Is this the time for our Boomers to finally Medal? If there was ever a chance our boys could get it done then this is it! Understandably we are missing 3 of our young future Boomer studs (Exum, Maker and yes that Simmons guy) but this is possibly our best line up in an Olympic games since Sydney 2000.
Our backcourt back then of Gaze and Heal were brilliant, fast forward 16 years and we now have ourselves fairly seasoned veterans of the Boomers team now, NBA Backcourt pairing Patty Mills and Matthew “Delly” Dellavedova. Andrew Gaze was by far our greatest every Olympian in Mens Hoops so I’m not saying our back court now was better than then, it’s a completely different generation. But having this pairing for our 2nd straight Olympics, a NBA pairing at that, is huge going forward.
Add to this Andrew Bogut, who missed the 2012 Olympics through injury, doing everything he can to get himself healthy for this years team, clearly shows how badly this team wants to medal. Add to his big line up Aaron Baynes, a championship winner in San Antonio, now playing very well in Detroit. Joe Ingles, played very good minutes in Utah this season will only do this confidence wonders in Rio. An Olympic veteran in David Anderson, who seems to grow another leg when playing for the Boomers, and another who has had some time in the NBA.
Exciting youngsters Brock Motum and Cam Bairstow, both of whom have spent time around the NBA, Cam playing in Chicago, whilst Brock had some time with Utah in the Summer League before plying his trade in the EuroLeague this past summer and playing very well at that.
But my mystery man who not a lot of people know about but will after this Olympics is Ryan Broekhoff. He has great length and can really shoot it. I think we can cause havoc playing him as a stretch 4, rather than going with 2 bigs (Bogut with Baynes/Anderson). But hey…I’m not the coach!
Lemanis has a tough call to make with that and I think he really expirements with it in the 2 game series with a PAC 12 All Star team that’s coming out here this week to play in Melbourne. With Bogut being out it’ll give guys like Bairstow and Motum to really showcase and push for a regular rotation spot in Rio.
Instant offence from the likes of Chris Goulding can really be key in these Olympics also coming off the bench, along with Kevin Lisch, who is a brilliant addition as an Australian citizen, and league MVP of the NBL.
A guy I’m super happy for is Damian Martin. Could it honestly happen to a better bloke.
He beat out Brad Newley for that last spot, and it would’ve been a real tough call to make, but Damo who barely missed out in going to London 4 years ago, absolutely deserves this. Whether he gets a whole lot of minutes in this squad is completely irrelevant. There’s no harder worker in the game and if you need to lock someone up at the death then Damo may be your man in that situation!
The best thing about our draw is being locked in the same group as the dreaded Dream Team. This eliminates any chance of playing them again until the Semi Finals if both get there, which is huge for us to have a chance and medal. In previous games (Beijing and London) we were eliminated by them in the Qtr Finals. I was lucky enough to be at the game in London 2012 and honestly couldn’t have been prouder of the boys. They gave it all they had, and had the game in single digits half way through the 3rd Qtr. That game was the emergence of Joe Ingles, along with Patty would had a brilliant London Games. I’m super excited about what this team can do this year, and continue to build towards the next games once the likes of Simmons, Maker and Exum come back into this team.
Boomers: David Andersen, Cameron Bairstow, Aron Baynes, Andrew Bogut, Ryan Broekhoff, Matthew Dellavedova, Chris Goulding, Joe Ingles, Kevin Lisch, Damian Martin, Patrick Mills, Brock Motum.
Australian basketball is well and truly on the rise with the likes of Simmons and Maker lighting up our screens in the Summer League. Where they fit into this team I’m not quite sure but I’m sure we could make way, such is the great competition for spots!
These kids have many years of Olympics to come though so I’m glad a few older heads have a go here in Rio, and what may very well be Bogut and Anderson’s last Olympics, the motivation to medal for veterans like them will be a driving force for us in our hunt for a medal.
Gold may be out of the question, but this isn’t the strongest contingent America has ever sent. They’re vulnerable but still best on paper. It’s getting past other teams with the likes of Serbia, Spain, France and host nation Brazil, standing in the way of our chance to get a Bronze, which is just as good as gold for us don’t you worry!!
Hope we are all looking forward to cheering our boys on, and as is the typical Aussie spirit, they won’t be going down without a fight! Bring on Rio 2016!
That’s it for another edition of Trash Talk. Hope you’ve enjoyed, and once again feel free to let yourself be heard on this piece and who you think should’ve been named in the squad!