Spain’s men’s basketball team is on a roll at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, with three straight convincing wins against Lithuania, Argentina and France. On Friday they have a chance to knock out Team USA in the semifinals, and they are expected to at least challenge the tournament’s overwhelming favorites.
An injury, however, could put a damper on all of these good vibes. Spain’s coach, Sergio Scariolo, said that star big man Pau Gasol could potentially miss the game because of a calf injury.
“He is not well, I can not say for sure that he is going to play,” Scariolo said, as translated by Eurohoops. “We continue with his treatments and the truth is that we needed him right now. We hope his condition to evolve well and at least be ready to help as much as he can his teammates in the game. I cannot say anything more right now.”
If Gasol indeed has to sit out, it will be good news for Team USA, but bad news for the Olympics. Two years ago, Spain was supposed to be the United States’ main challenger at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Madrid, but the host nation lost to France in the quarterfinals and Team USA cruised to the gold.
Given the magnitude of the game, you should expect Gasol to play unless he is physically unable to take the floor. And even if he is able to play, should the calf injury limit his effectiveness, the likelihood of an upset will decrease dramatically.
In six games in Rio, Gasol has averaged a team-high 17 points on 51.3 percent shooting, and he has made 56.3 percent of his 3-pointers.
Courtesy: CBS Sports