The Boomers go into tonight’s game against Spain as major underdogs: already with a loss on the board and staring at a matchup with the US. But, they must forget that game against Brazil and move on, fast.
Australia had its chances against the South American’s in their opener of the London 2012 Olympics but fell short by four-points, 75-71. The Patty Mills led Boomers took advantage of Brazil’s poor field-goal shooting to touch however when the San Antonio Spurs third string guard wasn’t on the floor, Australia started to lose touch.
It was a frustrating game to watch for fans as Australia consistently turned the ball over, giving up 29 points, and were just horrid from the three-point line – at one stage the Boomers were one from 14 from the outside.
However, that game is now in the past. Australia now faces Spain. A better team with a solid backcourt and the best bigs in the competition – far more superior than the US team. The Gasol brothers (Pau and Marc) combined with the Oklahoma City Thunder’s defensive stopper Serge Ibaka make Brazil’s bigs look third-rate.
The Spanish side is coming of a 16-point victory against the Chinese thanks to 21 points and 11 rebounds from Pau Gasol and 17 points, five rebounds and three blocked shots from Ibaka.
Australia’s may say that it was only China and it was only 16 points. It must be noted that the Boomers easily, easily accounted for the Chinese in the run up to the Olympics. The difference here was that Dallas Mavericks tall Yi Jianlian actually contributed. Yi racked up 30 points, pulled down 12 rebounds – in short, keeping his country close.
The Boomers and Spain played off recently in a two-game series in Granada, Spain – both matches going to the home team, but not by much. In front of 6,500 cheering Spanish fans, Australia went down by six points then backed up the next night to lose again by the same margin. For Australian coach Brett Brown, the performances were highly constructive, remarking post game that:
“I think any time you get the opportunity to play Spain, in Spain 10 days before the Olympic games start is a great experience.”
As Brown went on to add, they were two games the Australian’s could’ve won.
Could’ve. That word that follows the Boomers – could’ve won that game, could’ve won the next. Will it be similar when they go head to head against Spain?
For me, the level of competiveness rises and plays held back in lead up games will come to the fore. Spain by 12 points.