• 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

  • Ricky Rubio - G - Utah Jazz

    Ricky Rubio put up 17 points with four rebounds, nine assists and four steals in a loss to the Rockets in Game 2 on Wednesday.

    He shot 7-of-17 from the field and had the unfortunate matchup against James Harden for much of this game. Harden hit him with a crossover that sent Rubio to the floor, but he missed the shot. The Jazz have been getting good performances from Rubio and Derrick Favors, but the inconsistent play from the remainder of their roster has left them with a two-game series deficit. The Jazz are heading back to Utah for Game 3 as they will try to steal their first game of the series.

  • Donovan Mitchell - G - Utah Jazz

    Donovan Mitchell had another poor shooting night as he went 5-of-18 from the field on his way to 11 points in a Game 2 blowout loss to the Rockets on Wednesday.

    Mitchell shot just 1-of-8 from 3-point territory and 0-of-2 from the stripe. He also had five fouls and four turnovers while playing a team-high 37 minutes. He did add six assists and two steals, but this was a disappointing performance from the second-year rising star. Eric Gordon has been outshining him, but Mitchell has a chance to rectify things as the Jazz head home for Game 3.

  • Derrick Favors - F/C - Utah Jazz

    Derrick Favors played well in his 22 minutes of action in a Game 2 loss to the Rockets on Wednesday, with 14 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks.

    Although Favors is putting up good numbers in such limited minutes, you should not expect to see him go above 25 minutes at all in this series. He shot 7-of-11 from the field and missed both of his attempts from deep. Also, the Rockets play a lot of small ball as PJ Tucker is their power forward, so Favors is often at a defensive disadvantage when on the court.

  • Rudy Gobert - C - Utah Jazz

    Rudy Gobert did not have a great showing in Wednesday's Game 2 loss to the Rockets as he managed just 11 points and 12 rebounds on 3-of-6 shooting.

    He made five of his seven attempts from the stripe and added one assist and two steals to the stat sheet. He did not record a block in this one which is rare to see from Gobert as he averaged 2.3 blocks per game on the season. Clint Capela has been defending Gobert well, which is making things a lot tougher on the Jazz to score and rebound the ball. Gobert will look to bounce back as the Jazz head home for Game 3.

  • Royce O'Neale - F - Utah Jazz

    Royce O'Neale played well on Wednesday in a Game 2 blowout loss to the Rockets as he had 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting with three triples and four assists.

    O'Neale stepped up as Joe Ingles managed just seven points on 3-of-8 shooting with five steals. He saw 27 minutes of action in this one after seeing just 15 minutes in Game 1. He has guarded James Harden on numerous possessions thus far and it seems as though Harden goes at him every chance he gets. This may be the best game we see from O'Neale all series, but he has given the Jazz some solid run off the bench thus far.

  • James Harden - G - Houston Rockets

    James Harden dominated the Jazz in Game 2 on Wednesday as he triple-doubled with 32 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.

    Aside from his eight turnovers, there was not much to complain about Harden’s performance. Rather, there were elements of Harden’s showing that deserve high praise such as his six triples, one block and toughness throughout the entire game. He would not back down from Ricky Rubio and actually crossed him up in the first half. The Beard is continuing his MVP-like season into the playoffs, which is no surprise given how truly great his 2018-19 campaign was.

  • Chris Paul - G - Houston Rockets

    Chris Paul put up 17 points on 5-of-11 shooting with two steals and two blocks in a blowout win over the Jazz on Wednesday.

    He made just one of his six 3-point attempts and turned the ball over six times. However, he did add four rebounds and three assists to the box score as well. James Harden is clearly the dominating force for the Rockets, but Paul's stability will be crucial for the team to continue their playoff success.

  • Eric Gordon - G - Houston Rockets

    Eric Gordon outplayed Donovan Mitchell once again in Game 2 as the Rockets beat the Jazz 118-98 on Wednesday.

    Gordon scored 16 points on an efficient 6-of-11 shooting and 3-of-6 shooting from long-range. He also contributed one rebound, two steals and one block to the stat sheet. Gordon is tasked with guarding Mitchell, which is the toughest defensive assignment on the Rockets and he is thriving in that role. He has held him to 30 points on 37 shots in the series thus far. This series could potentially end in four games if Gordon continues to play at this high of a level.

  • PJ Tucker - F - Houston Rockets

    PJ Tucker drilled four triples on his way to 16 points in a blowout win over the Jazz in Game 2 on Wednesday.

    He added two steals and four boards while converting five of his eight shots from the field. The Rockets have confidence in Tucker to fire from deep and he proved them right as he drilled four of his seven attempts from 3-point territory. Surrounding James Harden with 3-and-D wing players has been their formula for success and Tucker fits that mold perfectly. When Tucker is hitting his shots, the Rockets are likely to dominate the way they did tonight.

  • Clint Capela - C - Houston Rockets

    Clint Capela did not have to do much in the Rockets’ Game 2 blowout win over the Jazz on Wednesday as he had just seven points and 10 rebounds with three blocks.

    He shot 3-of-4 from the field and added one assist and one steal to the box score. Although the numbers were down in this one, he did what he had to do in his 29 minutes of action as he kept Rudy Gobert in check as well. Capela is an important cog in the Rockets’ formula for success, so even when he is not scoring as much he is still impacting the game in other ways.