The NBA as viewed by 4 Aussies, with the latest news, reviews and opinions
The following is the starting teams for each nation and the predicted group outcomes. Usual power-houses the USA, France and Spain all have good teams once again, with teams such as Argentina, Australia and Brazil also having strong squads.
PG Pablo Prigioni (8) New York Knicks
SG Manu Ginobili (5) San Antonio Spurs
SF Carlos Delfino (10) Milwaukee Bucks
PF Luis Scola (4) Phoenix Suns
C Juan Pedro Gutierrez (9) Obras Sanitarias
Prediction: Will fight for second with France in this company. Bronze medalists.
PG Tony Parker (9) San Antonio Spurs
SG Nicholas Batum (5) Portland Trail Blazers
SF Mickael Gelabale (15) BC Khimki
PF Boris Diaw (13) San Antonio Spurs
C Ronny Turiaf (14) Los Angeles Clippers
Prediction: Game against Argentina will determine second.
PG Mantas Kalnietis (5) BC Zalgiris
SG Martynas Pocius (7) Real Madrid Baloncesto
SF Jonas Maciulis (6) Panathinaikos B.C.
PF Linas Kleiza (11) Toronto Raptors
C Jonas Valanciunas (14) Toronto Raptors
Prediction: Should progress, albeit in fourth.
PG Tony Skinn (4) Ironi Ashkelon
SG Chamberlain Oguchi (9) Panteras de Miranda
SF Al-Farouq Aminu (7) New Orleans Hornets
PF Ike Diogu (6) Capitanes de Arecibo
C Alade Aminu (14) Élan Chalon
Prediction: Worst team in London, last.
PG Marouan Kechrid (8) US Monastir
SG Mourad El Mabrouk (7) Ezzahra Sport Rades
SF Macram Ben Romdhane (12) Etoile Sportive du Sahel
PF Mohamed Hdidane (9) Stade Nabeulien
C Salah Mejri (15) Etoile Sportive du Sahel
Prediction: Will beat only Nigeria.
PG Chris Paul (3) Los Angeles Clippers
SG Kobe Bryant (10) Los Angeles Lakers
SF Kevin Durant (5) Oklahoma City Thunder
PF LeBron James (6) Miami Heat
C Tyson Chandler (4) New York Knicks
Prediction: First in this group. Gold medalists.
1. USA 5-0
2. France 3-2
3. Argentina 3-2
4. Lithuania 3-2
5. Tunisia 1-4
6. Nigeria 0-5
PG Patrick Mills (5) San Antonio Spurs
SG Joe Ingles (7) FC Barcelona Regal
SF Brad Newley (8) Valencia BC
PF Matthew Nielsen (14) BC Khimki
C David Anderson (13) Mens Sana Basket
Prediction: After beating France in a lead-up game, the Australians look good chances to get through this group.
PG Marcelinho Huertas (9) FC Barcelona Basquet
SG Leandro Barbosa (10) Indiana Pacers
SF Marcus Vinicius (14) CR Flamengo
PF Anderson Varejao (11) Cleveland Cavaliers
C Nene Hilario (13) Washington Wizards
Prediction: The experience of this strong team will get them through a tough group.
PG Liu Wei (5) Shanghai Sharks
SG Sun Yue (9) Beijing Olympians
SF Zhu Fangyu (8) Guangdong Southern Tigers
PF Yi Jianlian (11) Dallas Mavericks
C Wang Zhizhi (14) Bayi Rockets
Prediction: A big-bodied team that could cause an upset in London.
PG Andrew Lawrence (5) College of Charleston
SG Kyle Johnson (14) APOEL
SF Luol Deng (9) Chicago Bulls
PF Joel Freeland (11) Portland Trail Blazers
C Robert Archibald (10) CAI Zaragoza
Prediction: Will go out in the first round, with Deng the only offensive threat.
PG Anton Ponkrashov (14) CSKA Moscow
SG Alexey Shved (4) Minnesota Timberwolves
SF Andrei Kirilenko (15) Minnesota Timberwolves
PF Viktor Khryapa (10) CSKA Moscow
C Timofey Mozgov (5) Denver Nuggets
Prediction: Have a good team, sleepers in this group. Will progress.
PG Jose Calderon (8) Toronto Raptors
SG Juan Carlos Navarro (5) Barcelona Basquet
SF Rudy Fernandez (7) Real Madrid Baloncesto
PF Pau Gasol (4) Los Angeles Lakers
C Marc Gasol (13) Memphis Grizzlies
Prediction: Unbeaten in this group, but will lose to USA. Silver medalists.
1. Spain 5-0
2. Brazil 3-2
3. Australia 3-2
4. Russia 2-3
5. Great Britain 1-4
6. China 1-4
I predict that Team USA will defeat Spain in the gold medal match 87-81. Spain will fight it out and cause trouble for scorers such as KD and LeBron when USA is on attack, but the USA’s quality of player will ultimately out class the Spanish ‘Big Four’ of Jose Calderon, Serge Ibaka and the Gasol brothers. In the third place playoff, Argentina will get revenge on losing to France in the group stage and will take home the Bronze medal. The frontcourt will out-muscle the French and the Argentinian defence will not let Tony Parker run the show as fluently as he would like. Argentina 78-72.
Well, there it is. Every starting line-up for London and group predictions.
Yours in Basketball,