How Far Can the Boomers Go?

Three times unsuccessful in the bronze medal match, the Boomers head to Rio looking to earn Australia its first ever medal in the men’s competition.

With a quality mix of youth and experience, this edition of the Boomers could be the strongest ever assembled. And with five NBA listed players, four of them NBA Champions, 2016 could be the year for Australia.


David Andersen (Melbourne United), Cameron Bairstow (Brisbane Bullets), Aron Baynes (Detroit Pistons), Andrew Bogut (Dallas Mavericks), Ryan Broekhoff (Lokomotiv Kuban), Matthew Dellavedova (Milwaukee Bucks), Chris Goulding (Melbourne United), Joe Ingles (Utah Jazz), Kevin Lisch (Sydney Kings), Damian Martin (Perth Wildcats), Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs), Brock Motum (BC Zalgiris).

Group A:  Australia, USA, France, Serbia, China, Venezuela

Group B: Argentina, Spain, Brazil, Lithuania, Croatia, Nigeria

The Stars

Patty Mills (21 points per game) led all scorers at the London Olympics and remains Australia’s best offensive weapon. With an improved support cast, Mills also has the ability to be an equally damaging play maker.

An NBA Champion in 2016 – Matthew Dellavadova has become the face of Australian basketball. Known for his disruptive and aggressive defense, Delly will also be a key scoring option for the Boomers and a legitimate threat from 3 point range. He’s used to the big stage, and having just signed a $38 million deal with Milwaukee, he won’t be overawed.

The Dangers 

Second place in Group A is well and truly up for grabs with France looming as the Boomers’ main danger for the spot. The French boast a very impressive roster that includes NBA players Tony Parker, Nicolas Batum, Boris Diaw and Rudy Gobert. Australia vs France on August 6 looks a must watch game, and could go a long way in determining each nation’s medal hopes at these games.

Assuming Australia make it through the group phase, the next goal is avoiding a quarter-final showdown with Spain – the team most likely to top Group B. There will be no easy games for the Boomers at this stage of the tournament however with likely opponents Argentina, Brazil or Lithuania all shaping as genuine medal contenders.

X Factor

The difference maker for the Boomers comes in the form of 7-foot defensive juggernaut Andrew Bogut. Currently recovering from a knee injury suffered in the 2016 NBA Finals, if fully fit, the veteran centre provides the team with much needed rim protection and on-court leadership. Bogut is also a more than capable passer and could play a key role in unlocking the Australian offense.


So much will hinge on their opening match against France, with victory there paving the way for a much easier path to the semi-finals.

Facing Team USA in the Group stage isn’t ideal, but it could be a blessing in disguise if they manage to avoid a rematch until later in the tournament.

This Boomers team has a lot of talent and more than a touch of mongrel so don’t expect them to be intimidated or bullied by some of their more fancied opponents. The team have made no secret that they’re after a medal, and if the squad gels and plays to its full potential, that could be a very real chance.

Gold: USA    Silver: Spain    Bronze: Australia    4th: Lithuania

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