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.
1948 – Team USA win the Olympic Gold Medal in London. They defeated France 65-21.
2002 – Edna Campbell returns to play for the Sacramento Monarchs (WNBA) after overcoming breast cancer twice.
1902 – Red Holzman was born in Brooklyn, New York. Holzman is a Hall of Fame coach who lead the New York Knicks to the NBA Championship in 1970 and 1973. He coached 1,300 NBA games over 18 seasons, winning 53.5% of the games (696 wins – 604 losses) as well as coaching in 106 NBA Playoff games.
1984 – The USA Men’s basketball team defeated Spain 96-65 to win the Gold Medal in the Los Angeles Olympics.
2006 – Diana Taurasi (of the Phoenix Mercury) scores 47 points (WNBA record) in a triple-overtime win against the Houston Comets.
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
So, we are down to the elimination bracket games. The match ups have been announced and it looks like every game will be very interesting. Below are the match ups and my predictions.
Brazil (4-1) vs Argentina (3-2) – Prediction: Brazil by 5
United States (5-0) vs Australia (3-2) – Prediction: USA by 25
France (4-1) vs Spain (3-2) – Prediction: France by 10
Russia (4-1) vs Lithuania (2-3) – Prediction: Russia by 10
The winner of Brazil/Argentina will play against the winner of USA/Australia in the following round, as will France/Spain play Russia/Lithuania.
1930 – Jerry Tarkanian is born in Ohio. Tark the Shark was known for his coaching career at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) but retired with a career record of 990 wins – 228 losses (81.3%).
1979 – Rashard Lewis is born in Louisiana. So far, Lewis has averaged 16.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists per game over 14 seasons in the NBA. He has played for the Seattle Super Sonics, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards and made 2 All-Star appearances.
1992 – The United States “Dream Team” won the Gold Medal in the Olympics in Barcelona. The team won by an average of 43.8 points and is still considered the greatest team assembled in any sport of all time. The roster included:
- Charles Barkley
- Larry Bird
- Clyde Drexler
- Patrick Ewing
- Magic Johnson
- Michael Jordan
- Christian Laettner
- Karl Malone
- Chris Mullin
- Scottie Pippen
- David Robinson
- John Stockton
So here were my predictions and the actual result for August 6 / Olympics Day 9:
- France vs Nigeria – France by 15-20 points – ACTUAL RESULT – France by 6
- Argentina vs USA – USA by 20-30 points – ACTUAL RESULT – USA by 29
- Great Britain vs China – Britain by 10 points – ACTUAL RESULT – Great Britain by 32
- Spain vs Brazil – Spain by 5-10 points – ACTUAL RESULT – Brazil by 6
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.”
How my predictions from the other day actually played out – August 4 / Olympics Day 7:
- Tunisia vs France – France by 10-15 points – ACTUAL RESULT – France by 4
- Lithuania vs USA – USA by 35-40 points – ACTUAL RESULT -USA by 5
- Nigeria vs Argentina – Argentina by 15-20 points – ACTUAL RESULT – Argentina by 14
- Russia vs Spain – Spain by 5-10 points – ACTUAL RESULT – Russia by 3
- China vs Brazil – Brazil by 15-20 points – ACTUAL RESULT -Brazil by 39
- Great Britain vs Australia – Australia by 15 points – ACTUAL RESULT – Australia by 31
UPDATED PREDICTIONS FOR August 6 / Olympics Day 9:
- Tunisia vs Lithuania – (game already completed at time of post)
- France vs Nigeria – France by 15-20 points
- Argentina vs USA – USA by 20-30 points
- Australia vs Russia – (game already completed at time of post)
- Great Britain vs China – Britain by 10 points
- Spain vs Brazil – Spain by 5-10 points
By the time most of you will read this, each of the Men’s basketball teams in the London 2012 Olympic Games will have probably played their first 3 group games. Below are my predictions for the remaining 2 games that each team will play as well as the ladders upon the completion of the group games.
Group A – Day 7 (August 4, 2012)
- Tunisia vs France – France by 10-15 points
- Lithuania vs USA – USA by 35-40 points
- Nigeria vs Argentina – Argentina by 15-20 points
Group A – Day 9 (August 6, 2012)
- Tunisia vs Lithuania – Lithuania by 15-20 points
- France vs Nigeria – France by 20 points
- Argentina vs USA – USA by 30-35 points
Group B – Day 7 (August 4, 2012)
- Russia vs Spain – Spain by 5-10 points
- China vs Brazil – Brazil by 15-20 points
- Great Britain vs Australia – Australia by 15 points
Group B – Day 9 (August 6, 2012)
- Australia vs Russia – Russia by 15-20 points
- Great Britain vs China – China by 10 points
- Spain vs Brazil – Spain by 5-10 points
The two most interesting games to watch as far as competitiveness and comparable talent are Russia vs Spain and Spain vs Brazil. Spain are the favourites to play the United States in the Gold medal game, however they have key players with nagging injuries – Mark Gasol (right shoulder), Juan Carlos Navarro (left foot) and Rudy Fernandez (back trouble and stitches on head).