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Today in NBA History – Aug 23

1978 – Current Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant is born in Philadelphia.  Kobe has played all 16 years Lakers and is a 5x NBA champion (2000-2002, 2009, 2010) as well as a 2x NBA Finals MVP (2009, 2010).  Kobe was the MVP of the league in 2008, has appeared in 14 NBA All-Star Games (winning the All-Star MVP in 2002, 2007, 2009 and 2011) as well as being on 14 All-NBA Teams.

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

Game 3 Recap – USA defeats Nigeria 156–73

August 2 / Day 5 of the 2012 London Olympics.

The obvious storyline from this game was Carmelo Anthony shooting 10 of 12 three pointers in FOURTEEN minutes of court time.  Not to mention the list of Olympic Records and US Olympic Records that were shattered in this game.  Here is a list of those records:

  • OLYMPIC RECORDS BROKEN:
    • Points scored in one game – 156 (previously 138 by Brazil in 1988 against Egypt)
    • Points scored in the first half – 78 points
    • Margin of Victory – 83 (previously 79 by USA in 1992 against Cuba)
  • US Olympic Records Broken:
    • Points scored by one player – 37 by Carmelo Anthony (previously Stephon Marbury with 31 against Spain in 2004)
    • 3 Pointers made – 26
    • Field Goals made – 59
    • Field Goal percentage – 71%

Again, the Americans had a high volume of made shots coming off an assist – 59 baskets on 41 assists for a 69% assist to field goal ratio.  There’s not much more to say after a game like this, but here is what Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant and Mike “Coach K” Krzyzewski:

Carmelo – “It’s a great accomplishment to get that record.  We did it in a very highly classy way. We went out there and we played basketball. We made shots. We make shots like that and play the way we played tonight, that record could have came on any team.” “It was just one of them nights where as a unit we had it going.  It could have been anybody out on the court playing against us.”

Kobe – “When we get hot, it’s a big problem.  So you have all these guys on one team and then all get hot on the same night, it’s tough.”

Coach K – “Well, obviously, we just shot better than any team in a game that I have ever coached. Our guys just couldn’t miss tonight, and they shared the ball. We had 41 assists. When you hit 29 threes, it’s very difficult to lose in a game like that.”

Team USA – Olympic 2012 performance through games 1 and 2

Through the first two games so far, the American basketball team has beaten France and Tunisia by an average of 37 points.  Below is some information on their performance in those games.

 

The United States have stuck to the same starting lineup of Tyson Chandler in the middle with LeBron James and Kevin Durant as the forwards alongside Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul.

Only 3 players are getting to play more than half a game – Durant (25 minutes a game) followed by Paul (23) and LeBron (22).  However, everyone is playing adequate minutes as Bryant and Anthony Davis are both playing the least with 10 minutes per game.

One of the most notable statistics so far has been the Americans assist to field goal rate – of their 74 made shots, 55 of them came off a direct pass from a teammate.

Team USA has quickly shut down the talk of them being “too small” as they’ve score 47 points per game in the paint – good for second in the tournament.  They also boast an average of 100 total rebounds (leading all countries) whilst holding their opponents to 70 total rebounds (currently 3rd best in the 2012 Olympics).

The Americans are starting slowly, averaging just 21.5 points in the opening period, while their strongest quarter is the third where they score 39 points on average.  To no ones surprise, the U.S. are getting their share of fast breaks – scoring 30 points per game on the break to lead the Games.

 

As far as the Americans scoring balance and shooting performances:

The States have 4 players averaging over 10 points a game so far – Durant with 17.5, Kevin Love with 15, Carmelo Anthony with 12.5 and Russell Westbrook with 10 points each night.

As a team, they have scored 208 points over the two games and are shooting 52% from the field.  USA have relied heavily on their 3 point shooting – taking 25 threes a night and converting on 36% of them.  This is led by Durant attempting 9 threes so far in the Games.

The Americans are getting to the foul line quite often (28 per game) – led by Durant and Westbrook with 11 attempts each.

 

For your interest, the categories that the US team is leading the Olympics in so far include points per game, 2 point field goal percentage, 3 point field goals made and attempted, free throws made, points off turnovers, second chance points, fast break points, assists, defensive rebounds and total rebounds.

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