Day one of Olympic hoops action kicked off this weekend across the pond with six Spurs taking the hardwood in London. The trio of Tony Parker, Boris Diaw, and recently signed Nando de Colo started off strongly for France, trailing only by 1 after the first quarter, before team USA utilized their superior depth to vanquish Les Bleus, 98-71. Rocking goggles reminiscent of Mars Blackmon, Parker visibly struggled against LeBron and company, going 4 for 13 from the field and committing 4 turnovers with only 1 assist, in a 10 point outing.
Manu Ginobili did not disappoint in Argentina’s Olympic opener, scoring 21 points, grabbing 10 boards, and dropping 6 dimes in a 102-79 rout over Lithuania. Luis Scola led Argentina with 32 points but it was Manu’s inspired overall game that helped set the tone for what could be the last Olympic run for South America’s “Golden Generation.” Ginobili officially faces off against Parker for the first time on Tuesday when Argentina and France collide in what should be a stirring contest.
Parker’s back-up, Patty Mills, impressed for Australia with a game high 20 points in a close 75-71 loss against Tiago Splitter and Brazil. Former Spurs draft-pick Leandro Barbosa paced Brazil with 16 points to help match Mills. Australia’s next match up is with Spain, whose defense is anchored by Serge Ibaka and the Gasol brothers, while Brazil squares off against Luol Deng and Great Britain. As the games continue, expect maximum effort from each of these Spurs, which along with a lot of luck, is what it will take for anyone to upset team USA.