• This was the final day of the group stage in Rio and the three games on the slate certainly shook up the standings. Lithuania and Argentina had nothing to play for besides seeding but the other four teams in action all had a shot at advancing into the medal round. The games were less entertaining in actuality than they looked on paper, but Day 10 still had its moments.

    Today’s Results

    Men’s

    Brazil 86 vs. Nigeria 69
    Spain 92 vs. Argentina 73
    Croatia 90 vs. Lithuania 81

    Brazil 86 vs. Nigeria 69

    Brazil kept their hopes alive by picking up a necessary win and eliminating Nigeria in the process. Brazil controlled most of the game and pulled away late with a big 23-8 run in the final quarter to earn a 17 point victory.

    Brazil actually got off to a slow start thanks to a 1-10 mark from deep in the first quarter. Nene, as he did all day long, kept his team afloat with 3 big offensive rebounds in the quarter. He was part of an all out assault on the offensive glass that corralled in 20 offensive rebounds; even if follow up opportunities were missed it wore out Nigerian defenders and produced long stretches where Nigeria simply couldn’t get into any type of offensive rhythm. Nene finished with 19-7-4 as well as 3 steals and a block. He’s really come on after a slow start to the tournament and made a handful of nice dishes as the hub of the Brazilian offense today. A chunk of those passes went to Alex Garcia (#10), who racked up many of his 13 points on quick cuts to the rim. Marcelo Huertas was his usual crafty self with 12 points and 11 assists and has shown really well in Rio so far.

    Brazil went with a different rotation today, trotting out big man Rafael Hettsheimeir (#30) who went for 12-6 with 3 triples. He was the entirety of Brazil’s three point attack in the first half and did well to keep them within shouting distance when the normal sources of offense dried up. Vitor Benite (#8) had another great second quarter with 10 points on 4-6 shooting (he ended with 15 total); this after he scored 13 points in the second quarter against Argentina on Saturday. Augusto Lima, the usual backup big man, picked up a DNP-CD today but might be needed against Team USA if Brazil can sneak into the medal round.

    Nigeria just couldn’t keep up with Brazil’s second chances and shot themselves in the foot with a slew of sloppy turnovers in the second half. They had a chance in the third quarter when Brazil’s offense sagged when Nene hit the bench but turnovers kept Brazil’s lead in the 7-11 range. Josh Akognon (#8; 16 points, 3 triples) and Ben Uzoh (#4; 15-4-2) led the way and really picked up the slack for a starting backcourt that struggled mightily. Michael Umeh (#5) and Ebi Ere (#7) combined for just 14 points on 12 shots and committed 5 turnovers compared to 3 assists. Umeh came into the game got but just didn’t have his shot today.

    Ekene Ibekwe (#15) flashed more great rim protection, blocking three more shots while deterring a few other looks at the rim. Ike Diogu (#6) had his hands full with Nene and struggled to the tune of 9 points on 3-8 shooting. It was a tough end for Nigeria but they had some very nice moments throughout their tournament. The first-time FIBA Afrobasket Champions acquitted themselves well on the Olympic stage.

    Top Performers

    Brazil Nigeria
    Points Nene 19
    Benite 15
    Garcia 13
    Akognon 16
    Uzoh 15
    Aminu 10
    Rebounds Nene 7
    Hettsheimeir / Felicio / Huertas 6
    Giovannoni 5
    Aminu 7
    Uzoh / Umeh / Ibekwe / Diogu 4
    Gbinije 3
    Assists Huertas 11
    Neto 5
    Nene 4
    Uzoh / Umeh / Aminu / Diogu 2
    Ere / Oguchi / Gbinije 1

    Stray Thoughts:

    • More great blocks from Ibekwe; tournament’s block leader
    • Fran dropping Ben Uzoh triple double knowledge!
    • Nene with 3 offensive boards in Q1; kept Brazil afloat with second opportunities early on
    • Alade Aminu (#14) has stretches of great activity but then disappears
    • Nice 2nd unit production from Brazil; Benite wasn’t used often in the first two games but earned more time if they advance
    • Brazil’s offense really sagged when Nene sat down to end Q3; it’s amazing how polished a passer he is when he gets the chance to show off
    • Nigeria seems to just fire up bad shots if the play gets busted; didn’t seem like they re-set too many times
    • Really good showing for Nigeria all things considered

Fantasy News

  • D'Angelo Russell
    PG, Golden State Warriors

    D'Angelo Russell tried to put the Warriors on his back in Wednesday's 124-122 loss to the Knicks, dropping 32 points on 12-of-27 from the field, including six 3-pointers to go along with six assists and two steals.

