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Olympic Basketball Thursday Previews & GameThread

Olympics: Basketball-Men's Team-Preliminary Round Group B-BRA vs LTU
He may no longer be on the Wizards, but I’m still rooting for Nene.
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Group B of the men’s basketball bracket and Group A of the women’s basketball bracket will play in today’s Olympic group matches. The USA Basketball men’s national team is in Group A and the women’s national team is in Group B, so they won’t play until tomorrow. Both teams won yesterday, but the men got a wake up call against the Australian Boomers. I don’t think it’s anything to worry too much about, but it was good to see the Americans get tested for the first time this summer.

Anyways, let’s get to the brackets.

Men’s Basketball Group B Standings

  • T-1: Argentina (2-0)
  • T-1: Lithuania (2-0)
  • T-3: Brazil (1-1)
  • T-3: Croatia (1-1)
  • T-5: Nigeria (0-2)
  • T-5: Spain (0-2)

The games

  • Brazil vs. Croatia, 1:15 p.m. ET - The home team got a HUGE WIN over Spain on Tuesday, winning 66-65. It could very well be what gets Nene and the gang into the quarterfinals and possibly without a match against the USA. The Croatians are no joke either, so another big homecourt advantage-driven win could be in the cards. IF they win this game, they should at the very least make the quarterfinals.
  • Nigeria vs. Spain, 6 p.m. ET - I don’t think anyone would have expected to see Spain 0-2 right now after losses to Croatia and the hometown Brazilians. The defending Olympic silver medalists are in a must win situation now and this Nigerian team should be a piece of cake on paper. Except that they were a bit more competitive against Lithuania on Tuesday than I anticipated.
  • Lithuania vs. Argentina, 9:30 p.m. ET - This is the game of the night. Both teams are undefeated heading into tonight’s match but winning this group will delay a possible match against the USA until the Gold Medal match ... assuming the Americans don’t lose out of course.

Women’s Basketball Group A Standings:

  • 1: Australia (3-0)
  • T-2: France (2-1)
  • T-2: Japan (2-1)
  • T-4: Belarus (1-2)
  • T-4: Turkey (1-2)
  • 6: Brazil (0-3)

The Games

  • Belarus vs. Turkey, 11:15 a.m. ET - LaToya Sanders (she is known as Lara in Turkey) is the Olympic tournament’s leading scorer at 21.7 ppg — so that’s why you should watch this game. The Turks really need to get this win to keep their hopes of making the knockout stage alive. And in an ideal world, they’ll avoid a quarterfinal match against the USA.
  • France vs. Brazil, 2:30 p.m. ET - Must win for Brazil against one of the best teams not named the USA or Australia. I don’t see it happening, and that 65-63 loss to Belarus on Tuesday really, really sucks. The loss to Japan too for that matter. I don’t anticipate seeing the Brazilians making the knockout stage.
  • Japan vs. Australia, 4:45 p.m. ET - Ramu Tokashiki and the Japanese took care of business in their first two games against two teams that most considered to be better than them in Belarus and Brazil. I don’t anticipate seeing them beat Liz Cambage and the Opals, but it will be kinda fun to see it happen, right? If there’s a WNBA team fanbase who will be sorta torn, it would be Seattle Storm fans because Tokashiki is on their current squad, and former franchise star Lauren Jackson was with them for a number of years.