• 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

  • Tyler Bey
    SG, College

    University of Colorado shooting guard Tyler Bey declared for the 2020 NBA Draft on Sunday.

    The junior is being regarded as an early second-round draft prospect for this summer. Bey has some potential as a fantasy asset based upon his ability to accumulate steals and blocks, but it's unclear what kind of a role he would carry as a rookie in the NBA. His odds to become a defensive ace, who also develops consistent range from deep, is what NBA squads will be calculating when they look at him on draft day.

    Source: Tyler Bey on Twitter

  • Marcus Smart
    PG, Boston Celtics

    Marcus Smart announced that he has been cleared of COVID-19 since Friday.

    It is good to see that Smart made a full recovery from the virus. Before this crisis hit the scene Smart was having a strong season with consistent mid-round value for the Celtics. With his secure role as a defensive anchor and his improved shooting from deep, he will continue to be a strong option whenever play resumes.

    Source: Marcus Smart on Twitter

  • Reggie Perry
    PF, College

    Mississippi State forward Reggie Perry declared for the 2020 NBA Draft on Sunday.

    Perry said he will not be going back to college in the fall, and unlike in 2019 when he declared for the draft before withdrawing to return to college, he intends to sign with an agent this time around. He is shaping up to be a second-round selection and made some strong strides during his Sophmore campaign at Missippi State last season, averaging 17.4 points and 10.1 rebounds on .500 shooting from the field. He'll need to continue improving upon this year's free-throw percentage (.768) and prove he can shoot the NBA three-pointer (.324) to become a prospect for standard fantasy leagues next season.

    Source: Jeff Goodman on Twitter

  • Kris Dunn
    PG, Chicago Bulls

    Jovan Buha of The Athletic writes that there have been multiple rumors connecting the Clippers with impending free agent Kris Dunn.

    Dunn would only add to the Clippers' collection of outstanding defensive talent, though he may be hunting for a role closer to the starting lineup in a perfect world. He's currently shelved by a right MCL sprain that was initially expected to sideline him for the entire season. No matter where Dunn ends up, it's going to take a perfect set of circumstances for him to produce worthwhile numbers outside of the steals category.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Mitchell Robinson
    C, New York Knicks

    Knicks owner James Dolan tested positive for Coronavirus on Saturday.

    Dolan is in self-isolation and fortunately has "little to no symptoms". The Knicks' press release said that Dolan "continues to oversee business operations" which is hopefully, a good indicator that Dolan is feeling well.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter

  • Paul Reed
    SF, College

    Paul Reed declared for the 2020 NBA Draft on Saturday.

    The junior small forward out of Depaul was named to the All-Big East Second Team this past season while averaging 15.1 points, 10.7 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 2.6 blocks. Reed is likely to be drafted late in the first round. He was an efficient scorer in college (51.6 percent from the field in 2019-20) and if his shooting, rebounding and defensive stats translate to the NBA he could be a sneaky fantasy value. Keep an eye on Reed next season in case he is in a role where he can get minutes in the upper-20s.

    Source: Paul Reed on Twitter

  • Zeke Nnaji
    PF, College

    According to CBS' Jon Rothstein, Arizona Wildcat power forward Zeke Nnaji will declare for the 2020 NBA draft.

    Nnaji is a potential late first-round pick in the draft, given that it's a guard-heavy field and some teams may be in the market for some size. That said, it's far too early to make any hard predictions and draft boards remain fluid. With averages of 16.1 points and 8.6 rebounds per game on .570 shooting from the field, Nnaji has the base to be a fantasy-friendly big man, should he earn meaningful minutes on the team that eventually takes him.

    Source: Jon Rothstein on Twitter

  • Aaron Nesmith
    SF, College

    Vanderbilt player Aaron Nesmith has announced that he will be entering the 2020 NBA Draft.

    Nesmith, whose 2019-20 NCAA season was cut short by foot surgery, will be foregoing his junior year in order to join the draft. He's 6'6" and weighs in at 213 pounds. Playing small forward for Vanderbilt, Nesmith posted averages of 23 points and 4.9 rebounds while shooting 52 percent from beyond the arc in the 14 games he managed to play.

    Source: ESPN

  • Killian Hayes
    SG, International

    Killian Hayes, a highly touted 18-year old point guard who has played three years professionally in France and Germany, has declared for the 2020 NBA draft after submitting the paperwork to the NBA league office.

    Measuring in at 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds, Hayes has been on scouts' radars for quite some time after riding some very impressive YouTube highlight videos to prospect relevancy. In his most recent season, with ratiopharm Ulm in Germany, Hayes averaged 12.8 PTS, 6.2 AST, 2.3 REB and 1.5 STL while seeing his NBA draft stock rise as a result. He is a very talented shooter and it is seemingly more and more likely that Hayes will see his name called in the lottery when draft night arrives.

    Source: ESPN.com

  • Patrick Williams
    SF, College

    Patrick Williams, a 6-foot-8, 225-pound small forward out of Florida State, has declared for the 2020 NBA draft after a shortened freshman season off the bench, averaging 9.2 PTS, 4.0 REB and 1.0 AST while not starting a single game for a deep Seminoles squad.

    The intriguing aspect of Williams' draft aspirations lies in his dimensions; particularly his 7-foot wingspan. He had modest numbers but that can largely be attributed to how deep their rotation was in 2019-20, similar to fellow 'Nole Devin Vassell, who also declared for the draft recently. Williams has incredible athleticism and has made himself into an intriguing prospect who could find himself landing in the first round if his draft stock maintains momentum.

    Source: Patrick Williams on Twitter