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Rio 2016: Australia vs. Serbia Men's Basketball Semifinal Preview

Not many people gave Australia and Serbia much of a shot to medal in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, but both teams have played above and beyond those pre-tournament expectations so far. A trip to the gold medal game is on the line Friday when the nations battle it out at Carioca Arena.

Shark Bites
  • Matthew Dellavedova leads the tournament in assists (7.7 per game).
  • Turnovers have been an issue for Serbia, as they're near the bottom of the Olympics at 13.2 per game.
  • Andrew Bogut leads both teams in efficiency (20.4).

While Australia has more NBA talent, don’t count out the Serbs. Serbia edged Croatia 86-83 in the quarterfinals, and they nearly took one from the mighty United States in round-robin play. Oddsmakers have tabbed Serbia as 4-point underdogs for the tilt, with the OVER/UNDER sitting at 164.5 at the time of writing.

Australia is the definition of a team jelling at the right time. Paced by guard Patty Mills, the Aussies hammered Lithuania 90-64 in the quarterfinals to get this far. Miroslav Raduljica and Bogdan Bogdanovic have paved the way, as each man is in the top 15 in points per game and shooting percentage.

If Australia is going to grind out another win, they’ll need better production from the second unit. Australia’s bench is averaging 29.3 points per game, while Serbia’s comes in at a much more efficient 44.3.

These teams met earlier in the tournament, where Matthew Dellavedova and company came away with a 95-80 triumph.

For a preview of the other semifinal game, visit our Spain-United States page here.