Yes, we just saw KD drop 59 and lose to a team with LeBron dropping 38, along with large contributions from CP3 and Melo. But, as these games seem to be few and far between, we do have a few International tournaments that will determine which countries make up the 16 vying for gold in 2012. Eurobasket is already off to a start, with Spain playing Poland (Spain up 68-59 as I am typing), Serbia playing Italy (Serbia up 80-68), Montenegro playing Macedonia (Montenegro 51-50) and Georgia playing Belgium (Georgia up 64-45). Just wanted to give you guys a few links.
Interesting link from Eurohopes pointing out the 50 youngest players in the tournament, including NBA Draft Prospects and some recent draftees:
The Eurobasket homepage:
As far as watching the games, here is a list of how that is possible (ESPN 3 for the US):
As far as streaming, I am sure it is possible with our old pal Google looking it up. For those in Canada (myself included), I believe RaptorsTV (or to those in the US, NBATV) will probably broadcast at least a few of the games. Also, here are the initial groups and 24 teams competing in the tournament, along with notable players where applicable):
Great Britain (Luol Deng, Devon Van Oostrum, Joel Freeland. No Ben Gordon)
Lithuania (Jonas Valanciunas, Sarunas "Yes for Cabbages" Jasikevicius, Darius Songaila)
Poland (Thomas Kelati, Szymon Szewczyk. No Marcin Gortat)
Portugal (Fairly clueless)
Spain (The Brothers Gasol, Jose Calderon, Ricky Rubio, Rudy Fernandez, Serge Ibaka, Victor Claver, "La Bamba" Juan Carlos Navarro)
Turkey (Turkoglu, Enes Kanter, Omer Asik, Ersan Ilyasova, Cenk Akyol. No Mehmet Okur)
France (Tony Parker, Nicolas Batum, Joakim Noah, Kevin Seraphin, Boris Diaw, Florent Pietrus, Mickael Gelabale, Nando De Colo, Andrew Albicy. No Mickael Pietrus or Roddy Buckets)
Germany (Dirk, Chris Kaman, Tibor Plei(symbol that apparently means two "s"'s are at the end of his name), Tim Ohlbrecht, Robin Benzing. No Ademola Okaluja)
Israel (David Blu, Yotam Halperin, Lior Eliyahu, Guy Pnini. No Amare Stoudemire :( )
Italy (Andrea Bargnani, Danilo Gallinari, Marco Belinelli, Daniel Hackett)
Latvia (Davis Bertans)
Serbia (Nemanja Bjelica, Nenad Krstic, Milan Macvan, Boban Marjanovic, Kosta Perovic, Milos Teodosic. NO DARKO :(! )
Bosnia and Herzegovina (Nihad Dedovic)
Croatia (Stanko Barac, Ante Tomic, Bojan Bogdanovic, Damir Markota, Marko Popovic)
Macedonia (Pedrag Samardziski. Anyone remember when he was considered a top prospect? Also, Bo McCalebb, who is awesome.)
Finland (Petteri Kopponen)
Greece (EuroBaller, Ioannis Bourousis, Nick Calathes, Antonios Fotsis, Konstantinos Papanikolaou, Kostas Koufos, Nikolaos Zisis. No Big Sofo)
Montenegro (Nikola Pekovic, Nikola Vucevic, Omar "The Legend" Cook, Slavko Vranes, Vlad Dasic)
Belgium (Thomas Van Den Spiegel (epic name), Marcus Faison)
Bulgaria (No idea?)
Georgia (Zaza, Nikoloz Tskitishvili (awesome!), Giorgi Shermandini, Marquez Haynes (guess he took Shammond Williams spot), Tornike Shengelia)
Russia (Andrei Kirlineko, Timofey Mozgov, Victor Khryapa, Sergey Monya, Aleksey Shved, Anton Ponkrashov. JR Holden retired, no new naturalized player)
Slovenia (Goran and Zoran Dragic, Mirza Begic, Erazem Lorbek, Edo Muric, Luka Rupnik. No Sasha Vujacic aka Goran Dragic's mortal enemy)
Ukraine (Kyrylo Fesenko, Oleksiy Pecherov, Stiven Bertt. Coached by "The Czar" Mike Fratello)
So folks, who you taking to win? I think Spain would more than likely be the consensus. I wish I could choose someone else as my pick, but I will go with Spain taking home first place. Turkey has to be up there as well. Greece is always a tough out, and Serbia has done incredibly well in the last few tournaments. While you might go by which teams have the most NBA players, the talent level in this tournament is incredibly high and the NBA guys do not always mean victories. Of course France, Italy and Germany are dangerous with their star players, but I would not be surprised if they lose to countries with less star power. Should be something interesting to keep an eye on, with Olympic bids being at stake.
