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Thoughts about the games in Rio

Published by Axel on 23rd August - 00:25 (CET)
Congratulations to Team USA who beat Serbia with a score of 99 - 66 to bring home the Olympic gold.
Another congratulations to Serbia for the silver and to Spain who beat Australia for the bronze medal.

Since USA has dominated international basketball ever since the Yugoslavian and Soviet teams discontinued (well, there was that team in '04... and in '06) it wasn't surprising to any of us to see them win the gold, but I think most of us are quite surprised how close a few games got, at least for a while.

Even though many critics wanted to blame it on too much iso play and the lack of general team play, the biggest issue seemed to be the very questionable defense, where NBA stars like DeMarcus Cousins got killed in the post. He could learn a thing or two from DeAndre Jordan who obviously should have started most of the tournament.

Another issue was the lack of urgency from some players. Surprisingly Kevin Durant was one of those players as he really looked like he didn't give a shit until the very last game where he finished with 30 points. 24 of those points was scored in the first half as he was just five points short of Serbia's 29.

There were others who really cared though, notably Carmelo Anthony who perhaps is the most achieved player of all time internationally (no disrespect on Oscar Schmidt).
Melo has been around Team USA since his junior days in 2002 and the Men's team since 2004, where USA famously got beaten by Argentina in the semi finals of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
He was also on the team that lost to Greece in the semi finals of the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan.
That didn't scare Melo away though, as he still came around to win the gold in the 2007 Americas Championship in Las Vegas. He was on the "Redeem Team" to win the gold medal in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and continued his success with two more Olympic gold medals.
One in 2012 in London and now another one in Rio, which makes him the first ever male basketball player to win three Olympic gold medals.
This was however the last games we'll ever get to see from Carmelo Anthony with the national team as he notably touched announced his intention to retire from international basketball in his post game interview right after the win against Serbia. This interview can be viewed down below.

During his career with team USA he scored a total of 336 points, enough to pass Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson and LeBron James as the all time top scorer for the national team.
Some other players who will be leaving the international scene is Spurs veterans Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. The latter whom have won so many medals with the national team of Argentina that I don't even dare to try to cover them all. But among them is a World Cup silver, an Olympic gold, an Olympic bronze and a bunch of medals from various American championships.

Ginobili's fellow Argentinian Andrés Nocioni have probably also played his last international game as he turns 37 in November. The former NBA veteran who's currently playing for Real Madrid surely showed that he still got it though and managed to get 37 points and 11 rebounds while making 8 three point field goals against Brazil.

Overall it was really fun to watch Argentina play and if their players don't, their crowd certainly deserves a medal of some kind, just check out the video below...

One more thing to take with from this tournament is that I'll never again complain on the NBA refs...
This is what Australia's Andrew Bogut had to say about it:

"Questionable calls all game. That's FIBA basketball. Wouldn't expect anything less from the refs."

Note that this was after a very questionable call in crunch time that gave Spain a couple of free throws and perhaps lost Australia the game.

Anyways, there were a few quite nice games, and I think we can look forward to future tournaments where other teams are gaining a bit on USA.

Have a look at the top 5 list for the major categories of the Rio games below, not a lot of Americans!
Points Per Game
1Bojan BOGDANOVICCroatia25.3
2Patty MILLSAustralia21.3
3Jianlian YIChina20.4
4Pau GASOLSpain19.5
5Kevin DURANTUSA19.4
Rebounds Per Game
1Pau GASOLSpain8.9
2Ike DIOGUNigeria8.6
3Luís SCOLAArgentina8.3
4Rudy GOBERTFrance7.2
5Jonas VALANCIUNASLithuania7.0
Assists Per Game
1Mantas KALNIETISLithuania7.5
2Matthew DELLAVEDOVAAustralia7.0
3Marcelinho HUERTASBrazil6.6
4Facundo CAMPAZZOArgentina5.8
5Milos TEODOSICSerbia5.4
Steals Per Game
1Facundo CAMPAZZOArgentina2.8
2Gregory VARGASVenezuela2.2
3Nene HILARIOBrazil2.0
4Rudy FERNANDEZSpain1.9
5Paul GEORGEUSA1.5
Blocks Per Game
1Ekene IBEKWENigeria2.4
2Pau GASOLSpain1.9
3Rudy GOBERTFrance1.8
4Andrew BOGUTAustralia1.4
5Ike DIOGUNigeria1.2
By the way, this is Thibs casually riding the train back after winning an Olympic gold medal.
Probably mad about some missed defensive roatation.

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