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Olympic Basketball Day 4 Preview, Picks and Daily Fantasy Plays with Spain Trying to Right the Ship

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Group A went pretty much as expected yesterday except for Australia blowing Serbia out in the fourth quarter. The Boomers have loved the fourth quarter in their first two games as they used a 33-17 frame yesterday and a 26-18 quarter against France. Yesterday, Australia survived a poor first couple of quarters from Patty Mills as Delly played savior once again – you’re welcome Cleveland – until Mills got hot late. In the second game Team USA only played a half of good basketball and still nearly covered the 50 point spread. Venezuela did what everyone expected them to by slowing the game down, taking shot clock violations and fouling, a lot of fouling. They were tied at 18 after the first quarter when K realized he had the same gameplan against Lehigh and Mercer before the second group saved him from having to fake a back injury. Paul George was the star this game for the US as he put up 20 points in 20 minutes and is showing why Colangelo and K wanted him to be an Olympian so bad. He can come in and play the three or stretch four and does a little bit of everything.

We’re back with the fun group today in Group B as we have two good games yet again on the schedule. We’ll try to right the ship with picks as we went 2-2 yesterday and sit at 8-5 through the first three games.

Brazil vs Spain – 1:15 pm

Line: Spain -6.5 (-285), Brazil +225, 151.5

Preview: Much like I said about France yesterday, this is a game that Spain needs to have and needs to play well in. They are coming off the somewhat shocking loss to Croatia where they pretty much just shit the bed coming down the stretch of the game. They had a chance to put Croatia away and couldn’t hold on to a nine-point lead. Brazil on the other hand got down big against Lithuania before holding them to 24 points in the second half and losing by just six. I just don’t see how Brazil can keep up with the depth of Spain in this game, especially after wasting a lot of energy against Lithuania. Brazil’s Nene – who is a top-3 player for them – will have to go against Pau Gasol, which takes away that advantage Brazil typically has. Barbosa will see a host of defenders as Spain can throw Rudy Fernandez, Ricky Rubio, Serio Llull, Sergio Rodriguez and Juan Carlos Navarro all on him. For Spain look for them to turn to Nikola Mirotic again, who will have a mismatch in this game. Mirotic was the second leading scorer against Croatia and can obviously stretch the floor. Brazil just doesn’t have someone who can stick with him.

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Pick: Spain is desperate here as they try to stay within striking distance of winning the group. I think they get off to a fast start and you see a lot of the offense run through Gasol in the post and Mirotic on the wing. Combined with the depth and talent level, I don’t see this one being closer than 10. I also would lean on the over here as Spain will shoot better from the floor and Brazil will try to speed the game up.

Nigeria vs Lithuania – 6:00 pm

Line: Lithuania -18.5 (-5000), Nigeria +1400, 151.5

Preview: Lithuania looked like they were the No. 3 team in the world in the first half against Brazil as they led 58-29. However, we saw where Lithuania can struggle in the second half when they have to rely on more outside shooting. I don’t expect them to have to worry about blowing a lead in this game though as Nigeria is one of the three worst teams in the field. Lithuania is incredibly balanced as they had six guys score double digits on Sunday. Lithuania will have a massive size advantage in this game with Valanciunas and Sabonis in the post while Nigeria will have Diogu and Aminu trying to keep them off the glass. The Nigerians struggled guarding the three against Argentina, who shot 44 percent from deep, with a lot of the looks coming off swing passes and catching Nigeria out of position.

Pick: Even if Lithuania doesn’t shoot the ball well from the outside they are going to grab a ton of offensive rebounds. We’ve seen games called tightly in the Olympics, so expect a lot of post fouls by Nigeria. I don’t love this line as I wonder if Lithuania will hit a lull again like they did against Brazil, but I’ll take the clearly better team here.

Argentina vs Croatia – 9:30 pm

Line: Argentina -3.5 (-130), Croatia +110, 160.5

Preview: Croatia backed up my hype for them in game one by beating Spain and Philly got to celebrate their second championship this year with the Dario Saric block at the buzzer. More importantly we all got to witness international Bojdan Bogdanovic show out against Spain. Argentina dismantled Nigeria by playing their typical old man game, but it was a young guy Facundo Campazzo who impressed me in their first game. Campazzo led the team with 19 points in just 23 minutes. The other player to watch for Argentina is Patricio Garino, who of course will be on the Spurs and was extremely efficient, scoring 15 points on six shots. This game will be fun to watch as they both get up and down the court and play the prototypical international game of looking for threes. Croatia will need more from Krunoslav Simon, who scored just 10 points and went 3-for-10 from the field on Sunday. Simon is their second best scorer behind Bogdanovic and can keep up with Argentina’s shooters.

Pick: I still like Croatia here despite the impressive showing in Argentina’s first game. I’ll take them against the spread and also at the +110 for some value. Croatia’s weakness of post players won’t be on display here as Argentina plays more small ball with Luis Scola as the starting center. I’m going to watch the total line all day, but I’d lean over on this one as they both want to play an uptempo style with a lot of guards on the court.

Daily Fantasy Plays:

Yesterday we had some nice plays, especially Jimmy Butler who had 17 points for Team USA and was relatively cheap. We also got a steal in Nando De Colo who was my cheap play at just $5100 as he led France with 19 points and two steals. The big money play missed in DeMarcus Cousins as he was riddled with foul trouble though. For today might want to try and stack that Argentina/Croatia game as there will be points to be had in that game.

Jonas Maliculis $3500 – He’s one of my two cheap plays today as he’ll go up against a weak Nigeria team. Against Brazil he started and played 27 minutes while getting 24 fantasy points. He was third on the team in field goal attempts and will have an easier time scoring today.

Patricio Garino $3500 – Another cheap play today is a guy I mentioned earlier. Garino will be playing in the fast-paced Croatia/Argentina game and as a starter he’s too cheap to pass up here. Garino is a strong rebounder for a guard as well so expect him to get you points there.

Nikola Mirotic $7600 – With some money to spend after two cheap plays, I’ll look at the Chicago Bull. He’s the second best scorer for Spain and will be seeing a ton of minutes as long as he doesn’t get in foul trouble. His ability to stretch the floor will be important as he has a mismatch against Brazil.

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Let me know your picks, plays and just shoot the general basketball shit with me on Twitter @barstoolreags