Saturday, August 9, 2008

Team China Olympic Basketball Schedule

I guess the hot thing to do is to list the games for a certain team that your readers might be interested in. Since my main source of traffic is coming from image hits for Team China basketball, I said to myself, "why not?"

I'll give a little preview of each match too, so that you can see how wrong I am.

A lot of people are writing China off as not being able to make it out of a tough Grou B featuring USA, Spain, Germany, and Greece. I say they have their work cut out for them, but that there's always hope. You really only need 2 wins to make it out of the group, which means that China needs to take care of business against Angola, and then steal one from either Germany or Greece.

Game 1 vs. USA, Sunday 8/10, 10 AM EST

In the Pre-Olympic warm ups, we've seen a couple weaknesses for Team USA, mainly efficient, guard-oriented offense (limit turnovers) and a swarming, but not overaggressive team defense to try to force them into isolation plays.

The Chinese team has neither of those, so get ready for a blow out.

Prediction: USA 113 - China 68

Game 2 vs. Spain, Tuesday 8/12, 4:45 AM EST

The Chinese probably have the toughest first two games of any team as they open against the like gold and silver medalists. I'm not sure if the Spanish offense is quite as good as the US one, but I do know that they own a ridiculous defense, which ut on a show during their 85-60 win over fellow international powerhouse Argentina, who seem to be on the decline (In an earlier game this year, the score was a bit closer, 90-88). If Argentina has trouble putting up points against Spain, China is going to have a lot of fun this game.

Prediction: Spain 92 - China 54

Game 3 vs. Angola, Thursday 8/14, 2:30 AM EST

China has to win this game if they want to have any chance at making it out of the group, and they definitely should. They had a solid performance against them during the Diamond Ball tournament, winning by 9 and shooting 59% behind 21 points on 8/10 shooting from Yao Ming.

Prediction: China 85 - Angola 76

Game 4 vs. Germany, Saturday 8/16, 8 AM EST

Germany is a dark horse for a medal in these Olympics, but in my opinion, this is China's best chance for an upset. China matches up almost perfectly against Germany, with Yao neutralizing Kaman and Yi chasing around Dirk. Neither of them really have world-class guards, but could Sun Yue, with his new 2-year contract from the Lakers, be the X-factor in this game? Maybe, if he got some playing time in, as he averaged only 21 minutes in the Diamond Ball Tournament throwing in averages of 4 points, 2.3 rebounds, and less than 1 assist (what a point guard).

Prediction (Upset Special): China 72 - Germany 69

Game 5 vs. Greece, Monday 8/18, 2:30 AM EST

Greece kind of resembles the old guys you find at the Y who play really dirty, push you around, and just jack up threes. They are guard-led and could definitely be a big problem for Team China because of that. China's bigs would destroy Greece's, but the team has historically has had a problem with post-entry passes and if you can't get the ball to your big man, they can't help you. This means that Yi and Sun really need to step up in this game, as they will be the ones who can both handle the ball on the perimeter and keep it away from those pesky Greek guards and fire in a pass to Yao for some punishment. Maybe we'll see a coming out party for Ricky Rubio-esque guard Chen Jianghua also?

Prediction: Greece 84 - China 72