Olympic Basketball TV Schedule: Closest Matchups Left on Slate

Scott CarasikContributor IIAugust 3, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02:  Pau Gasol  #4 of Spain reaches over Luol Deng  #9 of Great Britain for a rebound during the Men's Basketball Preliminary Round match between Spain and Britain on Day 6 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Basketball Arena on August 2, 2012 in London, England. Spain won 79 - 78.  (Photo by Mark Ralston - IOPP Pool /Getty Images)
Pool/Getty Images

After the United States completely dominated the competition against Nigeria, there has to be better matchups that won't lead to 83-point wins.

Here are a few matchups that will provide interesting story lines, good competition and recognizable players to even the casual fans of the NBA. 


Russia vs. Spain

When: August 4 at 6:15 AM

Spain's Top Players: Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka

Russia's Top Players: Andrei Kirilenko, Viktor Khryapa and Sergey Monya

This has the potential to be a great game. Spain and Russia are two of the top teams in the Olympic competition. They may not match up with the US well, but there is a lot of NBA talent between the two teams. However, when looking into the post matchup, the Spanish team wins by a landslide.

The Gasol brothers and Ibaka are a great combination that can play right up there with Team USA. Russia will be led by the venerable Andrei Kirilenko, and the two sides should engage in a good shootout style matchup that could decide the winner of Olympic Basketball's Group B.


United Kingdom vs. China

When: August 6 at 11:45 AM

China's Top Players: Yi Jianlian, Wang Zhizhi and Liu Wei

United Kingdom's Top Players: Luol Deng, Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Joel Freeland

Sometimes the best matchups don't feature the best teams. The UK is a very solid team led by Deng on the wing and Freeland down low. The Chinese have their star power in the post with Wang and Yi, who can dominate the competition down low. 

The matchup doesn't have much, if any implications, unless the UK team beats Australia and China back to back. Should the UK lose, they would miss out on the tournament as the home country.


Brazil vs. Spain

When: August 4 at 6:15 AM

Spain's Top Players: Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka

Brazil's Top Players: Nene, Anderson Varejao, Tiago Splitter and Marcelinho Huertas

The three-man rotation that the Brazilians have on the post of Varejao, Nene and Splitter is the only one in the Olympic competition that can compete with the Spanish trio of the Gasol brothers and Serge Ibaka. 

However, the Spanish team doesn't have the talent to compete with Huertas at the point. Huertas is a Steve Nash-esque field general out there and could be the main difference in a close game between these two teams. Because of Huertas and the implications of possibly winning the group, this game should be fun to watch.

While these matchups may not feature the absolute medal favorites, they will at least give the fans close, interesting games that will be entertaining to see. 

Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist and Trends and Traffic Writer for Bleacher Report. As a Featured Columnist, he covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek and runs the NFL Draft Website ScarDraft.com and hosts Kvetching Draftniks Radio.