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Today in NBA History – Aug 14

1936 – The first basketball Gold Medal game is played in the Olympics at Berlin.  USA defeat Canada 19-8 in front of 1,000 spectators – including Dr. James Naismith (the creator of basketball) – during a rainstorm on an outdoor court.

1959 – Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Jr. is born in Michigan.  Magic was named to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996.  Magic Johnson averaged 19.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 11.2 assists over 13 seasons, all with the Los Angeles Lakers.  The Lakers have had Magic’s #32 jersey retired since 1992.  Magic is a 3x NBA MVP (1987, 1989, 1990) as well as a 12x NBA All-Star, winning 2 NBA All-Star MVPs in 1990 and 1992.  Magic won 5 NBA championships (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988) as well as being named the NBA Finals MVP in 1980, 1982 and 1987.  Magic was drafted number 1 overall in the 1979 draft after 2 years at Michigan State University where he averaged 17.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 7.9 assists.

1994 – The “Dream Team II” demolishes Russia 137-91 to win the Gold Medal in the FIBA World Championship in Toronto.

Olympic Results – August 8 / Olympics Day 11

here were my predictions and the actual result for August 8 / Olympics Day 11:

Brazil (4-1) vs Argentina (3-2) – Prediction: Brazil by 5 – ACTUAL RESULT: Argentina by 5

  • Argentina had a relentless attack with 5 players scoring in double digits.
  • Despite Brazil attempting more field goals, Argentina made it to the foul line more often and converted a higher percentage of both (Argentina 47% FG to Brazil 43% FG + Argentina 68% FT to Brazil 50% FT).

United States (5-0) vs Australia (3-2) – Prediction: USA by 25 – ACTUAL RESULT: USA by 33

  • The Americans had 6 players in double figures lead by Kobe Bryant’s 20 points (all coming in the second half).
  • LeBron James had a nice all-round game with a triple double of 11 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists.  Kevin Love was the only other player in the game to have a double double (10 points, 11 rebounds).
  • Patty Mills from Australia lead all scorers with 26 points on 45% shooting from the field and 44% from downtown.

France (4-1) vs Spain (3-2) – Prediction: France by 10 – ACTUAL RESULT: Spain by 7

  • Spain held France to a poor shooting night – France were 34% from the field.  Spain were also +7 in rebounding and attempted 17 more free throws than France.

Russia (4-1) vs Lithuania (2-3) – Prediction: Russia by 10 – ACTUAL RESULT: Russia by 9

  •  Russia worked the ball inside – scoring 42 of their 83 points in the paint.  Russia shot better inside the 3 point line – 51% compared to 35% by the Lithuanian’s. They also took advantage of Lithuania’s mistakes – scoring 16 points off turnovers.

Following the results of these games, we now know the match ups for the next round:

Argentina v United States while Spain v Russia.  The winner of both games will play off for the Gold Medal

Olympic Basketball Draws

Starting on the 28th of July, the Men’s and Women’s Olympic Basketball games begin.  Here are the draws for the preliminary rounds. We will provide recaps and news as the games are played.

Men’s Draw – Group A:

  • Argentina
  • France
  • Lithuania
  • Nigeria
  • Tunisia
  • United State

Men’s Draw – Group B:

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • China
  • Great Britain
  • Russian Federation
  • Spain

Women’s Draw – Group A:

  • Angola
  • China
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Turkey
  • United State

Women’s Draw – Group B:

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • France
  • Great Britain
  • Russian Federation
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