Australia and Argentina meet Tuesday morning in the 2020 Olympics Basketball Quarterfinal at the Saitama Super Arena. Australia swept Group B and is coming off a victory over Germany. Argentina finished 1-2 in group play and is coming off a win over Japan.
Australia is riding an eight-game winning streak and has a shot at making back-to-back Olympic semifinal trips. In the winning effort, Australia shot 50 percent from the field and 34.4 percent from three. Patty Mills led Australia with 24 points and one rebound while Jock Landale had 18 points and three rebounds. Nicholas Kay was the third double-digit scorer and Dante Exum grabbed four rebounds. Defensively, Australia allowed 41.3 percent shooting from the field and 33.3 percent shooting from three. Australia hasn’t lost a game since February when it was qualifying for the Asia Cup. The Aussies have been very good offensively in these games and appear to play their best basketball in the second half.
Argentina snapped a six-game losing streak with its recent outing and can make the semifinals for the first time since 2012. In the winning effort, Argentina shot 45.6 percent from the field and 38.9 percent from three. Luis Scola led Argentina with 23 points and 10 rebounds while Facundo Campazzo had 17 points and seven rebounds. Gabriel Deck was the third double-digit scorer and Marcos Delia grabbed seven rebounds. Defensively, Argentina allowed 42.3 percent shooting from the field and 23.1 percent shooting from three. Argentina won its first game since February and finally showed some consistent play on the defensive side of the ball. The competition is stiffer for this contest, so it will be interesting to see which Argentinian team we get.
Australia has won the last three meetings against Argentina, which includes a friendly win in early July of this year. Argentina hasn’t beaten Australia since the 2010 World Cup.
Argentina hasn’t looked good at all this year and a win over Japan doesn’t move the needle all that much. Japan lacks quality depth and relied heavily on two players. Australia is a team that can legit win the gold medal this year and has pretty much cruised through three games. I need more convincing before I can confidently get behind Argentina against the big boys.
I’ll lay the chalk with Australia.