Global Warriors: Setting Up the Last Day of Group Play

Friday Marks a Big Day for Warriors in the Tokyo Games

There are two games down with just one more to go in the men’s basketball group phase at the Tokyo Olympics, and certain uncertainty is all that’s guaranteed heading into a critical weekend for Draymond Green (USA), Steve Kerr (USA), Nico Mannion (Italy) and Mike Brown (Nigeria).

The American and Italian national teams each sit at 1-1 heading into the final day of seeding play, which tips off Friday night. And while Mike Brown and the Nigerian men’s team are 0-2, their final game is against Mannion and Italy in a game that will have big implications on who may and may not advance into the knockout round.

Let’s get caught up on the action following the second day of Olympic basketball:

USA Claims First Win in Style

After losing their first game in Tokyo to the group-leading French squad, Team USA bounced back in impressive fashion with a 120-66 win over Iran.

Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers led the charge with 21 points on seven made 3-pointers. Green continued his contributions across the stat sheet with another well-rounded performance in 15 minutes of action, posting five points, four rebounds and four assists.

While the win is a boost for the team, the American squad faces a critical game on Friday against the Czech Republic that will determine who claims the No. 2 spot in the group and a guaranteed spot in the next round of competition. Ranked No. 12 in the world, the Czech team earned their way into the Olympics in a qualifying tournament just weeks ago in which they topped other top competition, including buzzer-beating win over a Team Canada squad that included Warriors players Andrew Wiggins and Mychal Mulder.

Italy & Nigeria Losses Set Up Friday Clash

Both Italy (1-1) and Nigeria (0-2) fell just short in their second day of competition, losing to Australia by three points and Germany by six points, respectively.

Mannion had Italy’s second highest scoring total with 21 points to go with a team-leading seven assists. He dunked not once, but twice for Italy’s final two scoring plays. However, Mannion’s effort was not enough to hold back an Aussie team that had five players score 14-or-more points.

Brown’s team representing Nigeria held their own through three quarters against Germany, and included a 33-point performance from the Milwaukee Bucks’ Jordan Nwora. But they were ultimately outscored 25-18 in the fourth and final frame to seal their second loss of the Olympics.

While the loses make their road into the next round more daunting, the real test will come when the two squads face each other on Friday.

A win for Italy on Friday would place them at 2-1 with a likelihood of proceeding to the knockout stage of the Olympic tournament, thereby ending Nigeria’s quest for an Olympic medal. However, a Nigeria upset of Italy then puts both teams at 1-2, placing both teams in a pool of potential final seeds to claim the last spots in the Olympic bracket.


Friday, July 30

9:40 p.m.

Italy vs. Nigeria

Saturday, July 31

5:00 a.m.

USA vs. Czech Republic

So it all comes down to one last day, Dub Nation. Keep an eye on your Warriors as they tip off late Friday night and early Saturday morning as they continue their quest for Olympic glory.

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