Spain vs Argentina
July 29, 2021 8:00 am EDT
The Line: Spain -8.5
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Spain and Argentina meet Thursday morning in the 2020 Olympics in a basketball meeting at the Saitama Super Arena. Spain is coming off an 11-point victory over Japan in its opening contest. Argentina looks for a bounce back showing after losing its opener to Slovenia.
Spain comfortably beat the hosts in its opener and have won eight of its last nine games overall. In the winning effort, Spain shot 51.4 percent from the field and 28.6 percent from three. Ricky Rubio led Spain with 20 points and two rebounds while Victor Claver had 13 points and nine rebounds. Marc Gasol was the third double-digit scorer and Alex Abrines grabbed three rebounds. Defensively, Spain allowed 40.6 percent shooting from the field and 40.7 percent shooting from three. Spain looked comfortable on the offensive end of the floor and was physical defensively. The competition will get stiffer for Spain, but it passed the opening test and has been on a role since EuroBasket qualifying.
Argentina couldn’t get stops defensively in its opener and has now lost five straight games overall. In the losing effort, Argentina shot 44.6 percent from the field and 16.1 percent from three. Luis Scola led Argentina with 23 points and four rebounds while Facundo Campazzo had 21 points and six rebounds. Gabriel Deck was the third double-digit scorer and Luca Vildoza grabbed three rebounds. Defensively, Argentina allowed 50 percent shooting from the field and 37.2 percent shooting from three. Argentina scored 100 points and forced 19 turnovers, but the effort all around has to be better if this team is going to advance. The issue is Argentina has lost five straight games going back to exhibitions and AmeriCup qualifying. Confidence can’t be too high right now for Argentina.
Spain has won the last five meetings against Argentina, including the most recent game in the 2019 World Cup. Argentina hasn’t beaten Spain since the 2010 World Cup.
This is a rivalry, so you should expect physical play and a competitive game overall. The difference here is Spain has played well at both ends and has had great success these last few months. Argentina has struggled to close out games and has lost five straight. Argentina is struggling with its form and it’s a team that’s hard to back with confidence.
It’s Spain and the chalk or pass for me.