"Greece (EuroBaller, Ioannis Bourousis, Nick Calathes, Antonios Fotsis, Konstantinos Papanikolaou, Kostas Koufos, Nikolaos Zisis. No Big Sofo)"
I see what you did there
And Spain for the win...Hopefully Ibaka isnt too tired from modeling every NBA teams jerseys the past few weeks
P.S. Sasha will never play for Slovenia as long as Gorans is running sh*t
Italy's slow start to fiba games continues smh.. I thought the addition of gallo would help eliminate that but i guess not. they started off strong but couldn't keep it going
Spain 83, Poland 78
Ricky!?!? 0-5, 0 assists, and 2 turnovers. You aren't a Timberwolf yet, don't play like one.
Sergio Llull got a little time off the bench and rivaled Rubio (17 minutes, 0-3, 0 assists, and 3 turnovers).
Thomas Kelati, the Wala Wala Washington Stater, married a Polish girl, so he is representing (18 points, 7 assists, 3 steals, and 3 rebounds).
Serbia 80, Italy 68
Milan Macvan was big in the 2nd when Serbia took control. He finished with 14 points and 8 rebounds on 6-7 shooting.
Hey look, Bargnani doesn't pass the ball for Italy either.
Montenegro 70, Macedonia 65
Vlad Dasic dropping 20 and 16. Undrafted in 2010, right?
Nikola Vucevic 7 points and 3 rebounds off the bench.
Nikola Pekovic 9 points and 9 rebounds.
Omar was only 3-10, but Europe better be on alert.
Bo McCalebb 17 points, 4 assists, and 4 rebounds. How he ended up with a Macedonian passport I don't know, but good for him.
Georgia 81, Belgium 59
Undrafted Giorgi Shermadini had 7 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 fouls off the bench.
Skeeta made the team? He did nothing, but he made the national team?
Poor Mbenga has to carry the load for Belgium.
Turkey 79, Portugal 56
I'm looking for someone to stop Enes Kanter. Ummm...
Enes Kanter treated the Portuguese like Valanciunas does the kids from Korea (14 points, 7 rebounds, and 7-9 shooting in 22 minutes).
Omer Asik had 4 points and 3 rebounds in 20 minutes. I know Bulls fans are worried, so be rest assured he also had 3 turnovers. Those hands are still magical.
France 89, Latvia 78
Tony Parker had to put in 31 points and 7 assists to beat Latvia.
France had 5 NBA players, De Colo got drafted, Gelabale used to be in the league, and Albicy is a 2012 prospect. They were up 2 with 4:30 to go.
Davis Bertans had 9 points for Latvia.
Greece 76, Bosnia and Herzegovina 67
Konstantinos Papanikolaou is going to bring Euroballer out of the woodwork. He got the start.
I always knew Henry Domercant looked Bosnian.
Slovenia 67, Bulgaria 59
Erazem Lorbek is playing for that NBA contract whenever the league opens back up for business. 18 points and 9 rebounds against a bum doesn't hurt.
The Goran (16 points and 6 assists) and Zoran show (undrafted in the draft that saw Ngombo get taken had 12 points and the start) should be fun.
Lithuania 80, Great Britain 69
Luol Deng (25 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists) must look around the GB locker room and think, this is what Derrick Rose felt like when he looked around after the Miami series.
I was shocked to not see a thread dedicated to Jonas Sabonis' 4 minutes of turning the ball over, getting called for a charge, and then getting yanked. Shocked.
Germany 91, Israel 64
Ich stat en den schießen.
25 points, 10-14 shooting. Ja! Schießen!
Undrafted Robin Benzing started and 12 points on 5-8 shooting. Just remember, Chukwudiebere Maduabum was drafted this past June.
Croatia 84, Finland 79
Don't question whether Bojan Bogdanovic will stroke it. He'll put in 27 points on 6-8 from three.
Ante Tomic had 14 points and 8 rebounds. Another branch on the young big tree growing in Jazz-land.
Petteri Koponen had 14 points and 6 assists. Just in case anyone thinks that Kevin Pritchard just completely wasted millions of Paul Allen's money on someone who would never be heard from after draft night. Nope. You heard it today.
Russia 73, Ukraine 64
Timofey Mozgov 4 points, 3 rebounds, 3 turnovers, 3 fouls in 16 minutes. That is the kind of performance you would expect from someone the Nuggets just had to have in a Melo deal. But hey, it isn't like Wilson Chandler just signed a deal to play next year in China or anything.
Stiven Bertt must wish he could pretend he doesn't speak English when Fratello is trying to be all czar-y. Everyone else on the Ukrainian team can at least pretend.
Appreciate someone else writing witty updates on the games. Much more short form and to the point than i usually am, than again I assume everyone is much to lazy to look anything up (can you blame me?). Look forward to seeing more, and, have you seen "I'm Jus So Offended's" most recent post? I guess he must not have looked at the box score.......
