Closing Sunday’s day of San Antonio Spurs players in Olympic action will be guard Manu Ginobili and Argentina, as they will face Lithuania at 4:15 PM CST in London.
Though Argentina seems like the favorite in this matchup, they can’t take Lithuania too lightly as the Lithuanians have multiple players with NBA experience on their squad, though the Lithuanians have been struggling this summer in exhibition play.
Argentina (ARG): Pablo Prigioni, Facundo Campazzo
Lithuania (LIT): Sarunas Jasikevicius, Mantas Kalnietis
Advantage: Even – Two playmaking point guards in Prigioni and Jasikevicius going head-to-head should be an exciting matchup.
ARG: Manu Ginobili, Carlos Delfino
LIT: Rimantas Kaukenas, Martynas Pocius, Renaldas Seibutis
Advantage: Argentina – Still arguably one of the best players on the international stage, Ginobili has been playing well this summer in exhibition play. He scored 23-points against the Americans in exhibition play last week.
ARG: Andres “El Chapu” Nocioni, Hernan Jasen, Marcos Mata
LIT: Linas Kleiza, Jonas Maciulis
Advantage: Even – Two forwards who do a lot of their teams, Nocioni being the physical type player, while Kleiza can be a deadly shooter from the outside.
ARG: Luis Scola, Leo Gutierrez, Federico Kammerichs
LIT: Darius Songalia, Paulius Jankunas
Advantage: Argentina – A power forward who still puts up consistent numbers night after night, Houston Rockets fans are still puzzled why he was amnestied and there still isn’t a trade for Dwight Howard.
ARG: Juan Gutierrez, Martin Leiva
LIT: Jonas Valanciunas, Antanas Kavaliauskas
Advantage: Lithuania – Before comes to the NBA with the Toronto Raptors, Valanciunas will be able to showcase himself on the Olympic stage before Raptors fans get him in Canada.
Perimeter and Frontcourt Matchups
Perimeter Advantage: Argentina – When you have Ginobili on your side, you already have a big advantage because of his playmaking ability on both sides of the floor. Argentina will also have the proven Delfino and Prigioni along with Nocioni on their perimeter. Lithuania has Jasikevicius and Kleiza who can each put up 15-20 points in a game, but the Lithuanians as a whole have been struggling and a disciplined team like Argentina, who have been playing together for years, should have a major advantage on the perimeter.
Frontcourt Advantage: Argentina – Valanciunas and Jankunas can provide 10-12 points each, but Scola is a consistent productive machine in international play. The cohesion he has with his perimeter teammates makes the game easy for him, whether he’s hitting his outside 17-foot jumper, posting and scoring, or cutting on a pick-and-roll, Scola’s teammates and their team chemistry give the Argentines an advantage in the frontcourt as well.
Prediction: Argentina defeats Lithuania by 10 points or more.
What’s your prediction Spurs fans? Will and Manu and company get the game-one win against Lithuania?