the Sixers will certainly miss him as they try to come back against the Nets in this one.
April 20, 2019, 4:55 pmTorrey Craig - F - Denver Nuggets
Torrey Craig will start Saturday's Game 4 over Will Barton.
This was somewhat expected as Barton has disappeared so far in the playoffs. Craig will give the Nuggets a lot of defense in the starting lineup and will hopefully let Barton do his thing off the bench.
Source: Harrison Wind on Twitter