Update: Team USA has shaken up their starting lineup a bit. Amare Stoudemire is starting tonight in place of Dwight Howard (Suns fans, rejoice!), and Chauncey Billups is starting in place of Jason Kidd. Come on, Amare, time to shine!
After last night's grand finale where Team USA completed their show of absolute dominance over Group B at the FIBA Americas Championship tournament, they'll now move on to terrorize Group A for awhile. The top four teams from each group begin the quarterfinals round today. From Group A, we'll have Argentina, Uruguay, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. From Group B, we'll have USA, Brazil, Canada, and Venezuela. The Group A teams will play against the Group B teams (so Leandro Barbosa doesn't have to worry about seeing anymore of Kobe Bryant and Team USA for at least the next four days). Tonight's Suns-related action includes a 5:30pm Pacific/8:30pm Eastern matchup of Brazil vs. Puerto Rico, and a 8:00pm Pacific/11:00pm Eastern meeting of Team USA and Mexico. I don't expect Mexico's 1-3 record to be any match for Team USA, which continues to play head and shoulders (and then some) above everyone they meet in this tournament. Puerto Rico (also 1-3) would seem an easy mark for 3-1 Brazil as well. However, a tight game with Brazil holding out in the final minutes would not be surprising, as that has been the case in two of their three wins thus far. In any event, Leandro Barbosa and crew are no doubt looking forward to putting the ugly taste of last night's 113-76 pasting behind them, so the guess here is that they'll come out on fire and ready to do some pasting of their own.
Tonight's Wish List:
- I give up on getting to see a competitive game out of anything involving Team USA, so let's go to the other extreme: Beat these guys by 80.
- Let's see Leandro Barbosa bounce back from last night's 4-point effort. (And I suspect he will).