We are rapidly approaching Olympic basketball, slated to tip off July 24. Four Warriors are set to represent three nations at the Tokyo summer games — Draymond Green (USA), Steve Kerr (USA), Nico Mannion (Italy) and Mike Brown (Nigeria) — and they have been preparing for the competition with their respective teams.
Catch up with the Dubs as we take a look back at what they have done this past week.
The American and Nigerian teams were hard at work at their respective camps in Las Vegas. The duo of Dubs with Team USA were scheming and preparing for their exhibition games to come later in the weekend and through this week.
Everyone is putting in hard work for these summer games with their eyes on the ultimate prize: an Olympic medal. Brown said that he has high expectations as he leads Team Nigeria into Tokyo.
All of the work was put on display through some exhibition games when these international opponents squared off in Las Vegas.
Draymond’s Defense on Display
Through three games, Draymond Green has been highlighting the defensive prowess that earned him 2020-21 NBA All-Defensive First Team honors. It started with Team USA’s game against Nigeria…
…and he kept it up in their matchup against Australia.
Draymond has totaled eight blocks through his first three games, with Damion Lillard and Jerami Grant being next on the team in the category with three rejections each.
While Team USA suffered back-to-back losses in their matches against Nigeria and Australia, something unexpected from the top-ranked international team, they bounced back with a dominating 108-80 win over Argentina. There is still time for the squad full of NBA players who do not play together through the regular season to mesh as they have two more games on the exhibition schedule.
Nigeria is on a Roll
While Green and the American team are finding their groove, Mike Brown has his squad representing Nigeria on a roll. Saturday featured a much anticipated exhibition matchup between Green and Kerr against Brown, which may be the only time they meet this year unless both teams meet in the Olympic knockout rounds.
One Warrior walked away with bragging rights as Brown’s team downed the American team.
Not only did they defeat the top team in the world, but Nigeria kept that momentum through their second game. Two days later, they came away with a 23-point win over Argentina, another top-five opponent.
While they lost their third game to Australia, Brown and Nigeria are still sending a clear, simple message with their two big wins: don’t sleep on their squad.
All eyes are turning set towards Tokyo as the Warriors and their respective international teams complete their preparations for the Olympics. First up: the group round in which each team must finish among the top of their four-team pools to advance to the knockout round.
Mannion (Italy) and Brown (Nigeria) are guaranteed to go toe-to-toe during Olympic play as their squads are both in Group B, meeting in the final round of play on Jul. 30 (9:40 p.m.).
Green, Kerr and Team USA are in Group A and will not face Mannion or Brown unless they meet in the tournament bracket. That will remain undecided until pool play concludes.
Until then, set your alarm for these games, as some late night and early morning Olympic hoops begin later this month.