• The semifinals for the men’s tournament took place today and set up a Serbia vs. USA match for the gold on Sunday afternoon. The Americans held on after a very middling first half while Serbia just obliterated Australia. It’ll be the tournament favorites against the fourth seed from Group A, so read on to see how we got there.

    Today’s Results


    USA vs. Spain
    Australia vs. Serbia

    USA 82 vs. Spain 76

    After all the hand-wringing that’s gone on, Team USA finds themselves back in the gold medal game after defeating a game Spanish team. Spain kept it close from wire to wire but never led as the Americans played some good defense and got contributions from up and down the roster to punch their ticket to the finals.

    Team USA’s best was DeAndre Jordan. He totally changed the game whenever he was in there, whether he was throwing down monster jams, swatting shots or just deterring guards from getting into the paint. He finished with 9 points, 16 rebounds and 4 blocks in a big day. Klay Thompson got hot again for 22 points and 4 triples while Kevin Durant posted 14 and 8 boards. Kyrie Irving scored 13 points, including some big ones in the fourth quarter and Kyle Lowry played another nice game and brought the defensive intensity that the Americans sometimes lack. Team USA reaped the benefits of the size advantage today, corralling 21 offensive rebounds whereas Spain could only pull in 14.

    They did struggle to move the ball from time to time and fell back into spells of one-on-one play every now and then. Spain’s quickness on the perimeter led to a handful of steals and deflected passes early on but Team USA settled down thereafter. DeMarcus Cousins had a bad night, fouling out in the third quarter. Carmelo Anthony was just 2-11 and hasn’t looked right since his big game against Australia. The Americans will have to hope for more out of Anthony and Cousins in their final game.

    Spain was led by who else but Pau Gasol, who dropped in 23 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 triples, 1 steal and 1 block on 9-19 from the field. Sergio Rodriguez had 8 points and 5 assists but was just 1-6 from deep. Aside from those two, Spain didn’t have much going on.

    Nikola Mirotic was brutal, picking up four fouls in the first half. He needed to play much smarter given the lack of secondary scoring that Spain sorely needed on a day like today. Rudy Fernandez couldn’t get hot and Ricky Rubio was basically invisible once more. He was 0-4 from the field, 0-2 from the free throw line and collected 1 rebound, 1 assist and 1 steal that all came in the second half. He was outplayed by both Rodriguez and Sergio Llull for the length of his stay in Rio. He might be able to redeem himself with a strong showing in the bronze medal game but has been a complete disappointment so far.

    Top Performers

    USA Spain
    Points Thompson 22
    Durant 14
    Irving 13
    Gasol 23
    Rodriguez 11
    Fernandez / Navarro 9
    Rebounds Jordan 16
    Durant 8
    George 6
    Gasol 8
    Fernandez 7
    Hernangomez 6
    Assists Lowry / Thompson 3
    Jordan / Irving / Anthony 2
    Butler / Durant / George 1
    Rodriguez 5
    Fernandez/Llull/Gasol/Claver 2
    Rubio 1

    Stray Thoughts:

    • US slipped into some poor ball movement early on; turned back towards it again late
    • Like the lineup of all ball handlers at the end once Jordan came out
    • Cousins had some bad help defense on a Fernandez layup and then took a bad baseline jumper; fouled out in Q3 in a pretty bad showing
    • Spain hanging in there; good defense and got a few nice steals
    • Mirotic with a stupid game; they need him and he picks up 4 first half fouls
    • lots of techs, choppy play in the first half
    • Kyle Lowry is nuts- he’s going to play every game with the same personality and it’s great to see
    • US with tons of offensive boards that helped keep the lead despite a pretty ‘meh’ half on both ends
    • They called a travel on the fastbreak… my head is still spinning
    • Lowry with another nice game off the bench; great recognition to run Mirotic around the court and blew by Rubio on another possession

Fantasy News

  • Dragan Bender
    PF, Phoenix Suns

    Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops is reporting that Dragan Bender has a verbal commitment to join EuroLeague champions CSKA Moscow on a multiyear deal.

    The report adds that the former No. 4 pick will take the offer unless there is an intriguing offer to him from an NBA team in the 11th hour. Bender was linked to the Cavs and the Raptors but he hasn’t been able to generate much interest in the market and the move to Europe might be the optimal choice for him now.

    Source: Eurohoops

  • Chasson Randle
    PG, Washington Wizards

    With two open roster spots plus a two-way contract available, the Hawks have a couple more moves to make and Chasson Randle could be an option for them.

    Jaylen Adams was waived on Saturday before his contract became guaranteed, while GM Travis Schlenk said he wants to add a veteran to the roster and fill the two-way spot. The Hawks intend to keep one roster spot open for flexibility during the season, so we should expect two more moves before the offseason ends. Behind Trae Young, the Hawks have only Evan Turner who can play backup point guard so there is a need for the position. Randle played last season with the Wizards where he averaged 5.5 points, 2.0 assists and 1.5 rebounds in 15.2 minutes and 49 games. He saw increased time toward the end of the season but was not extended a qualifying offer and is an unrestricted free agent.

    Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • Josh Jackson
    SF, Memphis Grizzlies

    Josh Jackson appears to have dealt with his arrest at a Miami music festival this summer by reaching a plea deal that will keep him out of the courtroom.

    The Miami State Attorney’s Office confirmed that Jackson agreed to complete some kind of pre-trial diversion program in exchange for having the charges dropped. He was arrested at the Rolling Loud music festival in Miami this summer when he reportedly tried to enter the VIP area many times without a proper pass. Jackson gets a fresh start in Memphis this year and even though it’s hard to predict whether he will be able to bounce back, he deserves consideration in the later rounds since the minutes will probably be there for him.

    Source: NBC Sports

  • Marcos Louzada Silva
    PG, New Orleans Pelicans

    The Sydney Kings have inked sharp-shooting Brazilian NBA prospect Marcos Louzada Silva as part of the NBL's expanding Next Stars program.

    Didi was selected by the Hawks as the No. 35 pick in this year's Draft, and traded to the Pelicans.
    He is expected to develop in the Kings program in the NBL after playing in the recently-completed NBA Summer League.

    Source: Sydney Kings on Twitter

  • Dion Waiters
    SG, Miami Heat

    Dion Waiters wrote on Instagram on Monday that he read all the jokes on social media about his conditioning last season, but rather than "joining the circus," he used it as motivation to improve his physique.

    The Heat are known around the league for having one of the best conditioning programs, as guys who go there almost universally get in better shape. Waiters seemed to be the exception to the rule last year coming off an injury where he didn’t get to train like he wanted. He has been hitting the gym though this summer as he is trying to get back to elite basketball shape area for the upcoming season. It’s nice to see this development but Waiters’ game is still very inefficient due to the bad percentages and turnovers that limit his fantasy value.

    Source: NBC Sports

  • James Harden
    PG, Houston Rockets

    Mike D’Antoni believes that Russell Westbrook will succeed in Houston, not because of how different he is than Chris Paul, but because of what he and James Harden have in common.

    “That’s what great players do,” D’Antoni said. “Great players figure it out. They make it work.“ Considering all the Rockets gave up in order to acquire the 2017 MVP, there seems to be some urgency in order to make this work, but MDA sounded optimistic about the duo’s future in Houston. We’ll have to wait and see how this translates on the court but the initial signs from all parties involved sound extremely positive.

    Source: Houston Chronicle

  • Ben Simmons
    PG, Philadelphia Sixers

    Ben Simmons officially announced on Tuesday that he will skip the upcoming FIBA World Cup in China.

    Simmons just signed a five-year, $170 max contract extension with the Sixers so it makes sense for him to skip the World Tournament. He said that he intends to join the national team again for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo but Australia is going to have a hard time competing for a medal this summer without their young superstar.

    Source: Ben Simmons on Twitter

  • Anthony Davis
    PF, Los Angeles Lakers

    In an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, Anthony Davis said that, even after his trade request was granted, that doesn’t mean he’ll commit to the Lakers for the long term.

    “I’m just focused on this season,” said AD. “I don’t know what’s going to happen, I have one year in LA so I’m going make the best out of it.” Davis is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and his agent Rich Paul insisted that his client is going to keep all options open in the summer of 2020. This is obviously a chapter taken out of the LeBron James playbook as AD is simply trying to put more pressure to the Lakers organization in order to surround the team with elite talent. He is poised for a monster fantasy year regardless.

    Source: ESPN

  • Russell Westbrook
    PG, Houston Rockets

    The Rockets and Thunder officially completed their blockbuster trade of Chris Paul, first round picks in 2024 and 2026, and pick swaps in 2021 and 2025 for Russell Westbrook on Tuesday.

    Westbrook and Harden and now officially reunited and will be performing massive pre-game routines at the Toyota Center. Meanwhile, the Thunder officially have Chris Paul on the roster and are free to move him if they choose. Watching how Sam Presti begins this rebuild process will be interesting, to say the least.

    Source: Royce Young on Twitter

  • Jarrell Brantley
    PF, Utah Jazz

    The Jazz have signed rookies Jarrell Brantley and Justin Wright-Foreman to two-way contracts.

    Brantley was selected 50th overall in this June's draft after putting up big numbers in four seasons at the College of Charleston. He averaged 4.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in two games at Summer League, though he also missed time with right hamstring soreness. Wright-Foreman, the 53rd pick out of Hofstra, fared a little better with 10.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.5 steals, though he also battled right knee/hamstring issues and left the team for personal reasons at the end of their Vegas run. There's not much fantasy impact here.

    Source: Utah Jazz