• 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
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