• 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

  • 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

  • Stephen Curry
    PG, Golden State Warriors

    Certain NBA franchises in highly-restricted areas due to COVID-19 are inquiring with league officials about heading straight to the proposed "bubbles" rather than heading to an alternate location to train, completing a quarantine, then going to the bubble and completing a second quarantine period, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.

    The idea behind this is to avoid quarantining twice, first for a training period and then for again when they reach the bubble. Since players on these teams are (theoretically) already under heavy self-quarantine restrictions, this could potentially come to fruition. It seems like a realistic proposition at this point, although everything is still in a planning stage as far as an NBA return is concerned. Only time will tell and there are rumblings that teams are preparing to recall the majority of their players on or around June 1. It seems like some definitive announcements might finally be somewhat imminent.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • LeBron James
    SF, Los Angeles Lakers

    According to Marc Stein, NBA teams are likely going to be limited to "bring (roughly) 35 players/coaches/staff into a 'campus' environment if the 2019-20 season…resumes in July."

    The continuation of the season is looking increasingly likely to happen in July. Those travel parties of 35, notably, have not mentioned the players' families (or anybody's family members, for that matter). There will undoubtedly be further developments as the situation materializes.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter

  • Donovan Mitchell
    SG, Utah Jazz

    Jerry Sloan, former coach of the Jazz and a member of the Hall-of-Fame (as a coach), passed away at the age of 78 on Friday due to complications in his battle against Parkinson's Disease.

    Before his illustrious career on the sidelines as a coach for the Jazz, Sloan had a solid run as a player. He made two All-Star games and was a six-time All-Defensive selection. As a coach, he racked up 1,223 victories and an impressive total of 20 playoff berths. Sloan guided the Jazz to back-to-back NBA Finals appearances in the late 1990s with a roster headlined by Karl Malone and John Stockton. Unfortunately for the Jazz, they were twice beaten by Michael Jordan and the Bulls in their final two titles of the "second three-peat," which is a hot topic of conversation at the moment with the final two episodes of the Jordan documentary "The Last Dance" (where Sloan is featured throughout) airing just last Sunday. Rest in peace, Jerry Sloan.

    Source: NBA.com

  • Alexey Shved
    G, International

    Spanish national basketball coach Sergio Scariolo feels that Alexey Shved will receive offers to return to the NBA this offseason.

    Shved is currently playing in Russia where he is the focal point of Khimki, but the possibility remains that the 31-year-old may want to test himself against NBA competition before his body gets past its prime. For what it's worth, Scariolo predicted that Shved would stay in Russia where he is already comfortable.

    Source: Sportsando

  • LeBron James
    SF, Los Angeles Lakers

    Marc Stein is reporting that teams are being told they'll be able to bring a total of 35 people into a "campus" environment if the season resumes.

    The 35-person party is a rough estimate at this time. Stein noted that NBA travel parties routinely exceed 50 individuals, indicating that this will not be a simple arrangement to plan for. Players, coaches and staff will all go into that figure. Stein also mentioned that it is increasingly expected that the season will resume in July. We still have a long way until the calendar gets there, but the NBA clearly has this goal in mind.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter

  • Jonathan Isaac
    PF, Orlando Magic

    Jonathan Isaac shared that his sprained left knee is feeling strong as he continues to rehab the 4-month old injury.

    Isaac's rehab has been going smoothly to date, and he also put his highest squat rack weight up since sustaining the injury. Moreover, Isaac appeared on an anti-gravity treadmill for the first time this week. Everything is still heading in the right direction, indicating that the playoffs are still a possibility if Isaac's rehab continues going well.

    Source: John Denton on Twitter