Spain vs. Brazil Olympic Basketball: Grades, Twitter Reaction and Analysis
Spain may have been the favorite headed into its Group B game against Brazil on Monday, but the Brazilians ultimately pulled away with strong efforts from Leandro Barbosa, Marquinhos Vieira Sousa and Anderson Varejao.
In the end, Brazil had won, 88-82, with a spectacular come-from-behind display in the fourth quarter.
Here's a look at how things unfolded on Monday as we look ahead to quarterfinals play in the 2012 London Olympics.
Tweets of the Day
Michael Lee of the Washington Post tweeted tough news for Brazil:
Nene isn't playing for Brazil vs Spain because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Injury has flared up again. He apparently needs rest— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) August 6, 2012
Spain and Brazil both playing like they care who wins. Neither pulling a badminton so far.— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) August 6, 2012
Jeff Taylor, owner of Basketball World News Ltd, noted the talent on the floor:
Every player on the court right now Spain v Brazil has played in the NBA, except Marcelo Huertas of Brazil. Surely he could play there— JEFF TAYLOR (@JeffreyNTaylor) August 6, 2012
Bleacher Report's own Jason Davis said what many Lakers fans were probably thinking watching Pau Gasol:
Some wondered if Spain would ease back against Brazil because of this fact, per Hoops Hype:
Whoever loses the Brazil-Spain game probably avoids the United States till the final.— HoopsHype (@hoopshype) August 6, 2012
Grades for Key Spain Players
Pau Gasol: A
Pau Gasol needs to play like this if Spain expects to defeat Team USA down the line. He was extremely efficient from the field and cleaned up on the boards against Brazil. Gasol finished with 25 points and seven rebounds.
Marc Gasol: B+
Spain has to love what it's seeing from Marc Gasol, who has been battling a left shoulder injury. Gasol didn't grab a lot of rebounds on Monday, but he combined with brother Pau to be a dominant one-two punch offensively. Gasol posted 20 points, three rebounds and four assists.
Serge Ibaka: B+
Serge Ibaka completed Spain's big-man trio by helping on the glass and being efficient from the floor. If the Gasol brothers and Ibaka can continue to shoot like this, the Spanish have a shot at grabbing the gold medal. Ibaka finished with 14 points and six rebounds.
Grades for Key Brazil Players
Leandro Barbosa: A-
Leandro Barbosa was a scoring machine on Monday and became Brazil's biggest player down the stretch. He didn't do much else in other areas of the game, but if he shoots like this he won't have to. Barbosa ended up with 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting.
Anderson Varejao: B-
Anderson Varejao is rarely an offensive dynamo so you can't expect him to rack up points for Brazil. He rebounded the ball well, though, so he served his purpose. Varejao ended up with seven points and seven rebounds.
Marquinhos Vieira Sousa: B+
Marquinhos Vieira Sousa formed a strong one-two punch with Barbosa in the backcourt, nailing shots at a high rate from the outside. Sousa finished with 13 points.
Game MVP: Leandro Barbosa
Barbosa was big for Brazil as they outplayed Spain down the stretch and was the electric scorer he's been known to be in the NBA. He's going to be a key source of points for the Brazilians moving forward.
Spain will face France in quarterfinals play on Wednesday, while Brazil will face the loser of the USA-Argentina game.
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