Basketball On The Internet.

Sponsored by:

AllStar Photos

Specialising in Action, Team and Portrait Photography.


Advertising opportunities available.
Please contact me.

AUS too good for USA

FALLING in behind our Olympic flag-bearer Patty Mills, Australia's Boomers today marched straight past the Gold Medal-defending USA 91-83 for a magnificent Games exhibition win in Las Vegas, only the Boomers' second ever success over the sport's standard-bearers.

The Aussies had their first win against the Americans ahead of the 2019 FIBA World Cup in front of a record 52,079 fans at Melbourne's Marvel Stadium when it again was the brilliance of Mills and the guile of Joe Ingles which underpinned the 98-94 upset.

Andrew Bogut also was invaluable in that match, the microscope now on Aron Baynes to fill his big shoes in Tokyo. But here's the thing. Baynes cracked knees with Bradley Beal early in the match and did not resume, icing it on the sidelines as USA raced 11 clear just ahead of halftime on the back of consecutive Boomers turnovers.

But Australia owned the third period, Chris Goulding big in a 19-6 finish that had the Boomers on the brink of victory, his long-range missile to close the term particularly inspirational.

Kevin Durant and Damian Lillard ensured the match would go to the wire but down the stretch, the defensive hustle and scramble of the Aussies was impeccable and impenetrable.

That is despite Matthew Dellavedova being hit with two fouls within 44 seconds of the last quarter's start and the USA in bonus from midway through the quarter.

Matisse Thybulle continued to impress but Australia's defensive emphasis ultimately was the difference.

Jayson Tatum put USA ahead on a fast break 82-80 with 4:34 left, but it was an 11-1 run to the siren for Australia, Mills en route to an equal game-high 22 points, with four assists including a wicked zinger of a pass from the top of the key to a cutting Thybulle.

Lillard finished with 22 points, Durant 17 and Beal 12.

This was glorious to watch and while it is true the Americans still have three players to add - the trio locked up in the NBA Finals between Phoenix and Milwaukee - it marked their second loss in successive games.

Beaten by three by Nigeria to open this exhibition series, the USA would be counting down the days until it can assemble its true lineup.

In the meantime, Nigeria, boasting seven players with NBA experience, today routed Argentina to show its victory over USA was no fluke and that it can more than successfully compete at this international level.

Australia has Nigeria as its opening intragroup game at the Tokyo Olympics and anyone pencilling in a certain win may need to find their erasers.

The Boomers will have a better gauge though tomorrow, when they play an exhibition match against them. Right now, the flexibility in Brian Goorjian's lineup is exciting, with players such as Thybulle and Duop Reath revelations.

Thybulle (12 points, 3 steals, 3 assists, 2 blocks), Ingles finishing with 17 after stroking three consecutive 3-pointers in the first quarter, and Chris Goulding (11 points), showed the Aussies also have their share of offensive options.

It's 10 days from the opening ceremony ... and counting.

Jul 13

Content, unless otherwise indicated, is © copyright Boti Nagy.