• Team USA skittered by again, barely beating a well-oiled Serbian basketball machine. Their hot start looked like the US we expected to see but Serbia got some tremendous performances from their big names and pushed Team USA to the brink of defeat. The other two men’s games were easy blowouts while the American women asserted their dominance against a surprisingly effective defensive team.

    Without further ado, here’s the story from Day 7.

    Today’s Results

    Men’s

    Australia 93 vs. China 68
    USA 94 vs. Serbia 91
    France 96 vs. Venezuela 56

    Women’s

    Serbia 80 vs. China 72
    USA 81 vs. Canada 51
    Spain 97 vs. Senegal 43

    Australia 93 vs. China 68

    I missed most of the first quarter, but was still surprised to see Australia struggle to pull away from China quickly even without Andrew Bogut in this one. This was a three point game after one but the Aussies pulled away without too much struggle. If anything we got an opportunity to look at a different set of Australian players; the talent wasn’t the same but the offensive principles were still in place in a fairly easy win.

    Joe Ingles made some nice passes in an otherwise quiet game while Matthew Dellavedova racked up eight more assists and committed no turnovers in another flawless performance. His perma-irritant skills weren’t needed today but he still was in total control of the offense. The Aussies did well to limit the minutes of their starters and kept both Delly and Patty Mills under 20 minutes today. Cameron Bairstow had a pretty nice showing with 17 and 9 while the Beast Incarnate, Brrrrock Motum (#14) netted 15 points in 16 minutes. Aron Baynes missed an easy look or two around the bucket but still played well in an extended look.

    China was once again led by Yi; 20 and 9 on 9-18 from the field. He’s looked pretty good in Rio and hopefully puts himself back on the NBA radar. Guo Ailun (#6) was hyperactive as well, using his quickness to move around the court with and without the ball. He went for 11 points with 5 assists but shot just 3-10 and turned the ball over 5 times as well. It was a mixed bag but he looks like one of the only Chinese players that can get his own shot. Zhelin Wang (#31) looked awful for the second straight game. It’s disappointing since he appeared to be one of China’s best second tier scoring options, and that lack of consistent depth will prevent China from making too much noise on the international scene.

    Top Performers

    Australia China
    Points Bairstow 17
    Motum 15
    Broekhoff/Baynes/Andersen 12
    Yi 20
    Guo 11
    Zhou / Ding 8
    Rebounds Bairstow 9
    Baynes 4
    Andersen / Motum / Mills 3
    Yi 9
    Qi 3
    Zhou / Zou / Guo 2
    Assists Dellavedova 8
    Lisch 6
    Goulding / Ingles 4
    Guo 5
    Zhao 4
    Qi 3

    Stray Thoughts:

    • Probably a good game to rest Bogut; Australia has played the toughest group schedule so far and only has Venezuela left on the docket so they can make up ground if there’s a catastrophic loss today
    • Got a nice look at Aron Baynes and Cam Bairstow in more prominent roles; Australia obviously suffered without Bogut but they looked fine
    • High usage be damned, let’s get Yi a tryout with somebody
    • Delly with a neat little no-look flip pass in the lane at the end of Q3
    • David Andersen with some more nice offensive play; sneaky mid-range game
    • The ball movement obviously wasn’t the same without Bogut but they still broke China’s defense with relative ease; 56% shooting
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