    Russell sent the game into overtime with a clutch 3-pointer at the end of regulation, but it wasn't enough to drag this Warriors team across the finish line. The opportunity will be there for Russell to produce. He'll have cold spells from time-to-time, but it looks like he's ready to pick it back up.

  • Draymond Green
    PF, Golden State Warriors

    Draymond Green earned his second triple-double of the season on Wednesday night, recording 14 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists and four steals on 5-of-11 from the field.

    Green has the potential to stuff the stat sheet whenever he gets on the court. With injuries this season, and the Warriors likely being cautions of wearing down their vets, these nights might not last long into the season. He could be a strong sell-high candidate after tonight's performance.

  • Alec Burks
    SG, Golden State Warriors

    Alec Burks logged 33 minutes off the bench on Wednesday night, turning them into 18 points, five boards, two dimes and two assists.

    Burks was only behind D'Angelo Russell in points for the Warriors tonight. He has upside and can have well-rounded games, but it isn't a given. If you have him, you can hold him, but probably isn't worth running to go pick up.

  • Marquese Chriss
    PF, Golden State Warriors

    Marquese Chriss grabbed a season-high 10 rebounds on Wednesday while tallying an additional 12 points, two dimes, a steal and three blocks.

    This was arguably Chriss' best game of the season. Things are trending up for Chriss and he looks to benefit from the Warriors starting to tank. Check if he is still on your waivers, he's worth a flyer after this performance.

  • Marcus Morris
    PF, New York Knicks

    Marcus Morris dropped a season-high 36 points on Wednesday night, piling it it on with 10 rebounds, three assists, three steals and five 3-pointers.

    Morris was one point shy of his career-high 37 points. It's important to note this was against the Warriors, but Morris has been a nice pickup this season. With so much uncertainty ahead for the Knicks, it might be a good time to see what you can sell him for, especially since he was probably a pretty cheap acquisition.

  • Julius Randle
    PF, New York Knicks

    Julius Randle finished Wednesday night with another double-double to his name, tallying 24 points, 13 rebounds and five assists.

    Randle has been a disappointment for owners this season. We all know he can score and rebound, but another night with out any defensive stats continues to hurt his stock. Randle is going to need to pick it up to be standard league relevant again.

  • RJ Barrett
    SF, New York Knicks

    RJ Barrett secured his first career double-double on Wednesday night, ending with 22 points, 10 boards, three assists, a steal, a block and three 3-pointers.

    Barrett logged over 40 minutes before the game even went into overtime and finished the game seeing 46 minutes. The Knicks aren't afraid to use their first-round pick, however, this hasn't turned into fantasy relevance yet. Games like this will help put him on the radar in standard leagues.

  • Elfrid Payton
    PG, New York Knicks

    Elfrid Payton collected 14 points, four boards, five assists and a steal on Wednesday night against the Warriors.

    Payton came off the bench, but was on the court as the Knicks tried to close out the game. It's worth noting that Payton saw the most minutes at the point finishing the game with 29 minutes, and Frank Ntilikina only seeing 13 of action.

  • Buddy Hield
    SG, Sacramento Kings

    Buddy Hield found his shot in the second half of Wednesday's 93-94 victory against the Thunder, ending with 23 points, six boards, six assists, two steals and five 3-pointers on 9-of-24 shooting.

    The efficiency isn't pretty in this stat line, but it was largely due to a terrible first half. Hield has been heating up with De'Aaron Fox on the sidelines, sitting just outside the top-20 in the last two weeks.

  • Richaun Holmes
    PF, Sacramento Kings

    Richaun Homles pitched in 10 points, seven boards, two steal and block in 25 minutes on Wednesday night.

    The big question was how the return of Marvin Bagley would impact Holmes. It looks like he will still be a valuable fantasy asset and Luke Walton said they could both see the court at the same time. It's a situation to monitor, but so far, so good for fantasy GMs with Holmes on their rosters.