The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 in basketball. All the excitement of the Olympic event gives us long days with exciting and quality matches. NBA figures throughout the tournament, elite coaches and mythical teams. Are you going to miss it?
The first day of basketball at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games brought us four games and we are going to review the highlights of each match, including the shocking news of France’s victory over the United States.
Iran 78 – Czech Republic 84
The Czech Republic win 84-78, tighter than expected and key to survival in Group A, came with 29 assists, the best figure in the country since the 33 they got against India in Moscow 1980. Tomas Satoransky, the Chicago Bulls guard, was the leader of the Czechs with 6 points, 8 assists, 5 steals and 8 rebounds. The last 5-5-5-5 Olympian had been Chris Paul’s against Spain in the 2008 final and in fact the only player in JJ history. OO. with at least 6 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists and 5 steals as Satoransky was Drazen Petrovic in 1984 against Germany with 21 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists and 5 steals. His squire was the pivot Patrik Auda, 16 points and 6 rebounds in just 22 minutes on the court with 8-10 on the field. Blake Schilb, a key man in the standings, also played a good game (14 points and 5 assists) and Jan Vesely added 11 points and 7 rebounds.
While, Behnam Yakhchali scored 23 points, second most for an Iranian in JJ. OO. behind only Samad Nikkhah Bahrami’s 25 against Croatia in 2008. Despite the Asian champions shooting above 50% for the first time in an Olympic match (their cap was 47.2% vs. Australia in 2008) they did not achieve victory in a match in which they went from less to more. They won only the last quarter (32-17) to put pressure on the Czechs. Mohammad Jamshidi’s 8 assists are the all-time high for an Iranian (they’ve never had someone with more than 4 assists) and former NBA Hamed Haddadi achieved his third Olympic double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Germany 82 – Italy 92
The first cross between Europeans in this tournament was for the Azzurra: Italy beat Germany 92-82 in an entertaining match between two teams qualified via playoffs. The Germans started 32-22 in the first quarter with pure triples but Italy responded with the same coin and turned the story around by winning the last quarter 24-10, achieving a very important victory in view of their aspirations to move on to the next phase. .
Simone Fontecchio, a key man for Italy to be in Tokyo, stood out with his 20 points and an almost historic 5-5 in triples. There were only three similar backgrounds in the JJs. OO .: Rimas Kurtinaitis with 5-5 (USSR vs. Australia, 1988), Pau Gasol with 5-5 (Spain vs. Lithuania, 2016) and Viktor Khryapa with 6-6 (Russia vs. Australia, 2008). Furthermore, Fontecchio’s five triples are the third highest mark in history for an Italian, behind Gianluca Basile’s 7 (vs. Lithuania, 2004) and Giacomo Galanda (vs. China, 2004). The NBA Danilo Gallinari (18 points with 6-9 from the field) and Nico Mannion (10 points and 7 assists) did their thing and Stefano Tonut also played well, contributing another 18 points.
In Germany the best was point guard Maodo Lo, who finished with 24 points (6th German to score in reaching that figure in JJ. OO. being Detlef Schrempf, Dirk Nowitzki, Holger Geschwindner, Norbert Thimm and Chris Kaman the others), 4 assists and 4 rebounds and setting a German record in triples in this tournament with its 6-9. Their NBA representatives in this tournament are the youth Isaac bonga (13 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds) and Mo wagner (12 points and 4 rebounds). The 15 3-pointers were also an all-time high for Germany in JJ. OO. (12 vs. Greece in 2008) but they were not enough and they ended in the last quarter, in which they shot 1-7 from the outside when they had a 14-25.
