Monday, September 10, 2007

Lithuania is the team to beat....wait a second...

Quick look at today's Euro play. I have been getting some feedback from some of you readers who have been able to see some of the basketball on T.V., please feel free to let me know if I am off base on anything or not. I have said it before and I will say it again, the stats don't always tell the whole story.

It took overtime to do it, and also overcoming a 34 point game from Hedo "you won't forget me now" Turkoglu, but Andrea Bargnani and Italy the W and are still in the fight for a quarter-final spot. Turkey on the other hand is finished, still playing wednesday against France but with no chance of moving on. Turkoglu was inconsistent over the tournament but Mehmet Okur just was flat out disappointing. Over the 5 games,Okur shot 40% from inside the 3pt line, a sad 20% outside the 3pt line (the shorter then the NBA 3pt line), a solid 8 boards a game and 0.4 in assists/steals and blocks. Now what is the difference between Mehmet Okur and Hedo Turkoglu? Okur played in the NBA all-star game last year. Utah has gotten good news from the play of Kirilenko, but with these Euro's and last years NBA playoffs, Okur has not looked good. As for Bargnani, remember the improvement he has been making? Well one step back today. He finished with a ho-hum 12 points, although 5 of those game in overtime. So in the regulation time period he had a rather pathetic 7. Nice that he stepped up in OT but come on. And 6 boards is decent if he was contributing in other areas but with one steal and one assists, 6 boards is not enough. I am hoping that it is the style of play Italy uses that is just not meshing with Bargnani here. Italy plays Germany on Wednesday in a must win to continue to the quarter-finals.

Lithuania I guess is officially the team to beat. They remain undefeated as they beat France 88-73. France has been playing well so far, which makes this 15 point win even more suprising. Hey I am sold, Lithuania is legit. And just after I mentioned how the Lithuania NBA players were nothing to write home about, Sarunas Jasikevicius had 14 and a very nice number of 7 assists while Darius Songaila gave 17 points and 7 boards. If these players continue on this track for the rest of the Euro's, they might force Golden State and Washington to give them more minutes this upcoming season. And ether Tony Parker is getting tired (which is very possible as he played till mid-June) or Lithuania had some great defense, as Parker only had 11 points after being on a scoring tear most of the Euros. The 6 assists though were nice. And for you Suns fans, Boris Diaw had 6 points and 7 boards and has not done anything news worthy the past two weeks. I like Diaw, but he might have been a one-hit wonder in 2005-2006 (at least for us fantasy basketball players). I give Lithuania the team to beat title even though Slovenia is the other undefeated team based on Lithania being more decisive in there wins.

WAIT a second. I wrote that before Slovenia vs. Germany. The players from Slovenia must have decided that they needed to send a message to everyone else saying "Sure Lithuania looks good, but check this out". Against Dirk Nowitzki and Germany, Slovenia dominated with pure defense, winning 77-47. Dirk did get 16 points and 8 boards, but this game was over in the 2nd quarter. There was a lot of garbage time for Dirk to get some respectable numbers. And how about Rasho Nesterovic?? 6 for 12 shooting, 7 boards and 4 blocks!! MACHINE!

So tomorrow nothing big in the way of top match-ups. Croatia/Russia and Greece/Portugal and Spain/Israel. I will be honest, I am confused about what is going on with these games. As good as the basketball looks, the set up needs to be changed. But whatever, once the final 8 is set, we will know whats going on. As for Wednesday though, check this out....Slovenia vs. Lithuania in a game that does not matter but will still be interesting to see what happens. Do these Euro teams take it easy in games that has nothing at stake? Both are into the final 8. Undefeated title is on the line, does that matter? We will find out in 2 days. Also on Wednesday its Dirk vs Dirk jr. as Germany plays Italy.


Tunez said...

Like I said before i'm thrilled with the way Rasho has played in this tourney but the fact is this play has come at a time when the Raptors were ready to "ween" him out of the rotation to give more minutes to Andrea at center. Of course none of this is fact but more so common sense/info from insiders. As far as Bargnani goes I don't really know what to say. The kid has a tremendous second half of a season before the appendectomy, understandable struggles in the playoffs trying to shake off the rust, although playing decent, and gives us reports from Italy stating he has bulked up and is tearing up practices and warm ups. Then it translates into a sub-par showing in this tourney. As I said before I have been told that the Azzuri's slow paced half-court offense does not suit Andrea's game as fluently as the Raptors face paced tempo so we can only hope coming into this season that this tourney is nothing more than a warm up.

Luis Muñiz said...

If you wish to see the games, try

they have a live feed (at least it is visible in spain and belgium)

The comentary is in spanish, though