This year hosts of summer Olympic games, Brazil has a somewhat hard matchup ahead of them. Lithuania has proven to have one of the most consistent teams, when it comes to basketball. They have managed to reach quarter-finals in each of their last 6 big tournaments. In addition, they can brag with 3 medals, they have won in that time period.
Brazil has a strong team to say the least. The team consists of veteran NBA players; Nene, Raul Neto, Marcelo Huertas and Leandro Barbosa. Both Huertas and Neto have proven to be deadly from the outside, shooting the ball efficiently. Barbosa holds career average of 11.0 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists over his long NBA career (13 seasons). On the other hand, we can expect Nene to be effective on the court, despite Lithuanian men being taller than him.
Lithuania has really prospective team. Their players are bigger, faster, younger and stronger compared to Brazilian squad, but compared to Brazilians, Lithuania lacks in experience. Everyone who watches basketball (at least international matches) will know that Lithuania is known for prioritizing defence over attacking. In that regard we can expect more defensive minded approach to today’s match, which should work in their favour, as it usually does.
I think it’s important to mention Jonas Valanciunas (12.8 ppg 9.1 rpg), who has had a good season with Toronto Raptors. The Raptors have just recently drafted Domantas Sabonis, another Lithuanian player. The duo causes many problems for opponents, both being 7 feet tall. With that in mind, it will be hard for any opponent to score inside the box, and the first ones who will see the duo in action in this Olympic games will be Brazil.
Brazilians will be without Tiago Splitter and Anderson Varejao and it might set them back a bit. Even though the hosts won previous matchup against Lithuania (31.7, 64:62), I expect a different outcome here. Lithuanian defensive approach will force Brazil to shot from outside the box and commit turnovers, which will work in the favour of the guests.
Prediction: Lithuania +2.5
Odds: 1.88 Pinnacle/SBOBET