Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Day 2 of the Euro's

What in the hell is going on with Parker in this picture?

It must be a good thing that so far the Euro basketball championships has yet to be broadcast here in North America, because I got a strong feeling it would put the FIBA America's to shame. Word to the wise, you can buy into all the hype created about the U.S. team lead by Captain hype himself Kobe Bryant, but they have proved nothing until they meet up with the best in the world which was not done this year. FIBA America's were a joke and next years Olympics basketball is going to be fantastic to watch.

Day 2 of Euro basketball, and Doug Smith of The Star really puts it best about the importance these tournaments have to the players participating...

"Believe me, international competition is as important – in many cases more important – as the NBA to the top European players. The Raptors, or the Spurs, or the Grizzlies, or anyone else is a 'club' team, his country is a player's 'real' team."

As for today's results...

Andrei Kirilenko where have you been for the past year? Of course, Isreal is not the best of best when it comes to basketball talent, but Russia went 2-0 with a 90-56 victory. Kirilenko posted 17 points, 13 boards, 5 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Keep it up Kirilenko and I might just steal you in a early round in Fantasy basketball this year.

Lituania beat Czech Republic 95-75. I hear that Lituania was the 2003 champions. This years version has a few NBA guys like Darius Songaila of the Wizards and Sarunas Jasikevicius of the Warriors, but based on the stats of todays game, its a well balanced team that has gotten the job done so far.

Slovenia over Poland 70-52. Toronto's own Rasho Nesterovic with a double double of 11 points and 12 boards.

Croatia over Portugal 90-68. Croatia 1-1 after two days and Portugal 0-2 and pretty much done.

Tony "Freakin" Parker lead France to a huge victory over Italy., 69-62. Parker scoring 36 points!! Pretty much backing up my Parker/France is the same as Barbosa/Brazil claim. Diaw gave a 9 point, 7 board game. BUT Tony Parker owned this one. And guess who decided to play today...Andrea Bargnani was the high man for Italy with 16 points. Not all peachs and cream though with his stats, as the 6 turnovers is not something I like to see. And only 3 boards??? And come on Italy, you got beat by ONE guy! Italy is down 0-2 so in the 3 game series to move on, I am not liking the chances. I am also interested to see if Parker can keep this insanity up.

Speaking about keeping it up, Dirk Nowitzki is showing that there are no Golden State Warriors in this tournament, as he had a nice 24 point game to lead Germany to a VERY easy 79-49 victory over Turkey. I failed to mention yesterday at Mehmet Okur of the Utah Jazz plays for Turkey. Of course with a stat like of 1 for 5, 5 points and 5 boards, its easy to see how he could be forgotten. Okur, you were an all-star in the NBA. Pick it up buddy.

Host country Spain, and the combo of Jose Calderon and Jorge Garbajosa, beat Latvia 93-77. Pau Gasol has been the main man so far for Spain with 26 points and 9 boards, while Calderon stepped up today with a 14 points, 5 board and 3 assist game. I have noticed that in International play, it seems that the ball movement is high yet the assists totals for players are always low. I know that the games are shorter (therefore less points) but when Jose is tied for team high in assists with 3, just seems odd. Garbo gave 12 points and 2 boards, not a stand out game, but I will take these numbers since he has been out for so long. Andris Biedrins lead Latvia with 17 points and 5 boards.

Greece won in overtime, 68-67 over Servia. Darko Milicic had 17 points and 6 boards for the losing side.

Tomorrow is the last game in the first round. 2003 champs Lithuania vs Dirk and Germany should be one to watch for. Rasho and Slovenia try to slow down Tony Parker and France. Nothing else of major note for the games tomorrow.

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