2016 Rio Olympics Basketball Preview
With the 2016 Rio Olympics Basketball Tournaments set to kick off this weekend, it’s time to take a look the talent pool that will be competing for Summer Gold. Who will be the medal favorites heading into preliminary play? Which NBA stars will shine, and who will be missed? Finally find out when teams will be taking the court so that you don’t miss any of the action!
Although the game has seen global growth since the days of the USA Dream Team, the Red, White, and Blue Squad is still the Gold medal favorite heading into the tournament. Even with NBA MVP’s like Lebron James and Steph Curry choosing to opt out this time around, on paper Team USA still has the superior group of talent.
In the past we have seen (and Carmelo Anthony experienced) that talent alone doesn’t always take home the Gold. With France and Spain also bringing NBA talent to Rio, the road to Gold may still be a battle.
France will be tipping off with an impressive starting five consisting of Tony Parker, Nic Batum, Boris Diaw, Rudy Gobert and Nando de Colo (last season’s Euro Leaugue MVP). While France’s roster may not have the same depth as the US, they will be taking the court with a well-balanced and strong defensive squad.
Another team to watch will be former Silver Medal winners, Spain. Loaded with pro’s including; Pau Gasol, Ricky Rubio, and Jose Calderon, there will be no shortage of experience in their locker room. Similar to France, however, Spain may not be deep enough to knock off the United States in the later rounds of the tournament.
Olympic action tips-off Saturday with France taking on Australia at 1:15PM (est) and the United States playing China at 6PM. Spain will play their first game Sunday at 6PM against Croatia. You can find the full tournament bracket below.
Leopold, Bill. “Men’s Basketball Medal Predictions.” www.nbcolympics.com, August, 2016.