Tag: Yi Jianlian

Olympics Day 4 - Basketball

Tuesday Olympics recap: Spain wins but gets a reason to worry


We’ve told you about the big games of the day… well the one big game — France’s minor but key upset of Argentina — and the other big game for us, the expected USA rout of Tunisia.

But there were four other games played in London on Tuesday that you didn’t watch. That’s why we’re here for you. Because we care.

Here is a recap of Tuesday’s action.

Spain 82, Australia 70: Spain improves to 2-0 in Group B behind 20 points from Pau Gasol, pretty much as expected. The biggest news out of this game is that Spanish point guard and team captain Juan Carlos Navarro missed the game with a foot injury. He has long battled plantar fasciitis and if it flairs up and he can’t play in the medal rounds that could be a big hinderance for Spain.

Russia 73, China 54: This was not the prettiest game at the start — China opened up shooting 6-of-19, Russia 7-of-18. But the Russians found their range thanks to another big game from Andrei Kirilenko who had 16 points. Russia improves to 2-0 in Group B, tied with Brazil and Spain, and they look not only like a team that will advance to the medal round but a team that will be a tough out. China is now 0-2 despite 16 points and 7 boards from Yi Jianlian.

Brazil 67, Great Britain 62: This one was a whole lot closer than expected, in fact it was tied 27-27 at the half. Luol Deng is trying to do a little bit of everything for the host Brits and he almost had a deceiving triple-double with 12 points, 8 boards and 7 assists — but he shot 1-of-11 at one point and seemed to be holding them back. Then when they needed him late he knocked down a couple hero-ball threes to get it close. However, Brazil held on in part because of the 21 points from power forward Marcus Vieira. Brazil also is 2-0 on group play while the hosts are looking for their first win.

Lithuania 72, Nigeria 53: Both of these teams are now 1-1 in the middle of a crowded Group A (although Nigeria’s win came against lowly Tunisia and it is likely their only one). Lithuania led by double digits most of the way, although Nigeria chipped away at it near the half to make things look closer than they really were. Linus Kleiza had 13 points and six rebounds for Lithuania, while Sarunas Jasikevicius added nine points and nine assists.
Al-Farouq Aminu had 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Ike Diogu finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds for Nigeria, but as a team the Africans shot just 24 percent. And that will not get it done.

Olympics Day 1 roundup: Argentina picks up key victory

Argentinian guard Emanuel Ginobili (2dR)

We’ve broken down the USA win over France a few ways now, but there were five other games in the Olympics on Sunday. And we know you didn’t watch all of them because you were entranced by beach volleyball. We get that.

To help you out, here is a recap of the rest of the day in Olympic basketball.

Argentina 102, Lithuania 79: It is the first day of Olympic competition but this one was big — it likely determines second and third place in Group A (behind the USA). Argentina pulled away in the second quarter and got monster games from its stars: Luis Scola had 32 points on 19 shots, Manu Ginobili put on a clinic with 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Carlos Delfino added 20 points.

With this win it is likely the last day of Group A play will feature an undefeated USA and Argentina playing for the top spot in the group. And like the exhibition meeting (86-80 USA) it will not be a blowout.

Spain 97, China 81: Spain had to work for this one. If you’re a cynic and want to combine that with the fact the team projected as the second best in this tournament was not blowing people’s doors off in the exhibition tune-ups for the Olympics you can raise some eyebrows. But for now, I’d say keep your eyebrows down. Spain always seems to be a side that starts slow and builds in international competitions.

This was a seven-point game early in the fourth quarter before Spain pulled away at the end to have a comfortable margin of victory. As you might expect, Spain’s size — especially when Serge Ibaka was on the floor defending the rim – was hard for China to handle. Pau Gasol had 21 points and 11 boards to pace Spain, Ibaka had 17 off the bench. Juan Carlos Navarro added 14.

Biggest surprise of this game was phenomenal play from Yi Jianlian, who dropped 30 for China with 12 boards. He’s never figured out how to fit his game in the NBA but he looked comfortable out there and put up big numbers. Good time to do that if you’re a guy looking for an NBA payday (and some European clubs had to notice, too).

Nigeria 60, Tunisia 56: Nigeria owned the game early — Tunisia scored just 15 first half points and Nigeria was up 19 at one point. But Tunisia made a game of it late scoring 25 points in the fourth quarter and it took some steady play from Nigerian point guard Ade Dagunduro for them to hold on.

Brazil 75, Australia 71: This game was not expected to be this close but the Aussies put up a fight behind 20 points from Patty Mills (most recently of the Spurs) and some great outside shooting down the stretch that made a game of it. Brazil kept its head down the stretch and won because of veteran point guard Marcelinho Huertas, who had 10 assists. Brazil was led by 16 points from Leandro Barbosa.

Russia 95, Great Britain 75: Timberwolves fans, watch the replay of this game and you are going to be very happy. Just signed Andrei Kirilenko dropped 35 points on 14-of-17 shooting to lead Russia. Then your new backup Russian point guard Alexey Shved added 16 points and 13 assists. Russia is a sleeper medal team in this tournament, keep an eye on them. Luol Deng led GB with 26 points but needed 27 shots to do it.