Australia 84 – Nigeria 67
Australia arrived in Tokyo dreaming of the first medal in their history and started steadily: victory 84-67 against Nigeria taking an important difference in the last quarter (26-13) with important conversions from Nick Kay (12 points and 8 rebounds), Matthew Dellavedova (8 points and 3 assists) and especially Patty Mills (25 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists). The San Antonio Spurs player once again showed that at FIBA level he is one of the best in the world and that he continues to be the main focus of his team beyond the presence of Joe Ingles (11 points and 4 rebounds) or the young Matisse Thybulle (7 points, 4 rebounds and 5 steals) and Dante Exum (11 points and 3 assists) in an Australian team that bet to face Nigeria with great speed and dynamics.
Meanwhile vertigo the two teams passed 20 losses. The last time it had happened? Spain (22) vs. China (20) in 2008. The only other time since 2000 was a Russia (24) vs. Canada (22). Australia’s 22 losses equaled its all-time high (22 vs. USSR in 1976) and the same was true of Nigeria’s 24 (24 vs. United States in 2012). For Patty Mills it was a historic day beyond victory: she reached 386 points in JJ. OO. and was the 16th all-time scorer, passing Sarunas Jasikevicius (370) and his compatriot Shane Heal (377). He also achieved his maximum in assists (6), steals (4) and equaled his top in triples (5). Also in his Olympic debut, Matisse Thybulle equaled the steals record (5) for an Australian, repeating what was done by Mark Bradtke (vs. Germany in 1992), Andrew Gaze (vs. Venezuela in 1992) and Phillip Smyth (vs. China). in 1992). The detail is that in 1992 many defensive rebounds were scored as steals, so it is probably actually the all-time high for an Australian.
Nigeria, with a somewhat complicated outlook with this initial defeat by 17 points difference, He did not have as the top scorer any of his seven NBA but Obi Emegano, author of 12 points entering from the bank. Josh Okogie added 11 and Precious Achiuwa and Jordan Nwora (4-12 from the field) were 10 in a Nigerian team that barely made 39% of their shots to the basket and suffered from offensive problems that he had not had in preparation.
United States 76 – France 83
The day ended with a result of impact on world sport: France beat the United States, conceding to American basketball its first defeat since Athens 2004 (semifinal against Argentina). The Americans started at the front, winning 45-37 in the first half against a France that was failing a lot from the outside. The Europeans looked for another way in the second half, attacking much deeper with the double pivot of Rudy Gobert and Vincent Poirier, and thus they put the game on their side, although everything ended up being defined in the end by the hot hand of Evan Fournier and several open shots missed by a United States that suffered against a Kevin Durant loaded with fouls.
Fournier was the star of the match, with 28 points and 4 rebounds, shooting 11-22 from the field. He is the ninth player to score 28 points for the United States in the JJ. OO. The others were Alfred Lee, Oscar Schmidt, Patty Mills, Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobili, Sarunas Jasikevicius, Luis Scola and Rimas Kurtinaitis. In turn, Fournier scored the second highest figure by a Frenchman in the history of the tournament behind Antoine Rigaudeau’s 29 goals in a France-China match in 2000. Gobert was on the verge of double-double (14 points and 9 rebounds ), Nando De Colo had a great driving game with 13 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists and Guerschon Yabusele’s (6 points and 4 rebounds) was rather weak but important in the end with a fundamental ball recovery.
The United States had 25 consecutive victories in JJ. OO until this day. It’s just his fourth Olympics loss since using NBA players. The other three had arrived in Athens, against Puerto Rico (in the debut like this time), Lithuania and Argentina. With its main star off (Kevin Durant’s 10 points are his lowest mark in 17 Olympic Games games), many offensive complications (15-37 in doubles and 10-32 in triples) and Jrue Holiday (18 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists) and Bam Adebayo (12 points and 10 rebounds) as the only high points, it all ended badly for the United States, which did not have Devin Booker (1-6 from the field in 18 minutes) and little used Khris Middleton ( barely 5:30 on the court). His 36% of the field is his fourth worst figure in that field in all history.
The second day of the tournament will have Argentina facing Slovenia and Spain against Japan.
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