Obviously the Olympics are about more than one sport. Just watch what the G.O.A.T. Usain Bolt-the Ali of the track-has just done in less than ten seconds for the third straight Olympia in an 100 metres that was essentially his victory lap. But you have to love how Basketball is being represented in Rio and how competitive all the countries are here in Brazil. Showing the game is much more than one nation or gender. You can see the passion of the fans and their flags around the world! Lets keep them waving like the flame lit.
That being said the globe and this game may be coming closer to the peach but the U.S.A. are still president in this contests campaign. Despite critics trying to give this former Dream Team nightmares. The likes of Kobe and LeBron from London’s 2012 may be gone and Steph Curry may want to set the table for his first games in Japan for 2020, but we still need to hear it for the likes of biggest superstar of the moment Kevin Durant and four time Team USA Olympian and point leading record holder Carmelo Anthony.
Sure people have said what they will about the U.S. squeezing victories out of Serbia and Australia but as they say in the ‘Fast and Furious’, “it doesn’t matter if you win by an inch or a mile…winnings winnings”! Besides did you not see how America handled the Peoples Repiblic of China by the biggest margin since 1992 (57 points) or an impressive Venezula all whilst still staying in second gear? Just wait until they hit the nitrus and quarters and less than four games less for what new Golden State Warrior Durant dubs “Game 7’s” from here on out.
The U.S.A. aren’t getting worse. Just like a small ball revolution the game is changing and the rest of the world are just getting so much better.
This is a time where even the silver, second best Spain are struggling and the likes of host nation Brazil are surprising everyone by taking South American neighbours Argentina to two thrilling overtimes before they got taken to the woodshed.
One criticism that has seemed valid was that of Warrior Splash Brother Klay Thompson, who seems to have been shooting in the shallow end here in Rio’s beaches. Until now for this preliminary round he has been more ‘Clay’ Thompson, shooting just 15%. Yeah we’ve been letting him hear it, but we just wanted him to respond.
And boy did he!
Pure shooters will always hit funks, but when they find their range it just opens everything up again. Thompson had been hitting so many bricks he almost broke the backboards glass but tonight it was Klay day again…and you know every one of his band of Team USA brothers were celebrating courtside. It was Showtime for Mychael’s kid as he was everywhere. The baseline. The NBA three point line. So downtown he was in the favelas. Back in the stands with the fans taking selfies and other peoples corn condiments. Thompson was popping. Even hitting a shot clock, off balance fadeaway three like it was a free throw, as it went in and out round the rim, around the whole word. Even stopping off in Tokyo to check out the next games where he’ll be before coming back down to earth with…yep you guessed it, a splash!
Klay’s 30 points lead the United States team to a 100-97 win over France. Aptly beating the Tony Parker rested nation by a 3-ball. Although the U.S. and K.T.’s dominance spoke volumes that the box score couldn’t equate in statistics.
The contest that was opened on a Cousins dunk in relation was puncuated by a rival play as an off balance Cleveland Cavalier champion Kyrie Irving made an impossible alley-oop assist whilst falling down to future G.S.W. rival Kevin Durant for the exclamation dunk.
There’s no more questioning the marks Team USA left after they exited the group stages 5 and 0 like their sisters in the womens game. Nobody is taking a back seat in the knockout stages now. Even ‘Mr. Game 7’, Kevin Durant needs his ‘Mr. 4th Quarter’, Klay Thompson.
What will they dub the state of these Warriors now?
Canada draws Group of Death 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup
Canada’s path to a 2019 FIBA basketball World Cup medal and hopes of a 2020 Olympic berth took a serious blow prior to the start of the games as No. 23 Team Canada was drawn into the group of death — alongside global powerhouses No. 6 Lithuania, No. 11 Australia, and No. 37 Senegal.
For Canada to have a shot at getting to the podium they will have to finish in the top two spots of Group H to advance to second round of the tournament — where the top 16 teams will be split into four new groups (Groups I, J, K, L). If it reaches that stage Team Canada will once again have to finish in the top two to advance to the quarter-finals.
Canada’s road to the 2020 Tokyo summer Olympics is a complex and tough process — given FIBA’s decision to make the World Cup apart of the qualification process. Seven spots are currently up for grabs at FIBA’s flagship event and with hosts Japan earning an automatic entry the room for error is minuscule.
To reach the Olympics, Canada will have to finish as one of the top two teams from the seven team America’s region that features the world’s number one squad in the United States of America alongside traditional mainstays Argentina, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Venezula and Puerto Rico.
If Canada is unable to secure a spot as one of the two top America’s region teams, they will hope to be amongst the top 16 teams at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup where they will be granted automatic qualification to a last chance tournament taking place next summer at a yet to be determined locations. If unable to finish in the top 16, Canada’s last hope would be one of the last eight countries that FIBA would invite for one of the last-chance qualifier tournaments.
Therefore, if Canada has any hopes of qualifying for the 12-team 2020 Summer Olympics via the World Cup they will need to advance from Group H one as top two teams, failure to advance in the premilinary round will automatically put Canada’s hopes at the mercy FIBA via the invitation tournament only.
Should Canada reach the second-round they will be placed in the newly formed Group L, alongside Group G winner and runner-up — potentially setting up another group of death with No. 3 France, No. 11 Germany, No. 11 Australia or No. 6 Lithuania.
To make matters worse for the Canadians, they have been pooled on the same half of the draw as the United States — which would mean a potential quarter-finals match-up between the two neighbouring nations, if Canada can somehow get there.
If the Canadians can reach the quarter-finals there is a good chance they alongside the USA would be last two standing Americas teams — thus earning automatic berth to Tokyo 2020.
As evident, by the World Cup draw and given FIBA’s recent changes it’s clearly going to be a tough road for the Canadians to fullfill their 2020 vision of becoming a global basketball powerhouse.
Canada opens up the World Cup against Australia on Saturday August 31st and will take on Lithuania on two days rest on Monday September 2nd beforing concluding Group H action against Senegal on Wednesday September 4th, 2019. All of Canada’s preliminary round games will be played in Dongguan, China
Kia Nurse wins Australian pro championship
Kia Nurse of Hamilton, Ont., finished second in MVP voting as she helped the University of Canberra to a WNBL Championship today in Australia.
Nurse, a six-foot guard, had 12 points and three assists in a 93-73 victory over the Adelaide Lightning in a series-clinching Game 3 at home in AIS Arena.
“Thank you … for giving me an opportunity to play with an amazing group of women,” Nurse said on Twitter after the win.
This was the latest in a series of high-profile achievements for the former University of Connecticut standout.
Nurse is coming off a solid rookie season in the WNBA, where she averaged 9.1 points per game with the New York Liberty.
New York finished out of the playoffs, and Nurse transitioned to the Australian Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) during the offseason.
Many WNBA players spend the offseason in other pro leagues, in part because salaries are low.
The average WNBA player makes less than $72,000 according to the Canadian Press.
Nurse had a larger role with Canberra, roughly averaging 18 points, five rebounds and two assists per game.
Canberra’s 2-1 series win over Adelaide gave the club its eighth WNBL title.
Nurse finished second to Canberra captain Kelsey Griffin in voting for the Rachael Sporn Grand Final MVP award, according to CP.
At 22, Nurse is arguably Canada’s best-known women’s player, thanks in part to her long-running involvement with Team Canada at international tournaments.
She led Team Canada to a gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto and a seventh-place finish at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Nurse also won two NCAA titles with UConn, where she was also American Athletic Conference (AAC) Freshman of the year in 2015.
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