Hungry Jack's NBL
NBL well represented in Rio
Imposing wins over France, Serbia and China – and a ten point loss to the United States – have set the Australian men in Rio up nicely to have a crack at that elusive Olympic gold medal. The team is led, of course, by a starting unit of NBA stars; Andrew Bogut (Dallas Mavericks), Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs), Matthew Dellavedova (Milwaukee Bucks), Aron Baynes (Detroit Pistons) and Joe Ingles (Utah Jazz). But make no mistake, the NBL’s footprints are all over this squad. In fact, all but four of the team in Rio have either played in the NBL or are set to debut in the league this season. Five of them – David Andersen & Chris Goulding (Melbourne United), Damian Martin (Perth Wildcats), Kevin Lisch (Sydney Kings) and Cameron Bairstow (Brisbane Bullets) – will be lighting up NBL arenas this year. So how are our NBL Olympic members faring under the intense Olympic spotlight? David Andersen (Melbourne United) Competing in his fourth Olympics, Melbourne recruit David Andersen has been as solid as a rock for the team in Rio. The 36-year-old is averaging 10 points and 5 rebounds per game on a phenomenal 65 percent shooting from the field. All in just 18 minutes per game. “If I am turning heads that’s good,” Andersen told media in Rio yesterday, when asked about his outstanding form. “It’s good at my age to play at this level and keep fighting.” The captain was outstanding against Team USA, with 13 points (on 5-of-6 shooting) and 5 boards. He then joined the starting line-up against China in place of Andrew Bogut (rest) and was, as usual, very good (12 points in 14 minutes).
All 11 #Boomers are on the score sheet after this 3-pointer from @kevinlisch Great team effort! #AUS #Basketball https://t.co/jitN4PMuMR — 7Olympics (@7olympics) August 12, 2016For the most part, Lemanis is running with a nine-man rotation and Lisch, with his ability to contribute at both ends of the floor, has been a key part of that. Chris Goulding (Melbourne United) After playing only one minute across Australia’s opening two wins, Chris Goulding has seen some increased opportunities in the Aussies last two games. The Melbourne shooting guard played 8 important minutes in the narrow loss to USA, where he looked very much at home against the star-studded Americans. Known mainly for his scoring, Goulding played some excellent defence (both on and off the ball) against Team USA and threw a couple of nifty passes on his way to 4 dimes against China. Look for Goulding to knock down a couple of triples in Australia’s final group game against Venezuela. And when push comes to shove in the all-important second week, CG43 will be ready.