Monday, August 18, 2008

Aussie Boomers Get Chance Of A Life Time Against USA

Andrew Bogut has slam dunked his critics by leading the Boomers on a three game win streak. Next up, TEAM USA.

While Boomers Coach Brian Goorjian will fill newspaper columns with comparisons of this matchup to the likes of Hoosiers, Rocky and the Miracle on Ice, I think the Aussies can just flat out beat the US come Wednesday.

Sure they have to play a hell of a game, but they have the tools to create some problems for the "Redeem Team".

First at the point guard spot CJ Bruton and Jason Kidd match up well. Both like to play bum ball if pressure is applied in the backcourt but neither will trouble the other with this. But if the USA decide to put Kobe Bryant on Bruton this may disrupt the Boomers offensive flow.

When the USA sub at this position (Chris Paul or Deron Williams) and try to take the tempo up a level, Australia can counter with its own superjet in Pat Mills.

Mills showed in the pre Olympic matchup that he can blow by CP3 at any time.

It is important that Mills plays within himself and does not let the occasion get to him as he could be the difference maker in this game. His speed will be crucial to create easy baskets against this team.

At the shooting guard spot Brad Newley has improved greatly as the tournament has progressed. Another good performance against the Americans might just see the Houston Rockets take a closer look at their 2007 second round pick.

Newley will feel confident going against Bryant as he handled himself well in their warm up game. It is key that Newley drains is open looks from the perimeter as he has shown he too can get to the "rack" on anyone. If his perimeter game is "on" he becomes a tough cover.

Is Newley the guy to tame the "Black Mamba"?

The small forward match up between David Barlow and LeBron James is something I have no feel for right now. LeBron has been in everything for the USA, but Barlow is a guy that can come out of nowhere and put together a stellar performance.

If Barlow can get some open looks early LeBron will have to respect his game. This will take away from what he does best, hawking the lanes and blocking shots from the weak side. I would love to know how many easy buckets LeBron has created for his team through his defense.

Matt Neilsen and Carmelo Anthony is a great matchup as Neilsen has the speed and size to match Melo, whether it is down low or on the perimeter. I also feel Neilsen will be confident going at Anthony at the offensive end causing some problems for Melo on "D".

The centre position is the one that could become the difference maker in this game. Andrew Bogut has been playing fantastic for his country during these Games, but early foul trouble is what we do not want to see.

The same goes for the USA and Dwight Howard. No doubting Chris Bosh has been great but Coach K would prefer Howard to bang with Bogut for as long as possible.

If one of these guys have to leave the game early due to foul trouble, it could spell trouble as size and strength become an issue for both teams at the centre position.

The benches will have an impact in this game. Dwayne Wade looks to be moving like he was while winning a championship with Miami Heat a few years ago, so his presences needs to be addressed once he is one the floor.

Australia hasn't had a wing come off the bench and have the consistent impact Wade has had, but the Aussies only need someone to step up with a career game on this one night.

I like the "bigs" rotation for the Boomers. David Andersen comes in and gives the Aussies a low post scorer. Melo does not want to be "bangin" in the post all night. While Chris Anstey can cause problems by spreading the floor with his perimeter game and allowing the guards to slash to the basket.

There is no doubting that the USA team has the superior talent from top to bottom but this is a one off game so the Australian team needs to only put it together for 40 minutes.

If the Aussie starters can get the team off to a flier it is "game on" and some self doubt might start to creep into the Americans game. Remember they have not really been tested at the Olympics as they have jumped out on teams early and maintained a handy buffer the rest of the way.

On the other hand, if the Americans continue with their fast starts, it will become a long night and a disappointing way to end their (Australia) Olympic campaign.

If the Green and Gold handle the pressure defense of the Red, White and Blue, I can see an upset for the ages in the making.

I think I'm going to go and watch Hoosiers, just to get me ready.

Side Note: I believe Patrick Mills' St Mary's College coach will be in the stands watching. Randy Bennett better sit on his hands while watching his second year point guard go to work on his native USA. I would hate for his family to go LeRoy Kaman on him when he returns home.

The Australian Opals take on the Czech Republic tomorrow in their quarter final matchup. The game is at 6.45pm AEST.

While on the women, check out this good read I come across via bleacherreport. It talks about the possibility of this USA basketball star named Candice Parker becoming the next female sports icon.

Ever wondered what happened to former NBL basketballer Neil Mottram (far left). He hangs out at the Heineken House and does interviews from Beijing. Check out D.C. Sports Bog to find out what him and his mates are teaching those Americans at the Olympics.

Other News

Former Sydney King BJ Carter has turned into a "tuff guy".

Adelaide 36ers new import Mark Tyndale to practice with the Miami Heat.

Dragons beat the Wildcats in a preseason clash.

The Spirit get by the Hawks.

If you missed some of the Boomers action during the Olympics, click here and catch highlights from all games.

You Tube can make anyone look good. Jason Eversteyn's highlights.

No comments: