• Brazil dug themselves a big hole against Lithuania in their first game, trailing by 30 in the third quarter before embarking on a furious comeback that came up just short. Spain was in command of their opener against Croatia but slowly gave back their lead until they trailed by two in the final seconds and had their final attempt swatted into the ether by Dario Saric.

    Today was the same script with a twist for both, as Brazil still required a late-game push to get the job done but converted thanks to a putback. Spain were the ones to defend the crucial play this time but failed again, allowing Marquinhos to slip into the paint and put a major dent into Spain’s medal hopes.

    The home fans were happy and Argentina’s old guys outlasted Croatia’s youth as a competitive Group B owned Day 4 in Rio. Dive on in.

    Today’s Results

    Men’s

    Brazil 66 vs. Spain 65
    Lithuania 89 vs. Nigeria 80
    Argentina 90 vs. Croatia 82

    Women’s

    Australia 89 vs. France 71
    Belarus 65 vs. Brazil 63
    Turkey 76 vs. Japan 62

    Brazil 66 vs. Spain 65

    Brazil rode an impressive home court advantage to knock off the second ranked Spain this afternoon. The crowd was raucous from opening tip and pushed Brazil to a strong start that Spain just couldn’t overcome despite some timely surges. This was a back and forth affair and featured a few second half runs that kept it close when Brazil was on the verge of pulling away. The Brazilians came out with tremendous defensive intensity and did well to limit Pau Gasol throughout the game.

    Brazil received a masterful outing from Marcelo Huertas (11-4-7). The veteran point guard was in command all day long, picking apart Spain’s defensive schemes with a series of cheeky floaters, runners and precision passes. He and Raul Neto showed tremendous patience in the pick and roll, drawing the lumbering Gasol out of the paint and opening up the lane for drives and cuts. Spain tried to cover up for Gasol’s deficiencies by showing some zone looks but was still victimized by backdoor cuts. Both Nene and Augusto Lima (#23) did a great job keeping Gasol out of the post, denying him the ball in several instances and holding on long enough for help to arrive in a handful of other moments. Marquinhos (#14) had the winner, sneaking behind Nikola Mirotic to tip in a Huertas floater with 5.5 seconds to go after the inbound pass snuck past Gasol under the rim. Ultimately, Brazil played a smart game and won the backcourt battle; Huertas in particular was key in the victory.

    Spain struggled to generate much on offense all day long and finished shooting just 19-52 (36.5%) against a smart and active Brazilian defense. They had some silly turnovers in the form of bad travels and bungled passes. They finished with 13 turnovers to 12 assists and really couldn’t cope with Gasol’s rough day. Gasol led the team in scoring but was a major liability on defense, at times caught standing with arms spread and no player to guard in sight. He also shot an uncharacteristic 5-12 from the free throw line on a day where even one make could’ve vastly changed Spain’s fortunes. Ricky Rubio fouled out after another invisible performance while Mirotic couldn’t find his stroke, finishing 2-8 from the floor and 0-4 from deep.

    One of the few players to look good was Sergio Llull (#23; 11 points, 2 triples) who hit a big time shot to give Spain the lead with about a minute to go. He was also trusted with the ball on Spain’s final possession and tried his best to generate offense while most of the team looked stuck in mud.

    Spain is now in some serious trouble in Group B. At 0-2 they’re on the outside looking in alongside Nigeria and won’t own the tiebreak against perceived weakling Brazil. Spain could finish at 3-2 if they win out against Nigeria, Argentina and Lithuania but will need some major help to get through. It’s a shocking defeat after Spain fell to a game Croatian squad in their Rio debut.

    Top Performers

    Brazil Spain
    Points Huertas 11
    Marquinhos 10
    Lima / Garcia 9
    Gasol 13
    Llull 11
    Rodriguez 10
    Rebounds Lima 10
    Marquinhos 5
    Nene / Huertas / Garcia 4
    Gasol 10
    Mirotic 8
    Rubio / Claver 4
    Assists Huertas 7
    Nene 5
    Neto / Garcia 2
    Rodriguez 5
    Fernandez / Mirotic 2
    Gasol / Claver / Reyes 1

    Stray Thoughts:

    • Spain looked so bad on offense in the first half; they picked Croatia apart but can’t handle Brazil?
    • Ricky Rubio fouled out in another bad game, Sergio Rodriguez has to be on his tail
    • Rubio and Gasol seems like a bad combo to run; teams help off RR so easily so Sergio’s shooting is a better fit
    • Navarro (#7) had a real rough day, missed some good open looks and fired up a few bad shots
    • Would like to see more of OKC’s Alex Abrines moving forward but Spain might trim the rotation with things looking dire
    • Cristiano Felicio looks much slimmer; nice effort off the bench today

Fantasy News

  • Julius Randle - F - New Orleans Pelicans

    According to Shams Charania, Julius Randle will not be picking up his $9M player option for next season and will be an unrestricted free agent.

    Randle is coming off a sweet breakout season in 2018-19 and has his eyes set on a big payday from a team willing to fork out the dough. This move is not too surprising considering that the Pelicans' frontcourt could get a bit more crowded come draft day as the team is expected to select 6'6" big man Zion Williamson (Duke) with the first overall pick.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Kyrie Irving - G - Boston Celtics

    According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, despite the recent traction that the Nets have gained towards building mutual interest with Kyrie Irving, the Lakers are still a potential landing spot for him now that they've traded for Anthony Davis.

