• 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

  • Allen Crabbe
    SG, Atlanta Hawks

    Allen Crabbe (right knee) has been upgraded to probable for Sunday's tilt against the Hornets.

    Crabbe has missed his last two games following a minor surgical proceedure on his knee, but it seems like that stint on the sidelines is set to end today. He's not on the fantasy radar, and can really only be considered a fringe 3-point specialist at best.

    Source: Brad Rowland on Twitter

  • Joel Embiid
    C, Philadelphia Sixers

    The 76ers have yet to submit an injury report ahead of their game against the Raptors on Sunday, the team expects Joel Embiid to be active after missing Saturday's game for rest.

    We'll have an update very soon, but it's encouraging that his teammates are saying that he'll play. Embiid will get a chance to avenge his 0-of-11 shooting night versus Marc Gasol from a few weeks ago. This is par for the course for Joel Embiid, but 18 games from the Process with a quarter of the season in the books is a win for both Philly and anyone who rosters him in fantasy leagues.

    Source: Mike Ganter on Twitter

  • De'Andre Hunter
    SF, Atlanta Hawks

    De'Andre Hunter (disloacted index finger) is now being listed as questionable ahead of Sunday's matchup with the Hornets.

    He was listed as doubtful yesterday so there is a chance he could see the floor in this one. His return would take shots from Cam Reddish, who is coming off his best game as a pro. Stay tuned for more updates.

    Source: Brad Rowland on Twitter

  • Devonte' Graham
    PG, Charlotte Hornets

    Devonte' Graham is averaging 19.1 points, 7.8 assists and 3.7 threes per game in his breakout sophomore season and he's starting to create buzz as a Most Improved Player award candidate.

    Graham is shooting 42 percent from three after tripling his attempts from behind the arc this season, joining the upper echelon of the league's sharpshooters at the ripe age of 24. He's not only an efficient scorer, but he's effectively raising the production of the Hornets' entire lineup when he's on the floor, adding nearly 20 points per game off of assists to his teammates. It's no surprise that he's jumped ahead in the MIP discussion. We've said it here before, but Graham is not a sell high player and congratulations are in order if you plucked him off the wire during that first week.

    Source: Charlotte Observer

  • Donovan Mitchell
    SG, Utah Jazz

    Donovan Mitchell scored 22 points with four rebounds, three assists and seven turnovers in a 126-112 blowout victory over the Grizzlies.

    The turnovers were the one blemish on this game for Mitchell. He is sitting inside the top-30 and should stay within that range with potential to climb into the top-20.

  • Bojan Bogdanovic
    SF, Utah Jazz

    Bojan Bogdanovic dropped 19 points on Saturday while shooting 5-of-13 from the field, 2-of-6 from deep and 7-of-7 from the line.

    Bogdanovic continues to roll, producing top-60 value with solid contributions in points, threes and free throw percentage.

  • Rudy Gobert
    C, Utah Jazz

    Rudy Gobert double-doubled with 19 points (8-of-9 from the field) and 11 boards on Saturday.

    Gobert was almost perfect from the floor and added five assists, but he failed to record a block. Gobert is top-40 on the season and could get back to second-round value if his blocks increase slightly.

  • Joe Ingles
    SF, Utah Jazz

    Joe Ingles double-doubled with 12 points, 10 assists, four steals and two 3-pointers in 27 minutes on Saturday.

    Ingles saw extra ball handling opportunity with Mike Conley (left hamstring tightness) sitting out, and he had a great connection with Rudy Gobert (19 points and 11 rebounds in 31 minutes). Ingles is still outside the top-150 in 9-cat rankings but keep an eye on him in case he can get some momentum.

  • Emmanuel Mudiay
    PG, Utah Jazz

    Emmanuel Mudiay scored 11 points with seven assists and two threes in 22 minutes on Saturday.

    Mudiay had extra opportunity with Mike Conley (left hamstring tightness) sidelined. Mudiay can be streamed for assists when Mike Conley or Donovan Mitchell are out, but he should be left on the waiver wire when the Jazz are at full strength.

  • Jeff Green
    SF, Utah Jazz

    Jeff Green drained five 3-pointers on his way to scoring 19 points, shooting 7-of-9 from the floor and 5-of-6 from behind the line in 26 minutes.

    Green joined the party tonight as the Jazz blew out the Grizzlies 126-112. Green can be a boom-or-bust streamer for points and threes but is too inconsistent to rely on. He should be left on the waiver wire.