August 16, 2016, 8:33 pm
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.
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.
Serbia Australia Points A. Dabovic 24
Mitchell / Phillips 10
Rebounds Petrovic/Cado/Page 4
A. Dabovic/Milovanovic 2
Assists Petrovic 5
A. Dabovic 3
Jarry / Phillips 4
- 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
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.