Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tues August 5: Competition Starts Tomorrow! Men's Olympic Basketball Preview

Can you feel it? Can you feel the excitement, the moment coming closer and closer? Tomorrow morning is the start of the football (soccer) competition and NOW Sports will begin its LIVE BLOGGING of the competition with Germany vs. Brazil in women's soccer. Today, we release the schedule for the second week of competition (first full week of the games, starting with Mon Aug 11). We also make our final competition preview before the games start--Men's Olympic Basketball.

Remember that NOW Sports will be blogging throughout the Olympic Games with half-hour updates throughout each day (or rather, night) of the competition from 6PM EDT to 12PM EDT the next day (times subject to change). In addition, NOW Sports will have LIVE BLOGGING of several events throughout the week, including gymnastics events, swimming finals and soccer and basketball games. Below is a schedule of next week's LIVE BLOGGING of the competition 2008 Olympic Games. All times are in EDT.

Sun Aug 10
10:30PM - Men's Field Hockey, Preliminary Round: Pakistan vs. Great Britain

Mon Aug 11
5AM - Women's Water Polo, Preliminaries: United States vs. China
8PM - Swimming: Gold Medal Finals
8PM - Gymnastics: Men's Team Final
11:15PM - Men's Basketball, Preliminaries: Croatia vs. Russia

Tues Aug 12
2AM - Men's Handball, Preliminaries: China vs. France
7:15AM - Equestrian: Team and Individual Eventing (Jumping)
10PM - Swimming: Gold Medal Finals
10:30PM - Gymnastics: Women's Team Final

Wed Aug 13
5AM - Men's Soccer, Preliminaries: Nigeria vs. United States
8AM - Women's Volleyball, Preliminaries: China vs. Cuba
8:30PM - Women's Field Hockey, Preliminaries: China vs. Netherlands
10PM - Swimming: Gold Medal Finals
11PM - Gymnastics: Men's Individual All-Around Final

Thurs Aug 14
2:30AM - Men's Basketball, Preliminaries: Angola vs. China
8AM - Men's Basketball, Preliminaries: USA vs. Greece
10PM - Swimming: Gold Medal Finals
11PM - Gymnastics: Women's Individual All Around

Fri Aug 15
2:30AM - Women's Basketball, Preliminaries: Russia vs. Brazil
6:30AM - Badminton: Women's Doubles Final/Men's Singles Semifinals
10PM - Swimming: Gold Medal Finals
11:30PM - Baseball, Round Robin: USA vs. Cuba

Sat Aug 16
6AM - Men's Football: Quarterfinal Match
9AM - Men's Football: Quarterfinal Match
7:30PM - Athletics: Women's Marathon
10PM - Swimming: Gold Medal Finals

Sun Aug 17
2AM - Women's Handball: Norway vs. Romania
4AM - Tennis: Men's Singles and Women's Doubles Gold Medal Final
9:30PM - Men's Water Polo, Preliminaries
11:15PM - Men's Basketball: Australia vs. Lithuania

Remember that the LIVE BLOGGING will be available on our alternate website: These times and events are subject to change and we may add more events like diving or gymnastics if possible. Don't forget that this is IN ADDITION to the continuous live half-hour updates that NOW Sports will be giving throughout the night and into the next morning, starting at 7AM on Friday morning with the opening ceremonies. Competition updates will begin at 6PM EDT later that day when Day 1 of competition begins.
Check back here and for the latest updates throughout the games.

Men's Olympic Basketball Preview
It's been awhile since we've seen Team USA come into an Olympic Games where they are not the defending Olympics Gold Medalists in men's basketball. We've definitely seen the game grow on a global scale, but the United States is looking to get back the gold medal in Beijing after they lost in the semifinals to Argentina four years ago in Athens.

From the exhibition matches that they have been playing prior to these Olympic games, Team USA has shown that they have great confidence and even greater chemistry on the court. They routed their opponents in exhibition matches against Canada, Lithuania and Russia while Australia provided the biggest challenge to the American team in the last game of the pre-Olympic exhibition series.

The United States defeated Australia earlier today by a score of 87-76 with the Aussies playing without their biggest player, Andrew Bogut. Against Australia, the Americans shot poor free throws and could not make their 3-point shots in, thus letting Australia keep the game rather close in Shanghai.

If international basketball fans have learned anything from the past decade, it is that Team USA is no longer the lone medal contender in major international competitions. Argentina defeated Italy for the gold medal in Athens four years ago while the Americans went home with the bronze. In the 2006 World Championships for Men, then-European champions Greece defeated the United States in the semifinal round before falling to Spain in the championship game. Spain then fell to Russia in the final seconds in the 2007 Eurobasket final.

Almost every team competing in the men's basketball tournament has a big name player and nearly every team in Team USA's pool can provide a major threat to the Americans. Spain is known for the deep talent and is led by Juan Carlos Navarro and Pau Gasol. Greece, FIBA World Championship finalists, Germany, led by Dirk Nowitski and China, led by home favorite Yao Ming, can be a challenge to Team USA. But if the Americans play as well and better than they have been playing during their pre-Olympic tour, then expect the United States to be able to progress to the knockout round.

The other pool is expected to be just as competitive, with the favorites to come out of the round robin stage and into the knockout round being defending Olympic champion Argentina, led by Manu Ginobili, Australia and Russia. After the preliminaries, it is really hard to predict who may capture the gold medal, but I wouldn't bet against Spain, the United States, Australia or even China to make it as far as the semifinals.

Other Olympic News...
Delegations have started to stream into the Olympic Village as the Opening Ceremonies are less than three days away. Meanwhile, the Olympic Torch relay has entered its final leg as it arrives in the city of Beijing. On Wednesday, it will make several historic stops, including Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.

There are still several concerns that have surrounded the last minute preparations for the Beijing Olympic Games. Beijing Olympic Organizers have continually calmed all fears of terrorism, though the threat of attacks has steadily risen as the opening ceremonies approach.
Other worries include pollution and internet censorship, issues that aren't likely to go away by the time the cauldron has been lit.

Hundreds of websites still censored at Beijing Olympics (LA Times)
US Cyclists Arrive In Beijing Wearing Masks (NY Times)

We'll release the LIVE BLOGGING schedule for the third week of the Beijing Olympic Games and we also get started with out LIVE BLOGGING with coverage of the women's preliminary football matches. Please go to which is our alternate website and home of the LIVE BLOGGING for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad.

It's almost time...

1 comment:

Zak Shtulberg said...

shouldn't Live Blogging be called Logging?

BEIJING 2008 Tentative NBC Schedule (BLOG POSTS BELOW...)