In his first game action since the Washington Wizards’ first round playoff exit back in early June, Rui Hachimura made it look easy for Japan in their exhibition game vs. Belgium, writes Kaz Nagatsuka of The Japan Times.
Hachimura had himself quite the weekend, scoring 24 points in the blowout win over Belgium to go along with a 19 point performance in a close victory over France. Japan’s strong play during the exhibition session should catch the attention of Spain, as the two teams play each other in their Olympic opener.
Here’s more from Olympic players heading into Tokyo:
- Rui Hachimura isn’t the only NBA player getting it done for Japan, as Toronto Raptors forward Yuta Watanabe also had 18 points in their big win vs. France. With Watanabe looked at as one of the top options on Japan, he has the chance to bring solid experience back to Toronto this upcoming season, suggests Gilbert McGregor of NBA.com.
- Concerns regarding USA became a topic of discussion following their first two exhibition losses, but Spain point guard Ricky Rubio thinks otherwise, notes Doug Feinberg of The Associated Press. “It’s the first time they are playing together, it takes time,” he said. “They are dangerous if they play as a team.”
- Zach LaVine has been placed under health & safety protocols and hopes to join Team USA later this week, tweets The Athletic’s Shams Charania. After recently telling The Bulls Talk Podcast that he’s ‘figured out’ what his role will be on his new club, LaVine’s availability is now in question for Tokyo.