How grueling have the last five days been for San Antonio Spurs draftee Ryan Richards and Great Britain been? They just finished playing their fifth game in five nights as they defeated the Czech Republic 85 to 74.
Richards got off to a hot start as he scored 21 points in the first quarter as his team led 28 to 21. Yes, he had as many points as the Czech’s entire team. Richards also grabbed three rebounds, had one turnover, and one foul at the end of the first quarter. He played the entire 10 minutes of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Richards got some rest as he only played 6:56 minutes. He took just two shots and missed them both; he grabbed two rebounds and had one more turnover. Great Britain held their lead 47 to 35 at halftime.
After halftime, the Czech Republic got closer as they cut Great Britain’s lead 55 to 54. Fatigue may have set in as Richards played nine minutes in the third quarter where he scored just one point off a free throw, grabbed one rebound, missed five shots from the field, and committed one foul.
Great Britain pulled away in the fourth quarter as they won 85 to 74. Richards made two of his four field goals in the final period to finish with 27 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, and 3 fouls in 32:54 minutes of action.
Though Great Britain won today, their two losses on Thursday and Friday ultimately hurt them according to Sam Neter of Hoops Fix.
It was a case of too little too late as the GB side were eliminated earlier in the day when Portugal beat Norway, giving them a third place finish in Group C with a 3-2 record, meaning they can now finish no higher than ninth place.
I asked Neter via Twitter when Richards and Great Britain will play again, he told me they will play Israel on Wednesday and Iceland on Thursday.
Specifically for Spurs fans, I’ve displayed Richards’ quarter-by-quarter shot chart to show the inside-out game that he plays.
First quarter- 6/8 from the field, ¾ from beyond the arc, for 21 points
Second quarter- 6/10 from the field, ¾ from beyond the arc, for 21 points
Third quarter- 6/15 from the field, 3/5 from beyond the arc, for 22 points
Fourth quarter- 8/19 from the field, 3/5 from beyond the arc, for 27 points