If you're an NBA fan counting down the seconds until the start of the 2012-13 season, you need to be in front of your television/streaming video conduit of choice on Wednesday. The four quarterfinal matchups in the Olympic men's basketball tournament — lovingly previewed on Tuesday at Y! Olympics blog Fourth-Place Medal — will feature a boatload of NBA talent, and not just on Team USA. The day's first game will see Group B winners Russia — who feature the recently signed Minnesota Timberwolves tandem of Andrei Kirilenko and Alexey Shved, as well as Denver Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov — take on a Lithuanian team are led by the Toronto Raptors duo of forward Linas Kleiza and promising young rising rookie center Jonas Valanciunas, who will make his NBA debut for the Raptors this season.
France vs. Spain will be a star-studded affair, with an NBA-heavy Spanish side (Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka, Jose Calderon, plus several former NBA pros now playing in Europe) squaring off against a French squad led by the San Antonio Spurs trio of Tony Parker, Boris Diaw and new import guard Nando De Colo, plus Portland Trail Blazers swingman Nicolas Batum and developing Washington Wizards big man Kevin Seraphin. And Brazil vs. Argentina ought to be a barn-burner, with the incomparable Manu Ginobili and Luis Scola leading fellow NBA'ers Carlos Delfino, Andres Nocioni and Pablo Prigioni into battle against a Brazilian team that's anchored up front by Tiago Splitter, Anderson Varejao and Nene, and that gets its scoring punch from NBA vet (and current free agent) Leandro Barbosa.
And then, of course, there's the main event of the day — the 5:15 p.m. ET matchup between Team USA's galaxy of stars and an Australia team led by Spurs point guard Patty Mills. The U.S. is heavily favored, but the tough, hardscrabble Boomers won't just hand over a trip to the semifinals.
Join us back here at 5 p.m. Eastern time for a joint BDL-FPM live chat of USA vs. Australia and watch two talented teams vie for a trip to the Olympics' final four. (Just a reminder: We won't be able to get to every question or comment, though we'll try our best, and please remember to keep things PG-13 and civil. Much obliged.)
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