Here are all 39 NBA players taking part in Olympics

File photo of U.S. basketball Chairman Colangelo and the 2012 U.S. Olympic men's basketball team posing in Las Vegas

The Olympic basketball tournament is loaded with NBA players. Loaded. There are 39, and that is just guys currently on rosters (there are a couple not on now that likely will be by the time camp opens.

Here is a list of all the NBA players in the Olympic tournament. Not a coincidence that the more names you see on a country’s list the more likely said country is to medal.

Carlos Delfino (Milwaukee Bucks)
Manu Ginobili (San Antonio Spurs)
Pablo Prigioni (New York Knicks)
Luis Scola (Phoenix Suns)

Patrick Mills (Portland Trail Blazers)

Leandro Barbosa (Indiana Pacers)
Nene Hilario (Washington Wizards)
Tiago Splitter (San Antonio Spurs)
Anderson Varejao (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Yi Jianlian (Dallas Mavericks)

Nicolas Batum (Portland Trail Blazers)
Nando de Colo (San Antonio Spurs)
Boris Diaw (San Antonio Spurs)
Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs)
Kevin Seraphin (Washington Wizards)
Ronny Turiaf (Los Angeles Clippers)

Great Britain
Luol Deng (Chicago Bulls)
Joel Freeland (Portland Trailblazers)

Linas Kleiza (Toronto Raptors)
Jonas Valanciunas (Toronto Raptors)

Al Farouq Aminu (New Orleans Hornets)

Timofey Mozgov (Denver Nuggets)
Andrei Kirilenko (Minnesota Timberwolves)

Jose Calderon (Toronto Raptors)
Victor Claver (Portland Trail Blazers)
Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies)
Pau Gasol (Los Angeles Lakers)
Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City Thunder)

Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)
Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers)
Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks)
Anthony Davis (New Orleans Hornets)
Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder)
James Harden (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers)
LeBron James (Miami Heat)
Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves)
Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers)
Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Deron Williams (Brooklyn Nets)

Other guys you might know from their time in the NBA not currently on an NBA roster: Andres Nocini (Argentina), Pops Mensah Bonsu (Great Britain), Ike Diogu (Nigeria), Rudy Fernandez (Spain), Juan Carlos Navaro (Spain).

Yi Jianlian will carry China’s national flag in Olympic Opening Ceremonies

China's basketball player Yi Jianlian po

They’ve got 1.3 billion people and they choose Yi Jianlian?

Yes. Apparently so. Reports out of China say that the washout NBA player will carry China’s national flag into the Opening Ceremonies of the London Olympics Friday night. (Thanks to Dan Devine at Ball Don’t Lie for finding this.)

This news leaks a day after a Chinese official said the flag bearer would be “tall, handsome and famous.” Yi certainly is tall (7’0”). Handsome is eye of the beholder stuff.

For NBA fans this is stunning because Yi has never lived up to his status as the No. 6 pick overall, or of being the next star out of China, even though he has shown flashes of talent. Last season he was playing on a minimum deal in Dallas and only got off the bench in garbage time. Right no he is an unrestricted free agent drawing little interest.

But his fame in China should not be questioned. A couple years back I had a long conversation with David Thorpe (Executive Director of the Pro Training Center and ESPN.com analyst) when he was working with Yi and he was stunned by the popularity Yi had, with Chinese media and fans following him. Thorpe also thought Yi was very athletic and talented, if he could just mold that into the NBA style of play.

He hasn’t. Which is why this still seems odd. Yao Ming carried the flag at the Beijing games and that made a lot of sense, he was an elite player and was wildly popular around the globe. Pau Gasol is carrying the Spanish flag and he is a two-time NBA champion, four-time NBA All-Star, Rookie of the Year, decorated international player and the best hoopster Spain has ever produced. And he’s leading a team with serious medal hopes heading into London.

Yi? Well, he’s got the gig, no matter if we all roll our eyes or not.

Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony to be in Chinese sci-fi film

Tommy Hilfiger Womens - Backstage - Spring 2012 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

And we have a winner in our strangest video of the day contest…

As we told you was coming a couple years ago, the NBA has teamed up with a Chinese film studio to have NBA stars — Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony, plus Yi Jianlian and former Bull Scottie Pippen — appear in a Chinese science-fiction movie that will feel like the Tron movie I wish I’d never paid to see.

No, I did not take the brown acid and no I am not making this up. Watch the trailer for yourself. From the Shanghahi News (via Ben Maller):

“Amazing,” a production by the Shanghai Film Group, tells the story of a fictional world known as “The Sixth Sense.” It uses basketball imagery to combine the visual elements of a video game with a movie, akin to the 2010 American science fiction film “Tron: Legacy.”

“For the NBA, this partnership with industry leader Shanghai Film Group represents an important first step to engage our fans in entertainment all across China,” said (CEO of NBA China David) Shoemaker.

“Resident Evil” star Eric Mabius also is in the film. The movie is supposed to be released this summer in China.

Hat tip to Dan Devine of Ball Don’t Lie for finding the video.