• Day 6 didn’t bring the same historic development as Day 5 in Rio, but we got another full slate of close action.

    Lithuania asserted themselves as serious contenders on the back of strong team play, raining on the parade of Argentina’s Golden Generation with a bit of an upset victory. They got key contributions from a number of players and really look strong despite some momentary lapses against weaker teams earlier in the tournament. Croatia held off another tenacious showing from Brazil thanks to the scoring prowess of their most talented player while Spain finally got on the board.

    Day 6 had some goodies, so hop to it.

    Today’s Results

    Men’s

    Croatia 80 vs. Brazil 76
    Spain 96 vs. Nigeria 87
    Lithuania 81 vs. Argentina 73

    Women’s

    Turkey 74 vs. Belarus 71
    France 74 vs. Brazil 64
    Australia 92 vs. Japan 86

    Croatia 80 vs. Brazil 76

    Brazil took another opponent down to the wire but came up short, as Croatia held on for a 80 to 76 win over the hometown boys. They were once again done in by a poor second quarter, being outscored by eight in the frame. They trailed by 14 late in the third but battled back and kept Croatia within one possession for much of the closing minutes. Croatia held on thanks to some more terrific games from their NBA contingent and timely shooting to put down Brazil’s surges.

    Bojan Bogdanovic can flat out score. He poured in 33 points on 10-16 shooting while going 10-11 from the free throw line. When Croatia needed a big bucket, he was ready to deliver with nice drives, a few sneaky floaters and some nice one-on-one shots over defenders. One of his three triples was a clutch three to extend a late lead to six and keep the Brazilians at bay. Dario Saric looked really good once again, connecting on three triples and recording a nice block as part of a 15-7-3 line. Saric’s block was part of a wonderful play where he recovered the ball and fired a full court pass for an easy layup. There were a few shaky moments where the youngster got tunnel vision but was a huge part of the win today. Croatia shortened their rotation this afternoon, with only eight players appearing. It seemed to work, though there were instances where they looked fatigued and made some poor decisions.

    Leandro Barbosa had a slow start but a nice fourth quarter on his way to a team-high 16 points. His 2-7 mark from deep could use some improvement but Brazil turned to him as a scorer in the final quarter and for the most part he delivered. Marcelo Huertas looked great again today, whipping perfect passes all around the court and working the drive and kick game nicely with his array of quick dribble moves. Marquinhos (#14) was the hero against Spain but couldn’t produce a full 40 minutes today; he had a very nice first half but slowed down and finished with 12 points. Nene had a really bad shooting day, finishing with 5 points on 2-10 from the floor. While one of those was a nice long jumper to bring Brazil within 10 to close the third quarter, he’ll have to be better if Brazil wants to pick up more wins. Giovnannoni (#12) hit some big time triples to draw Brazil within three late in the fourth quarter and got the crowd going, but they couldn’t complete the comeback today.

    Top Performers

    Croatia Brazil
    Points Bogdanovic 33
    Saric 15
    Ukic 7
    Barbosa 16
    Marquinhos 12
    Giovannoni / Lima 11
    Rebounds Saric 7
    Bogdanovic 6
    Simon / Planinic 5
    Lima 6
    Garcia 4
    Four with 3
    Assists Ukic 4
    Saric / Bogdanovic /
    Babic / Simon 3
    Huertas 8
    Barbosa 3
    Nene / Lima / Garcia 2

    Stray Thoughts:

    • Saric had a few possessions where he was dead set on shooting that resulted in either a bad shot or a turnover; needs to settle down
    • Looks like the crowd got to Croatia a little bit in the 4th
    • Brazil goes on terrific short runs, particularly towards the end of quarters
    • Some really bad play in the fourth quarter; Hezonja in particular had two stupid turnovers
    • Nene had a rough shooting night but showed off some nice passing skills; that’s something that we don’t get to see from his NBA play
    • Bogdanovic blows on his fingers before every free throw
    • Croatia has sneaky versatility; Saric, Ukic (#10), Simon (#7) and Bogdanovic can all bring the ball up and break a full court press

Fantasy News

  • Willie Cauley-Stein
    C, Dallas Mavericks

    Willie Cauley-Stein made his Mavs debut on Tuesday, playing 12 minutes and putting up four points (2-for-4 FGs), three rebounds, one assist and two steals.

    It's hard to tell how much WCS will play normally as this game was a blowout that was decided in the third quarter. Even with Dwight Powell (right Achilles surgery) out, the Mavs have too many bigs to be playing WCS more than backup minutes.

