Olympic Basketball 2012: Spain vs. Brazil Preview


Who wants to lose more?

Spain and Brazil will play today at 3 p.m. EST and neither team will be better off winning the game.

The winner of the game will come out of Pool B as the 2-seed in the same bracket where Team USA will likely be the 1-seed and Argentina the 3-seed. The loser will get to be in the bracket where Russia and France are the top seeds.

This game will be very interesting and don’t be surprised if players like Pau Gasol or Leandro Barbosa aren’t playing as many minutes as they could.

Spain and Brazil are both 3-1 in pool play so far with both losing close games to Russia. Spain and Brazil are two of the biggest threats to the United States in these Olympics and would both love to not see the mighty U.S. until a potential gold medal game.

A big reason why these teams matchup so well with Team USA is that they both have NBA size. Spain featured the Gasol brothers as well as Serge Ibaka and Felipe Reyes. Brazil has Nene, Anderson Varejao and Tiago Splitter in their corner.

The point guard position is a strength for both Spain and Brazil as well. Spain starts Jose Calderon and brings Juan Carlos Navarro off the bench. Brazil has maybe the best point guard not in the NBA in Marcelinho Huertas who is averaging 11.0 points and 6.2 assists per game in the Olympics.

This matchup is a very close one that is only hard to predict today because both teams could very well be trying to lose. If they both were trying to win however, Spain has to have the slight edge but it is real close.

Pau Gasol is averaging 19.5 points per game so far in the Olympics and looks very comfortable in his clear alpha dog role with Spain. Rudy Fernandez has played pretty well too averaging 10.8 points per game and Spain is just a little more balanced and experienced than Brazil.

Barbosa is leading Brazil averaging 13.0 points per game while Splitter is averaging 12.0. They don’t have quite the same outside shooting ability that Spain does which could very well be the difference in this matchup.

It’s kind of hard to say what to expect with this game later today. The Olympics are all about competition but we might not see that exactly today with this game. Ultimately every team wants to win a gold medal and if losing first betters those chances than there really shouldn’t be anything wrong with that.

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Tags: 2012 Olympics Anderson Varejao Argentina Brazil Jose Calderon Juan Carlos Navarro Leandro Barbosa Marc Gasol Marcelinho Huertas Nene Pau Gasol Rudy Fernandez Serge Ibaka Spain Tiago Splitter USA Basketball

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