I’ll start with the obligatory mention for the Stars and Stripes. Behind Kevin Durant’s 29 points, Team USA survived a 38-point explosion from Ricky Rubio to top Spain, 95-81, advancing to the semifinals on Thursday at 12:15am ET. Who will they play, you ask...
Our guy Matisse Thybulle and Team Australia, who broke open a relatively close match against Argentina with a 37-11 fourth quarter, winning 97-59. Thybulle was one of five Boomers in double figures, led by Patty Mills with 18 points. Matisse finished with 12 points, five rebounds, two assists, three steals, and one block, against one turnover. He sank three of his five 3-point attempts, one of which was an uncalled bank, but the other two were smooth catch-and-shoot makes, including an above-the-break 3 in semi-transition.
As always, Thybulle played with a tremendous energy on the defensive end. He cuts off driving lanes, jumps passing angles, and even does a great job digging down quickly from the perimeter to corral the floor boards. After one of those boards, he channeled Jalen Hurts and threw a full-court pass to Patty Mills for the lay-up.
I don’t care what my passport says. I’m rooting for Matisse and the gold and green in two days’ time.