  • Deandre Ayton
    C, Phoenix Suns

    Deandre Ayton was incredible on Tuesday, scoring 31 points on an ultra-efficient 13-for-15 from the field and 5-for-5 from the stripe, while also adding nine rebounds, one assist, two steals and one block in 29 minutes as the Suns blew out the Mavs 133-104.

    Ayton's sample size (17 games) is getting big enough to begin to trust for the season. He's now in the top-30/15 (8-cat/9-cat) with no reason to think he can't keep it up. It looks like we're not going to get any 3-point attempts added to Ayton's game this season, but it's certainly not unrealistic for future seasons.

  • Devin Booker
    SG, Phoenix Suns

    Devin Booker was great on Tuesday in a blowout win over the Mavs, putting up 32 points on 12-of-20 shooting, six rebounds, nine assists, two steals and two 3-pointers in 31 minutes.

    Booker continues to shoot the lights out and is a top-5 player for the past month. He's fantasy's best free throw shooter over that period after factoring in his 9.8 attempts per game. It'll be tough for him to keep up the efficiency, but Booker could easily bring back some more threes and/or finally increase his steals to stay in the top-20 even with a drop in percentages.

  • Mikal Bridges
    SF, Phoenix Suns

    Mikal Bridges was efficient after moving into the Suns starting lineup on Tuesday, going for 13 points (4-of-5 FGs, 4-of-4 FTs), two rebounds, six assists, two steals, one block and one 3-pointer in 34 minutes in a win over the Mavs.

    Bridges is definitely worth an add in 9-cat leagues. He's excellent in steals and also had zero turnovers in this game, with that category also being one of his specialties. Bridges won't stand out, but he's in the top-75 in 9-cat leagues over the past month and stands to make gains with this new larger role.

  • Duncan Robinson
    F, Miami Heat

    Duncan Robinson hit four more 3-pointers to go with 12 points, five rebounds and two assists in 39 minutes in a loss to the Celtics on Tuesday.

    Robinson makes it seven games in a row with at least four 3-pointers. It shouldn't be surprising to see him doing this on a nightly basis, but it's hard to expect a player like this to keep up his pace. Robinson is 11th in 3-pointers per game for the season and 7th for the past month.

  • Bam Adebayo
    C, Miami Heat

    Bam Adebayo double-doubled with 16 points (7-of-11 FGs), 10 rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block in 33 minutes in a 101-109 home loss to the Celtics on Tuesday.

    Adebayo skimped on the assists this time, but it's tough to complain about another performance this well-rounded and efficient. He even hit both of his free throws tonight. By the way, if you're a free-throw punter, Bam is the 18th-most-valuable player to you in 9-cat leagues (compared to 41st overall).

  • Goran Dragic
    PG, Miami Heat

    Goran Dragic posted a team-high 23 points (6-of-14 FGs, 10-of-11 FTs) with two boards, four dimes, two swipes and a trey in 30 minutes in a loss to the Celtics on Tuesday.

    Dragic has been little more than a low-end assists and threes source this season. This still gives the 33-year-old value in standard leagues given the scarcity of assists. However, if you do rely on Dragic as one of your starters and you find yourself hurting in steals and rebounds, that may be part of the reason why.

  • Daniel Theis
    PF, Boston Celtics

    Daniel Theis was productive once again on Tuesday, double-doubling with 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting, 11 rebounds, one assist, one steal and two blocks in 30 minutes against the Heat.

    With the other Celtics' bigs struggling to stay healthy, Theis has surprisingly provided top-60 value in 9-cat leagues over the last month. He's a must-start player while Enes Kanter (right hip contusion) remains out, but he'll likely be back in the streamer class after that.

  • Jaylen Brown
    SG, Boston Celtics

    Jaylen Brown had a strong performance on Tuesday with 25 points (10-of-16 FGs), three rebounds, five assists, one block and four 3-pointers in 41 minutes in a 109-101 win over the Heat.

    Brown hasn't been quite as valuable lately as he was earlier in the season, but it may not be tough to rectify. His shooting percentages have each fluctuated throughout his season (and his career) and one would expect them to settle at some point. Also, if he could ever get his block numbers up, which doesn't seem unrealistic, Brown could move into early-round territory.

  • Gordon Hayward
    SF, Boston Celtics

    Gordon Hayward had an efficient night on Tuesday, shooting 10-for-14 from the field and 8-for-10 from the line on his way to a line of 29 points, nine rebounds, two assists, one block and one 3-pointer in 38 minutes vs. the Heat.

    Hayward was great in this one. His drafters are getting a great return on their investment, seeing as Hayward sits just inside the top-50 for the season. Look for more of the same as the second half rolls on.