The Dallas Mavericks are gearing up for a massive couple of weeks. The 2021 NBA Draft takes place on July 29 with free agency starting on Aug. 2. They will be looking to upgrade their roster around Luka Doncic and create another title team in Dallas.
Doncic is one of two current Mavericks that are playing in the Olympic Games. The 12-team men’s basketball tournament kicked off on July 25 with four games. Slovenia does not make their Olympic debut until Monday, but the other two groups had their first of three group games.
Mavs rookie Josh Green made his Olympic debut for Australia, former Maverick Nicolo Melli had a massive performance, and Team USA continued their struggles. Here is a recap of day 1 of the FIBA Olympic basketball tournament.
Dallas Mavericks rookie Josh Green debuts as Australia tops Nigeria
Australia faced Nigeria in an important Group B game. It was a tight contest through three quarters, but Australia ran away in the fourth to grab the 84-67 win. Soon-to-be free agent Patty Mills was the star for Australia as he finished with 25 points, six assists, and four steals in the win.
Green entered the game in the third quarter with Australia up by six. He had two steals and two offensive rebounds in his 5.7 minutes of action. The 20-year-old brought energy and effort in his Olympic debut.
Former Dallas Mavericks forward Nicolo Melli helps Italy top Germany
Italy rode a dominating fourth quarter to a 92-82 win in their first game. The Germans are without Maxi Kleber as he recovers from an Achilles injury.
Italy got a strong performance from Melli. He finished with 13 points, nine rebounds, and two steals in 25.8 minutes. The addition of Danilo Gallinari proved important for Italy as he dropped 18 in the win. They are now tied atop Group B with Australia.
Team USA falls to France: What does it means for the Dallas Mavericks?
The struggles for the United States continued in their Olympic opener. They shot 36.2 percent from the field and did not look cohesive. France dominated the third quarter 25 to 11 to grab the 83-76 win and snapped a 24-game Olympic winning streak for Team USA.
The race for the gold medal is wide open. Among the favorites are Australia and Slovenia. Two Dallas Mavericks could walk out of Tokyo with Olympic medals. It would be a massive accomplishment for both men. Slovenia has a population of just over 2 million people making their rise to an Olympic medal seemingly impossible. Fans will get to see just how special Doncic is in Tokyo.
Team USA must beat Iran and the Czech Republic if it hopes to advance to the knockout stage. They must play together and find their stride in the days ahead. The Americans need more from Kevin Durant, who dealt with foul trouble against France, and Damian Lillard if they are going to get back in the gold medal picture. They remain a team to watch in Tokyo.
The Czech Republic topped Iran in the opening game of the Olympics. They are now tied atop Group A but will need to play better to advance to the knockout stage.
Looking ahead to Day 2: Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic kicks off
Day 2 features the Olympic debut of Doncic as Slovenia faces Argentina. It will be a massive game in Group C. The winner will be in the driver’s seat to advance to the knockout stage. Expect a massive performance from Luka. The game begins at 11:40 p.m. CT on July 25 and can be seen on CNBC.
The other game features Spain facing Japan. The Spanish are the favorites to win Group C and are loaded with NBA talent. They stand in the way from Slovenia and Australia medaling.
The Smoking Cuban will be back with plenty more on the Olympic basketball tournament, so keep it locked right for all the latest.