NBA players were everywhere to be seen in the Olympic opener between Australia and France, with nine of the 10 starters currently on an NBA roster. The lone exception will be familiar to Spurs fans: Nando de Colo, who spent last year lighting up the Euroleague, earning MVP honors playing for CSKA Moscow.
The most interesting matchup for fans of the Silver and Bllack, though, would likely be at the point guard spot, where we were able to watch these two compete in a way that's usually limited to team practices:
Well this isn't something you see everyday... pic.twitter.com/pHyJO1vqdo— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) August 6, 2016
This time around it was Patty Mills who came out on top, pouring in a game-high 21 points and five assists as Australia pulled away in the third quarter and never looked back. Given the green light to fire at will, Mills hit four of nine three-pointers.
Parker (18 points on 6-of-14 shooting) did what he could for Les Bleus, leading a second-quarter surge that had France back in the game at the half. But he had little help, and Australia, who also got strong performances from new Maverick Andrew Bogut and new Buck Matthew Dellavedova, proved too much. As a result, Australia moved into an early tie with the United States, who earned their first win in a laugher over China.
It's a very Spurs-y Olympic field in 2016, with no NBA team sending more players to Brazil than San Antonio's five. Granted, one of those is the partially guaranteed Patricio Guarino, but it still makes for an intriguing tournament for us to follow as the other countries vie for a medal and a chance to give a heavily favored American team a run for its money.