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.
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.
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).