• 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

Fantasy News

  • Jahlil Okafor
    C, New Orleans Pelicans

    Jahlil Okafor (lower back soreness) is available on Wednesday vs. the Spurs.

    Okafor is returning from injury on Wednesday along with teammates Derrick Favors and Zion Williamson. The Pelicans' front court just got crowded and Jaxson Hayes, Nicolo Melli and Okafor will struggle to have standard-league value with everyone healthy. Hayes is a luxury stash and the other two players can be left on the waiver wire.

    Source: Pelicans PR on Twitter

  • Josh Hart
    SG, New Orleans Pelicans

    Josh Hart (left ankle) is listed as available on Wednesday.

    Hart has played 30 minutes in seven out of the past eight games but only played 17 minutes in the last game with Jrue Holiday returning. The Pelicans' rotations got even more crowded with Zion Williamson returning on Wednesday. Hart is someone to watch while the Pelicans figure out their rotations, but don't hesitate to drop him in standard leagues if he plays low minutes and has a dud on Wednesday.

    Source: Pelicans PR on Twitter

  • Derrick Rose
    PG, Detroit Pistons

    Derrick Rose twisted his ankle on Wednesday but remained in the game.

    Rose tweaked his ankle but ran it off and stayed in the game. He appears to be fine.

    Source: Vince Ellis on Twitter

  • Draymond Green
    PF, Golden State Warriors

    Draymond Green (illness) is available to play on Wednesday after missing the past two games.

    Green missed Friday's game with a sprained finger and Sunday's game with an illness. Green will continue to be frustrating to own with these missed games becoming more common. He's also a shutdown risk and owners should try to sell-high once Green gets a few good stat lines in a row.

    Source: Connor Letourneau on Twitter

  • Jrue Holiday
    PG, New Orleans Pelicans

    Jrue Holiday (left elbow tricep strain) will start on Wednesday vs. the Spurs.

    Holiday put up 36 points with seven threes in his return from his left elbow strain on Monday. Holiday will take a slight hit with Zion Williamson returning, but he should be a top-40 player still.

    Source: Pelicans PR on Twitter

  • Aaron Holiday
    PG, Indiana Pacers

    Aaron Holiday (sore right thumb) is available to play on Wednesday against the Suns.

    Holiday has lost his run of standard-league value since the return of Malcolm Brogdon and Victor Oladipo's (knee rehab) return will also put a dent in Holiday's value. Holiday is just a name to remember for when the Pacers' are short-handed at the guard position.

  • Derrick Favors
    PF, New Orleans Pelicans

    Derrick Favors will return and start on Wednesday after missing one game with lower back soreness.

    Favors has been producing mid-round value while he's on the court. His injuries have been the only thing holding him back. Favors will likely take a slight hit with Zion Williamson returning on Wednesday, but he should continue to start on keep standard-league value. His return combined with Zion returning is a big blow to Jaxson Hayes' value and Hayes moves to being a luxury stash only in standard-leagues.

    Source: Jennifer Hale on Twitter

  • Terance Mann
    PG, Los Angeles Clippers

    Terance Mann left Wednesday's game briefly with a cut lip but was able to return.

    Mann got the start on Wednesday with Patrick Beverley, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George out. Those who started him in DFS will be pleased to see he's back in the game.

    Source: John Hollinger on Twitter

  • Patrick McCaw
    SG, Toronto Raptors

    Patrick McCaw was hit in the face on Wednesday and will not return with a facial contusion.

    McCaw failed to record a stat in less than a minute of playing time. His absence has little fantasy impact.

    Source: Tim Bontemps on Twitter

  • Zion Williamson
    PF, New Orleans Pelicans

    Zion Williamson (right knee surgery) will start in his regular season debut for the Pelicans on Wednesday.

    Williamson will probably be on a minutes restriction and Coach Gentry said he would be used in "short bursts". Zion may take some time to ramp up, but his upside is tantalizing.

    Source: Brad Turner on Twitter