• 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.

    Today’s Results

    Men’s

    France 76 vs. Serbia 75
    USA 98 vs. Australia 88
    Venezuela vs. China

    Women’s

    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.

    Top Performers

    France Serbia
    Points De Colo 22
    Lauvergne 12
    Batum / Diaw 11
    Radujlica 16
    Bogdanovic / Teodosic 10
    Simonovic 9
    Rebounds Diaw 9
    Gobert 6
    Heurtel 4
    Jokic 6
    Bogdanovic 5
    Markovic / Radujlica / Stimac 3
    Assists Diaw 8
    Heurtel / Batum 3
    Four with 1
    Teodosic 9
    Jokic 4
    Nedovic / Bogdanovic 2

    Stray Thoughts:

    • 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

Fantasy News

  • Terry Rozier
    PG, Charlotte Hornets

    The Hornets are the latest team to re-open their facilities, with the Novant Health Training Center set to open up on Tuesday.

    With this, there are only eight teams left to open their practice courts back up, though nobody has been able to engage in any sort of team work yet. Individual workouts are better than no workouts, however, and the league appears to be getting its ducks in a row in terms of returning to play. There's still no firm timelines but things do appear to be heading in the right direction.

    Source: Charlotte Hornets

  • Jon Leuer
    PF, Milwaukee Bucks

    Jon Leuer has announced his retirement from basketball.

    Injuries completely destroyed Leuer's career, as he played in a combined 49 games over the previous two seasons with zero appearances in the 2019-20 campaign. Leuer's high point came with the Suns, where he averaged 8.5 points to go with 5.6 rebounds, 0.6 steals, 0.4 blocks and a 38.2 mark from deep. His eight-year career comes to an end, with Leuer saying that his body simply won't let him play at a high level anymore.

    Source: Jon Leuer on Instagram

  • Kyrie Irving
    PG, Brooklyn Nets

    Following Governor Andrew Cuomo's greenlight from earlier on Sunday, the Nets will reopen their practice facilities on Tuesday.

    The team will open its doors to voluntary player workouts. The team's statement went on to elaborate that they would strictly follow NBA and infectious disease expert protocols as they resume activities. It's another small step in the right direction as the NBA continues its climb towards trying to play actual games.

    Source: Malika Andrews on Twitter

  • Kemba Walker
    PG, Boston Celtics

    Kemba Walker feels that his left knee hampered him earlier this year because of all of the basketball he's played over the course of his career.

    The knee pain has been a constant this season, and Walker has missed eight games due to the injury overall. He should be fully recovered for when the season does resume at this point, and if he is able to get enough practice reps in he'll be able to avoid any restrictions whenever the league-wide shutdown is lifted.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Ante Zizic
    PF, Cleveland Cavaliers

    If Ante Zizic chooses to leave the NBA when he hits free agency this offseason, he could draw interest from Maccabi Tel Aviv.

    Zizic had a lot of success in 2016-17 when he was last in the Euro League with Darussafaka, averaging 9 points and 6.7 rebounds in under 21 minutes per game. In comparison, he's been an afterthought for the Cavs this season, only averaging 10 minutes per game. Moreover, the Cavs declined to pick up his player option for next season, and they already have plenty of options for the frontcourt between Kevin Love, Larry Nance Jr., and possibly DeAndre Drummond (player option). Maccabi will have to see how much salary flexibility they have this offseason as ticket sales are likely to take a hit in Israel next year.

    Source: Euro Hoops

  • Kevin Durant
    SF, Brooklyn Nets

    On Sunday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that professional sports teams based in New York may resume operations immediately.

    With Governor Cuomo's green light in place the Knicks and Nets are now just waiting for Adam Silver's seal of approval on getting back into there facilities. The majority of the league now has state approval to access their practice facilities and the NBA is slowly ramping up activities in hopes of resuming games in July.

    Source: Andrew Cuomo on Twitter

  • LeBron James
    SF, Los Angeles Lakers

    Ramona Shelburne of ESPN reported that the NBA has entered "exploratory conversations" with Disney on restarting the season at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.

    NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said the NBA and NBPA have discussed with Disney on restarting the season in late July. Marc Stein reported on Friday that it is looking increasingly likely that games will resume in July, and it appears that the stage for the rest of the 2019-20 season is likely to be Orlando.

    Source: ESPN

  • LaMelo Ball
    PG, International

    The Knicks have LaMelo Ball as their top-rated point guard for the 2020 NBA Draft.

    The Knicks have a need at point guard and Ball is considered the point guard with the highest upside in this draft. He had poor shooting numbers in his 12 games in the NBL this past season, shooting .250 from deep and .375 from the field. He is a gifted passer though and averaged 6.8 assists per game in 31.3 minutes, adding 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals. If Ball was drafted by the Knicks, he could help younger players RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson get easier looks. Ball will likely be given an opportunity to run the offense by the team that drafts him and he could put up big assists numbers. He also has an impressive steal rate in limited play in Australia, but his shooting percentages are a big concern.

    Source: SNY

  • Bradley Beal
    SG, Washington Wizards

    Bradley Beal’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, said “There are no Beal Sweepstakes and that’s why he re-signed with the Wizards.”

    Bartelstein continued to say “Brad re-signed with the Wizards because he wanted to stay in Washington and the Wizards wanted to keep him there.” Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reported earlier in the week that the Nets had internal discussions with the Wizards for Beal. A trade out of Washington would likely hurt Beal’s fantasy value, but it’s not worth putting too much stock into trade rumors for Beal in dynasty leagues.

    Source: Forbes

  • Jonathan Isaac
    PF, Orlando Magic

    Jonathan Isaac, who sustained a serious left knee injury in January, said his knee is "feeling strong" and that he has been squatting increasingly more weight recently.

    Isaac also said recently that he's open to returning if and when the NBA season is resumed and as long as the Magic organization is on-board with it. He has been running on an anti-gravity treadmill and indicated that his knee feels "110 percent" after more than four months of rehab. Isaac is a huge part of the Magic's future and it remains to be seen whether or not they will take the risk.

    Source: John Denton on Twitter