    Prior to the Nets rising to the top of the hill, the Lakers were rumored to be a serious option for Irving, especially after he mended fences with LeBron James. The Lakers' acquisition of AD (come July 6), does add some recruiting star power to the organization, so enticing a guard of Irving's caliber might just be their next big step towards competing for a title in 2019-20.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Kristaps Porzingis - F/C - Dallas Mavericks

    Kristaps Porzingis (torn ACL) is expected to be 100 percent by the start of training camp, per Rick Carlisle.

    The Mavs will need to get the restricted free agent under contract first, but it doesn't sound as though there are any doubts that Porzingis will be suiting up for the Mavs. KP will be an interesting name to track throughout the offseason and preseason, as his health will help stabilize his ADP. When healthy, Porzingis is an early-round talent and will finally be playing with another player (or players, depending on free agency) of his caliber in Dallas.

    Source: Mavs.com

  • Bruno Fernando - C - College

    Bruno Fernando was among a 12-man group to work out for the Jazz.

    Fernando will become the first player born in Angola to be drafted next week, but where he falls is still up for debate. The Jazz pick at 23 and 53, so if they’re going to take the plunge it will have to be in the first round. Fernando averaged 13.6 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.9 blocks for Maryland last season and the Jazz believe that he can develop a solid outside shot. Fernando’s defensive abilities give him an intriguing fantasy outlook, though his playing time will obviously be determined by his landing spot. The other headliners of Utah’s latest workout were Talen Horton-Tucker and Luguentz Dort. The Jazz also invited Terry Harris — the younger brother of free agent Tobias Harris — to the session.

    Source: Salt Lake Tribune

  • Coby White - G - College

    Coby White and Nassir Little are scheduled to work out with the Wizards on Monday.

    White’s name is particularly interesting, as most mock drafts have him off the board before Washington selects at No. 9. It would only take one or two surprises to put White within their reach, however, so it could be some due diligence mixed with wishful thinking. The Wizards should be going with the best player available strategy, but it is worth noting that White is a 6’5″ guard and Little is a 6’6″ forward given how the Wizards currently have most of their salary tied up in the backcourt.

    Source: Washington Wizards on Twitter

  • Vlatko Cancar - F - Denver Nuggets

    Nuggets President of Basketball Ops Tim Connelly thinks that Vlatko Cancar could join the Nuggets this season.

    Playing in Spain this season, Denver's second-rounder from the 2017 draft put up 10.4 points and 3.8 rebounds per contest while shooting 46.4 percent from the field. Last summer he scored 9.0 points per game with the Nuggets in Summer League, and his continued growth has made an impression on Denver's top brass. "I thought he had a very big summer league last summer, he's a guy who's going to wear a Nuggets uniform sooner rather than later," said Connelly. Cancar is a name to know in deep dynasty formats but we don't envision him getting significant minutes if he makes the team.

    Source: NBA.com

  • Anthony Davis - F/C - Los Angeles Lakers

    According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Pelicans and Lakers will complete the Anthony Davis trade on July 6.

    July 6 is the first day that trades can be processed and it will drastically impact the Lakers' cap space. The Lakers would rather process the trade in late July, at least 30 days after the draft, so that they will have $32.5 million in cap rather than $23.4. Wojnarowski also reported that Davis is unlikely to waive his $4 million trade kicker which will also hamper LA's cap space. If the Lakers can't put together enough for a max contract player, it'll throw a big wrench into free agency. With this story constantly evolving, stay tuned for updates.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Clint Capela - C - Houston Rockets

    The Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets are considered to be the two main teams exploring trade scenarios for Clint Capela according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders.

    With the biggest trade chip of the summer in Anthony Davis off the table, Capela figures to be next in line to draw significant interest around the league. In the Celtics scenario, Capela could either play alongside Horford or become his replacement depending on what Horford decides on his player option. However, seeing how reluctant they were to include some of their big assets in the AD trade, the same could be the case here. For the Brooklyn side it would be tough to imagine them pulling off a deal for Capela that doesn't involve moving Jarrett Allen, as the two have too similar of games to really play them together. This is all obviously very much in the speculation stage, but it is worth keeping an eye on both of these teams in regards to the Rockets' big man as the summer's arms race heads into full swing.

    Source: Steve Kyler on Twitter

  • Jayson Tatum - F - Boston Celtics

    The Celtics were unwilling to include Jayson Tatum in negotiations for Anthony Davis according to Marc Stein of the New York Times.

    It appears that the Celtics were never truly players in the AD sweepstakes, as it's tough to imagine talk went very far without Tatum in the fold. In the wake of this deal, it is becoming more and more apparent that the Celtics are prepared to pivot to handing Tatum the keys to the franchise, especially considering their chances of resigning Kyrie Irving appear to be dwindling by the day. Tatum did not have the breakout campaign many were hoping for in his second year, but if he goes into next season as Boston's clear cut number one option perhaps he could be in line for said breakout in year three.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter

  • David Griffin - Team - New Orleans Pelicans

    Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that multiple teams are already indicating significant interest in acquiring the No. 4 pick in next week's draft, which now belongs to the Pelicans.

    In case you missed it, the Pelicans have agreed to trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers for a package that includes the fourth selection in the 2019 draft, which the Pelicans may flip to get a quality roster player or another young asset. David Griffin stood firm in his requests on a Davis deal, and although he was unable to get Kyle Kuzma included in the trade, the Pelicans came away with Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, two future first-rounders and the No. 4 pick in next week's draft, which could lead to more picks or additional players. Expect New Orleans to be at the center of plenty of rumors over the next few days.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter