Who is on the Australia Men's Olympic Basketball team? Looking at their key players who are dominating at the 2021 Olympics

Australia have prevailed in their opening two games at the Tokyo Olympics
Australia have prevailed in their opening two games at the Tokyo Olympics
Miles Lockhart

Australia's men's basketball team were expected to finish on the podium at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and are on course to do so after opening the tournament with two victories. On Wednesday, they saw off a tough encounter against Italy to win 86-83, three days after they had eased past Nigeria in their Group B opener.

Australia will play against Germany in their final group game on Saturday, knowing a win would guarantee them 1st place in the group and a more favorable quarter-final matchup. Defeat, however, could see them fall into second place.

In this article, we will look at the members of the 'Boomers' squad, if they can live up to expectations and how they can inspire further success for Australian basketball.

Australia Olympic men's Basketball team’s roster: What Bommers fans can expect in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics?

Australia's three-point specialist Joe Ingles
Australia's three-point specialist Joe Ingles

Australia have had their fair share of basketball heartache in recent years. Fourth place in the 2016 Rio Olympics was followed up by another fourth place finish at the FIBA World Cup in 2019. Nevertheless, the core of their roster is still together and are currently living up to their status as the world's third-best team in the FIBA rankings.

Patty Mills is the Boomers' leader and was Australia's flag-bearer in the opening ceremony. He is the sort of player whose NBA class comes through on the international stage, enabling him to control the tempo of games. Against Nigeria, the San Antonio Spurs guard scored a game-high 25 points, dished out six assists and grabbed four steals. He followed that up with another well-rounded performance against the Italians, putting up 16 points, six rebounds and five dimes.

Also Check out: Australian Olympic Basketball Team 2021

Mills isn't the only NBA star Australia has in their ranks. In fact, besides Team USA, the Australians boast one of the highest number of players from the league. Among their starting lineup against the Italians were Utah Jazz swingman Joe Ingles, Toronto Raptors center Aron Baynes and former champion Matthew Dellavedova.

On the bench has been Philadelphia 76ers defensive stopper Matisse Thybulle and teammate of Dellavedova in Cleveland, Dante Exum. Beyond those mentioned, Australia would also normally have Sixers star Ben Simmons in their ranks. However, the 25-year-old has chosen to spend the summer focusing on his game, an announcement that will have been disappointing for fans of the national side.

Outside of their NBA talent, Australia's depth is still strong. Center Jock Landale is making a concerted effort to make his way to the league after helping Melbourne United to an NBL Championship and winning the Grand Final MVP award this season. He put up 16 points and seven rebounds against the Italians, shooting at 63% from the field.

They also have two-time NBL champion Nicholas Kay, who has put in two very solid performances so far off the bench. In their opener, Kay tallied 12 points and eight rebounds, while against Italy he scored 15 and ripped down seven boards.

The star of Australia's preparation win over Team USA and fellow big man Duop Reath is also in Tokyo, though with their depth of big men has hardly seen the floor. Elsewhere, there are guards Christopher Goulding, Nathan Sobey and Josh Green, who have, thus far, only received minutes toward the end of games.

Also Check out: USA Men's Olympic Basketball Gold Medal Wins

With the depth of their NBA talent, Australian fans will expect to see their team get to the semi-finals. They have enough scorers throughout the roster and defensive power in the paint to hold off most opposition. Once there, however, the scenario changes and Australia will have to be ready to face the likes of Team USA, Spain and France. Savvier big men could take advantage of Baynes and Landale, while America's wealth of options could outscore them.

Joe Ingles and Patty Mills are going to have to continue to lead the way while they can rely on their frontcourt players to provide solidity against tougher opposition. This may be Australia's last chance for an Olympic medal with this core of NBA players and they will be hoping to inspire the next generation to step up for their nation in order to keep competing at the biggest tournaments.

Edited by Arnav Kholkar


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