August 19, 2016, 5:21 pm
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.
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.
USA Spain Points Thompson 22
Fernandez / Navarro 9
Rebounds Jordan 16
Assists Lowry / Thompson 3
Jordan / Irving / Anthony 2
Butler / Durant / George 1
- 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
April 22, 2019, 6:48 pmMalcolm Brogdon - G - Milwaukee Bucks
Mike Budenholzer expects to have a firm target date for Malcolm Brogdon (partial right plantar fascia tear) in the next 3-to-5 days.
Brogdon has been out since mid-March and remains on track to meet the original 6-to-8 week timetable, though he hasn't done any scrimmaging yet. It's still anticipated that Brogdon will be back in the mix some time in the second round. Once he's up to speed we'll see less George Hill, Sterling Brown and Pat Connaughton.
Source: Matt Velazquez on Twitter
April 22, 2019, 5:36 pmChris Boucher - F - Toronto Raptors
Chris Boucher (back spasms) has been ruled out ahead of Tuesday's Game 5 with the Magic.
Boucher was briefly taken off the injury report ahead of Game 4 but ended up being ruled out anyway. He's highly unlikely to see the floor at all in the postseason, healthy or not.
Source: NBA Injury Report
April 22, 2019, 5:34 pmJoel Embiid - F/C - Philadelphia Sixers
Joel Embiid (left knee soreness) is probable ahead of Tuesday's Game 5 against the Nets.
Embiid played it coy with his status earlier today but we'd expect to see him out there in a closeout opportunity. Ending this quickly would give him some additional rest with the second round starting on the weekend at the earliest, so a focused effort would give Philly benefits on multiple fronts. Embiid's played through the injury after missing Game 3 and hasn't looked too hampered in dominating Brooklyn up front.
Source: NBA Injury Report
April 22, 2019, 1:49 pmJoel Embiid - F/C - Philadelphia Sixers
Joel Embiid (left knee soreness) wouldn't commit to playing in Game 5 vs. the Nets on Tuesday.
Embiid said that "We've got to keep them guessing" and it's highly likely he doesn't even know whether or not he's going to play yet. He's been a true game-time decision for the entire series and that's not going to change so stay tuned for updates closer to tip off.
Source: Keith Pompey on Twitter
April 22, 2019, 12:54 pmEd Davis - C - Brooklyn Nets
Ed Davis (ankle) is considered to be questionable going into Tuesday's Game 5 vs. the 76ers.
Davis was a big part in the Nets' Game 1 win and his rebounding could serve to help Brooklyn out a ton. They just look outmatched by Joel Embiid and Boban Marjanovic and Davis could provide another big man presence down low. This could be the last game of the series so Davis' status should be a big story coming into the game.
Source: Brian Lewis on Twitter
April 22, 2019, 11:52 amJeff Green - F - Washington Wizards
Jeff Green expressed that he would like to return and play for the Wizards during the 2019-2020 season.
"I would love to come back," Green said. "Great set of guys on this team. I loved playing with Brad [Beal], John [Wall]." Green was very consistent and was on a friendly contract, but the direction in which the organization wants to go remains unclear. Green may need to find a new home given the plethora of depth the Wizards have at the forward position.
Source: Chase Hughes of NBC Washington
April 22, 2019, 12:42 amRussell Westbrook - G - Oklahoma City Thunder
Russell Westbrook went 5-for-21 from the field to finish with 14 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and two treys in Sunday's 98-111 Game 4 loss to the Blazers.
Time and again in this series, it's been evident that Damian Lillard has been playing at a higher level than Westbrook and tonight was a fine example. Lillard was able to shake off his early shooting struggles and come up big in the second half, but Westbrook was still forcing shots and appeared to be on the back foot for most of the game. He's best when he's the one taking it to his opponents. A reactive Westbrook is simply not the star the Thunder need right now, if they want to salvage any hopes of coming back in this first-round series.
April 22, 2019, 12:36 amDennis Schroder - G - Oklahoma City Thunder
Dennis Schroder mirrored his 17-point performance from Friday with another 17-point game in Sunday's loss to the Blazers.
Schroder shot 6-of-12 from the field and added three rebounds, three assists, two 3s and one steal to the box score tonight. Aside from him though, the Thunder's bench was deafeningly quiet. He cannot carry the load of the second unit's scoring output by his lonesome, especially when they're faced up against a team with multiple weapons like the Blazers. For now, the Thunder can only hope he keeps this up and that the other reserves will follow suit.
April 22, 2019, 12:32 amJerami Grant - F - Oklahoma City Thunder
Jerami Grant made just 4-of-10 shots from the field on Sunday to finish with 11 points, nine rebounds, two assists, three triples and two steals in 34 minutes.
Grant's impact on the defensive end has been invaluable to the Thunder in this series and it was nice to see him active on the glass tonight, especially with Steven Adams being relatively quiet on that front with seven boards while adding six points, one assist, one steal and one block. Unfortunately for the Thunder, Portland's forwards, Maurice Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu outplayed and out-hustled them on both ends of the floor.
April 22, 2019, 12:27 amPaul George - F - Oklahoma City Thunder
Despite being slowed down by turnovers and foul trouble, Paul George still managed to light up the box score in Sunday's loss to the Blazers with 32 points on 8-of-21 shooting, 10 rebounds, six assists, four 3s, one steal and one block.
George has been banged up as early as March and he's been such a trooper, powering through a bothersome shoulder to lead the Thunder in this first-round playoff series. Unfortunately, Damian Lillard and company have been far too much for OKC to handle and George's big nights have come and gone with a lack of ample support to properly contest for the win.