Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Australia pulls away from Serbia, sets up matchup with Team USA

matthew dellavedova

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 08: Matthew Dellavedova #8 of Australia reacts during the Men’s Basketball preliminary round Pool A game against Serbia on Day 3 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Carioca Arena 1 on August 8, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Ready for Matthew Dellavedova in a bigger role?

After escaping Kyrie Irving’s shadow with the Cavaliers, Dellavedova could start as a quasi-point guard with Giannis Antetokounmpo for the Bucks this season.

Dellavedova might have previewed what’s in store for Milwaukee – and Irving and Team USA – with 23 points and 13 assists in Australia’s 95-80 win over Serbia on Monday.

Australia’s next game is Wednesday against the Americans, who will first thump Venezuela at 6 p.m. today. Australia might not be a huge test for Team USA either, but the team from Down Under could be the U.S.'s top opponent in Rio.

Australia is the first men’s basketball team with two wins in the 2016 Olympics, beating France – which entered the Games favored to medal – by 21 in their opener. Serbia, which beat Venezuela by 24 in its opener, was also no slouch.

But Australia relied on its point guards to pull away late. Not only did Dellavedova excel, the Spurs’ Patty Mills led Australia with 26 points.

Serbia just had nowhere to hide Milos Teodosic, who scored 17 points but was a big liability defensively. For any NBA team considering signing Teodosic, a talented offensive point guard, this game should provide serious reservations.

Miroslav Raduljica, who played for the Bucks and Timberwolves, made a better case for an NBA return with 25 points. Aggressive and physical, the center was difficult to stop inside.

But Australia held its ground in the middle with a couple proven NBAers, Andrew Bogut and Aron Baynes, and staked its claim as a medal contender.