France vs. Tunisia: Start Time, Live Stream Info & Olympics Basketball Preview
Tony Parker is drooling.
France vs. Tunisia is only worth waking up for if you’re French, Tunisian or literally starving for men’s Olympic basketball action. The early matchup of the second-to-last day of the group stages will likely get ugly—like all of Tunisia’s other games.
Here is a complete preview of the showdown.
Will France cover the spread?
Where: Basketball Arena, London
When: Saturday, August 4 at 4:00 a.m. ET
Watch: NBC Basketball Network or online at NBCOlympics.com.
Betting Line: France by 25, according to bwin.com
What They’re Saying
FIBA.com reported that French forward Nicolas Batum stressed the importance of his teammates maintaining their competitive edge, even against an inferior opponent, because France has lost that edge in the past and it’s cost the team. He said:
We do not want to do another 2010 where we had a good performance against Spain but lost it all against Lithuania. Here we pulled off a good win against Argentina and we have managed to beat Lithuania, now we must remain concentrated. I think the experience of 2010 taught us a lot and we know we must stay focused for the last two games to finish the work and set up a good position coming into the Quarter-Finals.
Meanwhile, The Associated Press has reported that Tunisia’s Salah Mejri noted the difference in experience between his squad and others after taking a 92-69 beating at the hands of Argentina. He said (via ESPN):
We started well but we couldn't keep up. That is the difference between top sides full of experience internationals and NBA players. Most of our players play in Tunisia. But we are catching up.
Most Important Player to Watch: Tony Parker
Parker is in another stratosphere to every single Tunisian player, but because he’s surrounded by so much talent, he doesn’t have to dominate for France to win.
Even so, Parker must go off because he’s capable of going off.
France vs. Tunisia isn’t about France vs. Tunisia—everyone already knows the contest’s outcome. France vs. Tunisia is about France vs. Team USA.
Parker scored 27 points in the team's last game against Nigeria. He must keep his hot streak going because he’s France's only hope to eventually shock the Americans.
Key Matchup: Boris Diaw vs. Makram Ben Romdhane
Boris Diaw is only averaging seven points, six boards and four assists in the Olympics, but like his role on the San Antonio Spurs, statistics don’t tell the whole story of Diaw’s value. He’s incredibly versatile and is one of, if not France’s most important player outside of Parker.
Against Tunisia’s Makram Ben Romdhane, that value must be on full display.
Ben Romdhane is the team’s best player. If Tunisia plans on sticking around for a couple of quarters, he’ll have to score in bunches. He’s proved capable of putting up strong numbers so far, averaging 15.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.
Ben Romdhane held his own against Team USA, so France’s NBA-caliber frontcourt won’t stop him from producing.
On Thursday, Team USA defeated Nigeria 156-73. Nigeria beat Tunisia. That’s all that needs to be said.
The Tunisians play hard and should be able to hang with France for the first quarter or two, but when it’s all said and done, expect nothing but a massacre.
France by 28
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.
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