The men’s Olympic basketball tournament is getting close to the end, and we now know who will play who in the semi-finals. The US team came in as overwhelming betting odds favorites to tale the gold, but if truth be told, they have looked a little shaky at times. They have a tough road ahead, and it all starts with a game against Spain in the semi’s. Let’s take a look at the remaining games to see if we can’t pick out the medal winners.
Analyzing The Rio 2016 Men’s Basketball Gold Medal Expert Predictions
USA vs Spain:
While the USA came into this tournament without the likes of LeBron and Stephen Curry, they still brought more than enough talent to secure the gold medal. As I said already, though, they have not been at their best, and Spain represents their toughest challenge yet. The Spaniards were pegged as one of the medal favorites heading in, thanks in part to a strong line-up that includes the likes of Ricky Rubio, Nikola Mirotic, Pau Gasol, and Jose Calderon. In the group stages, it was believed that the meeting with France would be the toughest for Spain, but they ended up winning that one by 25. They are looking to spring the upset here, and will be facing a US team that manhandled Argentina in the quarter-finals, winning by 27 points in the end. This will be a whole lot tougher for the Americans, but I just don’t see the upset happening in Rio.
USA 92-83 Spain
Australia vs Serbia:
Serbia came into the Olympics as a medal hopeful, despite the fact that they are devoid of NBA talent on their team. The Serbs gave the US a legitimate scare, only losing by 3 in their match-up with the gold medal favorites. That said, they did little else to impress during the group stage, losing to both France and Australia, their semi-final opponent. The beat out Croatia 85-83 in the quarter-finals to book their place here, and now have a shot at revenge against the Australians, who also performed well against the USA. In the group stages, Australia had double digit wins against France and Serbia, and hammered Lithuania by 26 points in the last round. They have NBA stars Andrew Bogut and Patty Mills in their starting 5, and are a legitimate medal contender.
I give Australia the advantage in this matchup 93-72.
USA vs Australia:
If this does indeed end up being the final, you can bet that Australia ae going to come out fast and try to jump on a US team who may be a little complacent. I don’t think the Americans will be that way, though, as their sole focus coming into this tournament was gold, and this is their chance to take it. Andrew Bogut will battle down low for the Australians, but at the end of the day, it’s going to be nigh on impossible to keep a handle on guys like Kyrie Irving and Carmelo Anthony. Even if the Aussies can keep the US out of the paint, they still have to deal with the 3-point shooting of Klay Thompson. It is for those reasons that I believe that it will be the Star Spangled Banner that gets played at the medal ceremony.
USA 90-82 Australia