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.
NEW YORK (AP) — TNT will use broadcast teams featuring only former players and no traditional play-by-play men during five NBA doubleheaders later this season.
The “Players Only” schedule runs Monday nights from Feb. 27 to March 27 and includes matchups such as Golden State-Oklahoma City on March 20 and Cleveland-San Antonio a week later.
Brent Barry will serve as the primary host of one team with Derek Fisher and Grant Hill, while Greg Anthony partners with Kevin McHale and Richard Hamilton on the other.
Lisa Leslie and Dennis Scott will serve as reporters.
Turner Sports says Thursday that Chris Webber will anchor the studio coverage with Isiah Thomas and Baron Davis, and that additional NBA players will contribute to the five-week program.
HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden took some time out after the Houston Rockets’ win over the visiting Milwaukee Bucks to give a fan a present on a her 100th birthday.
Video shows Harden signing a ball for the woman and spending a few moments sitting next to her in her courtside seat and posing for pictures Wednesday night.
Harden told ESPN’s Doris Burke in an interview that he told the woman how “blessed” he was to be able to have a chance to meet her.
The Houston guard also put on a good show for the fan during the game, scoring 38 points in a 111-92 victory over the Bucks.
Kings center DeMarcus Couins appears set to become the first player to sign as a veteran designated player. The Pacers hope Paul George will follow.
But in the Pacers’ win over the Kings yesterday, George beat Cousins.
Not even Cousins thwacking George in the face could stop this dunk.
The Bucks projected Khris Middleton to miss about 70 games when he tore his hamstring before the season. That extended absence often leads players just to shut down for the year, but Middleton vowed to return in time for the playoffs.
He might get back far sooner than that.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
Sources told ESPN.com the Bucks think Middleton, who suffered a hamstring tear just days before the season began, “has a chance” to return to the lineup during a three-game homestand next month before the All-Star break.
Whether Middleton ultimately makes his season debut before or after the All-Star Game, he is expected to be kept on a minutes restriction as he eases way his back from the injury, sources said.
The Bucks have started Tony Snell, who has held his own as an outside shooter. But Middleton will upgrade Milwaukee on Snell’s biggest strength and provide massive defensive improvement. After a strong start, the Bucks have really struggled lately on that end.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has led Milwaukee to a 20-21 record, though the team is better than its won-loss mark indicates. The Bucks will be even better with Middleton, who will rival Jabari Parker as their second-best player and fit seamlessly.