Olympic Basketball Recap – Day Two

First game of the day was Russia v China and the Russians were in control from the start as they systematically went about dissecting the Chinese defense. Russia are hands down my favourite team to watch at the minute, I love the way they play, great passing and cuts off the ball. (Any Lakers fans should take note and check out their games as they are running the same Princeton offense that the Steve Nash Lakers will be running next season.) I love how Andrey Kirilenko is playing like it’s 2004 again and I love that Shved runs the show whilst looking like Jared Leto strung out on heroin in Requim for a Dream. Perhaps most of all I love that the Russian coaches casually go with the the stonewashed jeans and t-shirt style, even American David Blatt has taken up this classic eastern European look.

Russia Basketball Coaches in Jeans David Blatt

Russia coaching staff rocking the Levis red tab and trainers look

 

Spain v Australia started off much more competitive than expected mainly due to an extremely sloppy start by the Spanish who looked like they were still on a siesta. Spain looked better as the first half wore on and it was quite an exciting game with seven lead changes before the half. In the second half Spain picked up the tempo and put on a passing clinic allowing them to stretch the lead out to 20 points and hold off a late comeback attempt by the boomers.

After the disappointing opening day loss to Argentina Lithuania needed to pick up a win in their match-up vs Nigeria. Lithuania v Nigeria was instantly forgettable, it was never in doubt that Lithuania would get the win as Nigeria again tried to revolutionise the game with their “no-offense” offense. Yesterdays stat of the day had team USA have an incredible 27 assists on 31 made baskets, well just as incredible was Nigeria having 3 assists as a team in this one. There was one highlight for Nigeria that you can see in the play of the day below.

One of the games of the tournament was GB v Brazil as the crowd really got into it and created a great atmosphere in the basketball arena. On paper this game should have been a blowout but GB looked like a different team to the one that had struggled so bad against the Russians. Deng was still drawing a lot of attention but he was now distributing the ball and the GB supporting cast where knocking down shots. Dan Clark started the game well,  he actually drew a non-sarcastic Larry Bird comparison from the commentators, as Brazil were ice cold on their way to an unimpressive four point first quarter total. Brazil came back in the second quarter, with Splitter doing most of the damage, and from this point the game remained close right up until the last two minutes when the Brazilians hit back to back threes to seal the victory.

France v Argentina was up next and it was one of the best games of the day with France  managing to pull out the upset win. Scola and Ginobli were good again for Argentina but, after his game one heroics, Delfino showed why he can be a frustrating player as he went ice cold in this one. Parker was good for France especially in the fourth quarter and Wizards fans will be excitied about the play of new signing Kevin Seraphin. 

The most interesting thing about USA v Tunisia was the first quarter where Tunisia led for most of the way before coach K subbed off the sleep walking starting 5 and brought on 5 from the bench who immediately picked up the pace and the USA cruised from there. Interesting note: Anthony Davis had 6 shot attempts – 5 were completed alley-oop dunks and one was a tip dunk in which he was fouled.

Play of the Day

There are a number of candidates for the play of the day from day two, Ibaka had a couple of nice dunks but this ridiculous fast-break, alley-oop, jam was the pick of the bunch:

Nigeria are the worst team to watch at this years Olympics but they did manage to come up with a nice highlight yesterday as Alade Aminu came up with the monster block on Jonas Valanciunas:

But for the play of the day we have to go to the women’s games and of course the crazy Belinda Snell buzzer beater from her own half! Check out the madness below:

Vanderwatch

After playing so well in the opening game it was a shame to see Rachael not get off the bench for GB v Canada.

Random

  • GB coach Chris Finch could come in form some criticism after Mike Lenzy had to leave the Brazil game with a recurrence of his calf injury. Lenzy was injured just before the tournament and bringing him was a huge gamble that hasn’t paid off and leaves GB short of players at the guard position as Finch controversially cut the talented young Devon Van Oostrum from the Olympic panel.
  • During the GB v Brazil game the commentators made a, non-sarcastic, comment comparing Dan Clark to Larry Bird, wow.
  • Two things I love about the BBC coverage – 1) You get to see the full warm up of the teams playing in the second game of the sessions which is great from a coaching point of view and 2) They always seem to leave the mics on when the commentators don’t know.
  • Gif of the day is a no contest:
  •  Kevin Dunat and Tyson Chandler
  • Favourite video of the day is easily Kobe’s reaction to this Tunisia dunk: WAS the Kobe video down below until I found this cracker of the Tunisia coach bitch slapping one of his players!


About

Niall is the Co-Founder of the Courtside Collective and www.BasketballDirect.com . He was one of the founding members of North Star in 2002. He has coached at a variety of levels from kids to senior men's teams. He is currently coach of the LYIT National League team and women's college team.

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