Even a basketball junkie like myself could not watch 40 mins of offensive fouls and traveling calls -- so I did not even get though one whole game, let alone six total on day one. What I can do is do a point form "what you need to know" type of post about them though!
- Game 1: Nigeria beat Tunisia 60 to 56. This game looked out of control as Nigeria went up 18 to 7 at the end of the first quarter. That said, Tunisia did not give up and the final margin was only 4 points. Not bad for a team that managed to score only 15 total points in the first half. Really. They scored 7 in the first quarter and 8 in the second. For Nigeria Ike Diogu had 13 and 10, while Al-Farouq Aminu (of the, Hornets I guess?) had 10 and 9, with 4 steals. Utah Jazz Orlando Summer league member S. Mejri did his part by scoring twice, while pulling down 10 boards, swatting 3 shots, and dishing it off for 3 assists in his 29 minutes of action. I love how he can be the absolutely best player and also worst player in the same game - which is a continuation of what we saw of him in Orlando.
- Game 2: Brazil beat Australia 75 to 71. This was another close match between a strong team with NBA dudes against a team with a lot of heart, and some NBA level talent as well. Patrick Mills of the Spurs paced his team with 20 points 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. That said, Brazil's attack was too balanced as Leandro Barbosa, Anderson Varejao, and their new stud guard Huertas all had 12 or more points each. Tiago Splitter had a solid game, and Nene Hilario was not tasked with much to do in this game.
- Game 3: USA beat France 98 to 71. I watched most of this game and I do not know what to say about it. I was surprised by France's play and they were "in it" for a long while until their lack of three point making and the USA's decisive push put it out of reach. There were 52 fouls called in this game. There were 32 turn overs in this game. At least Deron Williams was awful, and still outplayed Chris Paul.
- Game 4: Spain beat China 97 to 81. This is another case of quality and depth overcoming, well, whatever it is China has. I guess they have a handful of semi-NBA talent in Wang Zhi-Zhi and Yi Jianlian. Spain's team would win more NBA games than our team. Really, they would: Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, Rudy Fernandez, Jose Calderon, Sergio Llull, Juan Carlos Navarro, Sergio Rodriquez. Oh, and they have this Serge Ibaka dude too. (I know.) This was a beat down.
- Game 5: Russia beat Great Britain 95 to 75. Luol Deng had 26 points, and Pops Mensah-Bonsu had 22, but were no match for Minnesota Timberwolves team mates Alexei Shved (16 and 13 assists), and Andrei Kirilenko who had 35 damn points off of 14/17 shooting. Glad to see that efficiency from a 6'9 former Jazz PF. Glad we ran him out of the league as a SF. We have Big Al now scoring at a high quantity though. So there's that!
- Game 6: Argentina beat Lithuania 102 to 79. Argentina was the only team to break 100 so far in this tournament. They won the Gold a few years ago so they are a damn good team. Jazz killer Linas Kleiza had 20 and 7. Jonas Valanciunas (the guy we didn't pick for Enes Kanter) had 6 and 5 in 13 minutes. Luis Scola had 32 points, Manu Ginobili had 21 / 10 / 6 / 4, Carlos Delfino had 20 (6/9 from three), and Andres Nocioni added 10. And that's really the ball game. But hey, Kleiza still had 20 points. So that's good!
Hooray! Basketball was on TV again!