Not that I do not think Valanciunas is a great prospect. I just think the guy who "Is like Chris Bosh because he no have strong body." Might be getting slightly over hyped. Kanter, that guy has strong body. Valanciunas, not there yet. Even major Valanciunas backer Jonathan Givony says he is a best case "Andris Biedrins meets Joakim Noah". Than again, he says that Bismack Biyombo's best case is "a 6'9 Dwight Howard", so, yeah, best not take his advice on that one.
Nonetheless, people should seriously temper there expectations on Jonas V. He has a lot of upside, but at the same time, killing the U-19's is no guarantee to NBA success. Want proof? Here are some guys who tore up the U19 World Championships pretty well themselves:
Mario Delas, Croatia: 20 ppg, 7 rpg, 2.2 apg, 57.9% FG, 80.6 FT (Auto eligible next year, not a ton of buzz)
Rob Loe, New Zealand: 18.8, 7, 2.5, 60%, 70% (He plays for St. Louis, not that good)
Donatas Motiejunas, Lithuania: 17.3, 8, 2.7, 58%, 71%
Paulo Prestes, Brazil: 23, 14.7, 1.2, 56.3%, 73%
AJ Ogilvy, Australia: 22.3, 9.8, 1.6, 68.6%, 79.2%
It really must have been a shock to the system that Enes Kanter could possibly play well at the European Championships when he didn't try hard in prep school games that he had no reason to try hard in. Doesn't anyone realize that seeing young prospects beat up teenage Koreans is the most important part of any team's rebuilding effort. That is why sportsbooks drastically changed the odds of Maryland winning it all when try hard Ukrainian center Alex Len joined the basketball team enrolled for classes this fall. They went from a longshot 200-1 all the way to 200-1 whereas the odds of UConn winning the NCAA title barely moved from 30-1 to 15-1 on the news of Andre Drummond joining that team. It is all about trying hard against overmatched opposition.
Everyone on here needs to read what you just wrote. Classic.
Turning Point: Turkey held Great Britain to just three points in the opening six minutes as they stormed to a 17-3 lead.
Game Hero: Omer Onan made two of Turkey's four early three-pointers and scored nine of his 14 points in the first quarter.
Stats Don't Lie: Turkey were four of seven (57%) from three-point range in the first five minutes and finished 10 of 23 (43%). Mike Lenzly converted Great Britain's only shot from behind the arc in 11 attempts for the game.
|Ömer Asik helped Turkey pound Great Britain on the boards with nine rebounds|
Turkey used a three-point barrage to take a 13-3 lead and never looked back as they cruised past Great Britain 90-61 on Thursday in EuroBasket Group A.
In the first four minutes of the contest, Orhun Ene's men buried four three-pointers and had a double-digit lead.
Great Britain, who were without veteran center Robert Archibald (out through illness) for the second day in a row , trailed 17-3 after six minutes played.
Chris Finch's men cut the gap to 22-12 early in the second quarter but Turkey then scored 13 unanswered points as part of a 20-4 run to pull away.
Enes Kanter scored nine points in that stretch and was one of four Turkish players to finish in double figures.
Luol Deng poured in 15 of his game-high 22 points in the first half as his team trailed 44-26 at the break.
Emir Preldzic led Turkey with 15 points while Omer Onan, who had nine first-quarter points, contributed 14 on four of five (80%) shooting from three-point range.
Great Britain were out-rebounded 41-32.
Unbeaten Turkey take on tournament hosts Lithuania on Friday while Great Britain face defending champions Spain looking for their first win in the tournament.
Now, I know that this is only a tournament, and not NBA play. I also know that Kanter has "not played organized basketball in such a long time" and did not kick the boogers out of the U-19 tournament (even though, it would have happened). Still, I like him not only now, but in the long run. Barring injury, Kanter is a damn bull, is much more polished and I think he is the better player. Valanciunas has superior length and athleticism, but will that be enough to keep a guy like Kanter from bulldozing him in the paint? Remains to be seen, but so far, Kanter's early play in comparison to Valanciunas has to make Utah fans feel pretty good about their pick.
Team GB is just Luol Deng, he's the leader in pretty much every stat, seriously, the guy produces at least 50% of the teams entire production. Joel Freeland looked okay, i doubt he could play in the NBA though, his talent level isn't too great, also, his motor and body language were terrible.
I was surprised how far GB pushed Lithuania, but the quality shun through in the end, Lithuania was too deep and simply better. I felt sorry for Deng, every play was designed to run through him. He had no back-up. Becuase he had no strong support he attacked the paint and tried getting contact.
As someone from Great Britain, i wished the team was stronger, but the love for basketball isn't the same as football over here, all the better athletes tend to go into other sports.
I was also very disappointed in Valanciunas, he looked like a lost kid out on the court, he shouldn't have struggled against any player Team GB threw at him, he'll learn though, he has better days ahead of him.