“The clock was on valium”… Ankle injury limits Bogut… USA 3’s bomb Lithuania

Because the Journal Sentinel hasn’t come through with much Andrew Bogut in China coverage, you can always check here (and probably find it) at the Bob Boozer Jinx.

With Bogut used sparingly due to what was described as a minor ankle injury, his Australia Boomers blew a 19-point 3rd Quarter lead and fell to Argentina in the finals of the Diamond Ball tournament in Nanjing, China. Argentina, the defending gold medalists, features the Spurs’ All-NBA guard Manu Ginobili, forward-center Luis Scola of the Rockets and Bulls forward Andres Nocioni.

With the paint Bogut-less for most of the game, Scola led all scorers with 32. Ginobili added 24 and Nocioni 20. And they got some help from the refs. In my last post, I noted that the Aussies, who play a rough, aggressive Detroit-style defense might have trouble with the international referees, who’ll “call a foul if a defender so much as breathes on Manu Ginobili.”

Sure enough, with Australia leading 54-35 early in the 3rd, Ginobili hit a three to close it to 16, and then the whistles started blowing. The Aussie were called for six fouls in three minutes, sending three of its starting five to the bench with foul trouble. Ginobili took over and suddenly the lead was nine and the crowd was going nuts. The fans, the refs, even the waterboys — Argentina has it all in international ball.

Bogut’s ankle injury doesn’t sound serious, and he probably would’ve played more if it was an Olympic game. As it was, why give Argentina a free look at a full strength team with its center? Australia and Argentina are in Group A of the Olympic tournament, so they’ll meet again in group play.

I’ve gotta clip some more Aussie sports writing: In the 4th quarter, “The clock was on valium for the Aussies and the clearly pro-Argentina crowd was in a frenzy when Ginobili shot 2-of-2 from the line to reduce the margin to just three points with 6:26 remaining.”

The clock was on valium! 

You can follow Bogut and Australia here at the Australia Basketball site.

Team USA blew out Lithuania 120-84 on Friday, with Michael Redd scoring 16 and shooting 4-8 from behind the arc in 14 minutes. Redd, D-Wade, Kobe, Lebron and gang shot a barrage of threes over Lithuania’s zone, 23 in all, hitting 11.

When Redd started dialing in, Lebron took to yelling “bang bang!” when it went up. Settle down Lebron, you know the trade to Cleveland can’t go down unless Bucks GM Hammond works something out with Anderson Varejao and his agent, Dan Fegan. … and you know what Fegan’s like.

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