Other than Greivis Vasquez's decision to drop out of the Olympics to continue his rehab, the Nets front office has to be thrilled with what's going on in Rio de Janiero. With the group phrase over, both Bojan Bogdanovic and Luis Scola are playing well. Bogdanovic is the leading scorer in the Olympics ... and it isn't even close while Scola is the third leading rebounder Both have had issues on defense, but that was no surprise.
As Cory Wright notes in a piece on the Nets website, the next round -- the so-called knock-out round -- will be tougher but it's hard not to be optimistic, at least for Croatia. No one even expected them to make it through the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Their basketball federation didn't even book flights to South America. Now, it has an easier route to gold, silver or bronze than any team other than the U.S. Argentina would have to get past Team USA on Wednesday.
According to Wright...
Group B turned out to be as tight as it possibly could be, with all four teams - Croatia, Argentina, Lithuania and Spain - finishing with 3-2 records. Croatia finished at the top of the table and draws Serbia in the quarterfinals, while Argentina finished fourth and draws Team USA. Serbia is the only country in the knockout round with a record below .500, while USA is the only undefeated country in the tournament, meaning Croatia's road to gold has an easier start than Argentina's.
A win for either team puts them in contention for a medal. Croatia hasn't medaled since earning silver at the 1992 games, while Argentina is looking to win their first medal since winning bronze in 2008.
Croatia got a shot at Serbia because based on tiebreakers, they won the Group. That in itself is an accomplishment, as Igor Marinovic, who's written about Bogdanovic for NetsDaily, notes...
To be fair: Croatia have never won preliminary group at Olympics. Not even when Drazen was alive :) https://t.co/xsUCKSHuq4— Igor Marinovic (@sofoklo13) August 16, 2016
The pace will quicken starting Wednesday. As for Vasquez, he's working out at the HSS Training Center and following his teammates exploits. So are we.