• The women’s medal round kicked off and delivered a pair of highly entertaining games. Team USA played a close first half but eventually dismantled Team Japan. We had some favorites struggle and a buzzer beater, so the men’s tournament will definitely have some expectations to live up to in terms of excitement. A lot of people have been sleeping on the international women’s game but there’s fun to be had, so get to it.

    Today’s Results

    Women’s

    Serbia 73 vs. Australia 71
    Spain 64 vs. Turkey 62
    USA 110 vs. Japan 64
    Canada vs. France

    Serbia 73 vs. Australia 71

    The first game of the women’s medal round delivered a big upset as fourth seeded Serbia took down the previously-undefeated Australians. This was a fun back-and-forth game that really never opened up. Australia lead by eight in the third quarter but Serbia quickly ripped off a 7-0 run to bring the score close again. Neither team could open up a double digit lead, and Serbia ratcheted up the defensive intensity to pull off the victory.

    Turnovers were huge in this game- Australia committed 26 to Serbia’s 9, essentially allowing Serbia to hang around despite shooting just 37.1% on the day. Beyond that, Australia looked to be in good shape by virtue of having Elizabeth Cambage on their team. Cambage (#8) was simply unstoppable, finishing with a massive 29 points and 11 rebounds. She hit seven of her 11 field goals in the fourth quarter and could not be stopped on either end of the floor. On defense, she basically made driving to the paint a non-option while she fought over and through double teams for tough layups that were made to look easy. It’s a shame we won’t get to see Cambage battle Brittney Griner and company, but Australia shot themselves in the foot with all of the errors.

    It wasn’t a one-woman show for Australia but Cambage’s presence completely changed the flow of the game. Australia becomes infinitely easier to defend when she’s off the floor and can spread the floor on offense much better by demanding double teams anywhere near the paint. Besides Cambage, Serbia had a decent size advantage and did well to exploit it whenever they could; they actually gathered more offensive rebounds than the Australians (17-15) and went to work whenever Cambage left the floor. Though they were outrebounded overall 46-34, Serbia did well to earn themselves extra shots today; they needed each one.

    Serbia has been carried by Jelena Milvanovic (#9) and Sonja Petrovic (#5) for most of the tournament but really needed some support from a third teammate to have hopes of advancing. Ana Dabovic (#14) stepped up with 24 points, including a big second quarter that kept Serbia from falling too far behind when their defense struggled to stop Australia’s ball movement.

    Milovanovic carried on with her strong play in Rio, scoring 17 points and hitting all 5 of her field goals in the second half with four of those coming in the fourth quarter. Petrovic struggled with her shot (5-18), perhaps as a result of a shoulder injury she sustained in the first half. She managed to contribute regardless, finishing with a 13-4-5 line to go with 2 steals. The underdog Serbians will take on the winner of Spain vs. Turkey in the semifinals.

    Top Performers

    Serbia Australia
    Points A. Dabovic 24
    Milovanovic 17
    Petrovic 13
    Cambage 29
    Jarry 14
    Mitchell / Phillips 10
    Rebounds Petrovic/Cado/Page 4
    Radocaj 3
    A. Dabovic/Milovanovic 2
    Cambage 11
    Tolo 7
    Mitchell 5
    Assists Petrovic 5
    Cado 4
    A. Dabovic 3
    Taylor 9
    Jarry / Phillips 4
    Mitchell 3

    Stray Thoughts:

    • Serbia did a good job of backing down smaller guards and kicking for open jumpers when defenders cheated over to help
    • Serbia struggled to finish at the rim in Q1; just 9-20 in the restricted area all game, and 4-5 came in Q4
    • Australia making quick cuts to the hoop off PnR, no third defender comes to help and it’s easy layups
    • Rachel Jarry (#10) with a big Q2; 3 threes and showed a nice quick release
    • Smart of Serbia to go smaller and force Cambage to move more; they can’t beat her on the glass with any lineup configuration
    • Petrovic went down clutching her shoulder in Q2, may explain the poor shooting
    • Serbia with much improved defense in the third; crisp rotations and some good reads; so much easier to defend Australia when Cambage is out

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