In just a little over two months, Team USA will tip off the defense of its gold medal at the London Olympics. Man, that is coming up fast.
We got our first look at the schedule for the Games and Team USA’s toughest games of pool play will come at the beginning and end of the round, against France (Tony Parker) and Argentina (Manu Ginobili). There are six teams in each pool, meaning there are five games in that round. Two of the team’s in the USA’s pool will come out of the pre-Olympics qualifying tournament (which has some good teams such as Russia, Lithuania and Puerto Rico).
Here’s the schedule.
July 29, France (9:30 a.m. ET)
July 31, Tunisia (5:15 p.m. ET)
Aug. 2, Qualifier TBD (5:15 p.m. ET)
Aug. 4, Qualifier TBD (9:30 a.m. ET)
Aug. 6, Argentina (5:15 p.m. ET)
After that the top four teams from each pool move on to the single-elimination tournament, with the first games Aug. 8, the semifinals on Aug. 10 and the medal games on Aug. 12.
Like you we’re focused on the NBA playoffs right now, but I’m pumped for the coming summer of Olympic ball. PBT will be all over it, from being at USA training camp in Las Vegas through having all kinds of content and video coming out of London all the way up to the gold medal game.
Likely against Spain. Which will be special. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, it’s a long road. We still don’t know the Team USA roster yet.
Utah’s Gordon Hayward abused the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson on this play.
First, Hayward reads and steals Clarkson’s poor feed into the post intended for Kobe Bryant, then going up the sideline he takes his dribble behind Clarkson’s back to keep going. It all ends in a Rudy Gobert dunk.
Three quick takeaways here:
1) Gordon Hayward is a lot better than many fans realize. He can lead this team.
2) It’s still all about the development with Clarkson, and that’s going to mean some hard lessons.
3) Hayward may have the best hair in the NBA, even if it’s going a bit Macklemore.
(Hat tip reddit)
VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”
That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.
Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:
“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”
Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.
And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.