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Author Topic: § EuroBasket & European Basketball Tournaments News & Analysis • Análisis Torneos Europeos de Baloncesto y Eurobasket  (Read 529792 times)
BGA Sandra Mirsov
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« Reply #25 on: Sep 01, 2013, 12:02:49 AM »

EuroBasket & European Basketball Tournaments Analysis • Análisis Torneos Europeos de Baloncesto y Eurobasket

Spain's new look
for the Eurobasket Slovenia 2013

George Eddy's International Show
Just got back from sweltering Madrid where Spain played France in a warm-up game to prepare for EuroBasket 2013 in Slovenia.

We know that these games are more important for the manner in which they are played than for the win or the loss.
France rested Tony Parker who is taking his time getting into game shape with the unstated goal of being in top form for the second round and elimination round of the EuroBasket where France will need his experience
and killer instinct in the money time the most.

His lieutenant and France's second leading scorer in the last two major competitions, Nicolas Batum, played by far his best preparation game up to now, shaking off a small ankle twist he had against Serbia last week.

The sight of Spain and his former teammate in Portland, Rudy Fernandez, got his blood boiling as Spain has eliminated France in several recent major competitions and has beaten them seven times in a row!


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Despite Parker's absence, France led during long parts of the game and Spain only created a decent lead in the last minutes thanks to a one-man show by Real Madrid's Sergio Rodriguez.

Chris Howell | Herald-TimesIndiana Hoosiers guard Jordan Hulls (1) remains in control of the bad pass during the Indiana Purdue men's basketball game at Assembly Hall in Bloomigton, Ind., Saturday, Feb. 15, 2013.
Photograph: Reuters from IBTimes


This time around, Spain are showing a completely different look with a heavily guard-oriented, small ball, uptempo offense because of the absences of Pau Gasol (the former ultimate low-post weapon in FIBA basketball), Serge Ibaka and Felipe Reyes. Opponents (like Greece) will try to slow them down into a half-court mode because after Marc Gasol, the starting center and new boss on the block, the other inside players are mostly role players in the Spanish league.

When Marc takes a rest, the Spanish low post game lacks his scoring and passing skills out of the double team. This is when Spain becomes heavily-reliant on transition baskets and three-point shooting, counting on a three-guard attack to carry the offensive load. These were enough to beat France in Madrid in front of 16,000 adoring fans because those guards and wings (Fernandez, Sergio Lull, Ricky Rubio and Rodriguez) are darn good but they might not be enough (watch out for match-up problems on defense) in Slovenia in cut-throat games against teams like Greece, Turkey, France and Lithuania.

Spain does seem to have a mental edge over France thanks to its recent successes versus the French team and the fact that France accepted to play the uptempo pace in Madrid was an advantage. Coach Vincent Collet says that France has to learn how to knock Spain off its pedestal if it wants to finally break through and win the EuroBasket for the first time ever!

The keys will be their defense and the offensive production of Parker, Batum, Mike Gelabale and center Alexis Ajinca.


After what I've seen so far, the Greek team seems to be more balanced and tactically clever than either Spain or France and they sure know how to defend and control the tempo of a big game, so they are my favorites for the time being.

George Eddy from FIBA



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BGA J.J. Diaz
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« Reply #24 on: Aug 25, 2013, 12:02:11 AM »

EuroBasket & European Basketball Tournaments Analysis • Análisis Torneos Europeos de Baloncesto y Eurobasket

Waiting for the Eurobasket Slovenia 2013...
Remembering Unforgettable EuroBaskets !

Jeff Taylor's Eurovision
There are a lot of similarities between this time of year and Christmas for the international basketball fan.

We have great expectations about what Santa Claus is going to leave under the three, just as we get excited about the coming battles at Olympic Games, FIBA Basketball World Cups and as is the case this year, EuroBaskets.

In the last decade, there have been unforgettable games and moments in Europe's top competition for national teams.
The following stand out for me:

At EuroBasket 2001, hosts Turkey squared off against Germany in the Semi-Finals, with Hedo Turkoglu and Dirk Nowitzki both early in the early stages of their hugely famous careers.

Nowitzki had 22 points and 10 rebounds but the Germans fell in overtime, 79-78.

Turkoglu amazed with 23 points, including a game-winning shot in the closing seconds when he dribbled the ball up the floor and got into the lane before scoring in traffic with a lay-up.

The packed Abdi Ipekci erupted and hailed Turkoglu as their hero, the player who had given them their most famous sporting achievement.

In 2003, Italy, losers of their first two games at the EuroBasket in Sweden, went on a remarkable run to the bronze medal.

Once in that third-place game against France, who had beaten Italy 85-52 in group play, the Azzurri won a thriller.

The contest ended when a young Tony Parker, who had a game-high 24 points and was blossoming into a superstar, dribbled past Massimo Bulleri and put up a runner from the right baseline that fell short of the rim.

The Italians qualified for the Olympics and went on to capture a silver medal in Athens.

In 2005, Serbia and Montenegro hosted an extraordinary EuroBasket.

I remember the coffee bars in Belgrade, and also the the Greek comeback against France in the Semi-Finals that was remarkable.

Despite training 58-51 after a Parker three-ball, Greece came back with Theo Papaloukas pulling the strings and Dimitris Diamantidis burying a game-winning shot from the arc just three seconds from the end.

Greece then beat Germany in the Gold Medal Game, 78-62.

The tournament's most beautiful moment came when Nowitzki asked to leave the game with 3:22 remaining and his side trailing, 69-52.

He looked up at the crowd that was heavily Greek and heard an incredible roar of appreciation.

Nowitzki proceeded to hug everyone - including the trainers - on the Germany bench before sitting down.


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He was the MVP of the tournament.

In 2007, JR Holden came up with the play of the tournament in Madrid to give Russia a surprise 60-59 victory over hosts Spain, who were just one year removed from their gold-medal triumph at the 2006 FIBA World Championship.
Photograph: RIA Novosti by Anton Denisov


In 2007, JR Holden came up with the play of the tournament in Madrid to give Russia a surprise 60-59 victory over hosts Spain, who were just one year removed from their gold-medal triumph at the 2006 FIBA World Championship.

Holden dribbled to his right and came to a jump stop before giving a pump fake to get his defender, Jose Calderon, off his feet.

He then put up a soft jump from 10 feet.

The ball hit the front and then the back of the rim before bouncing up and falling through the hoop for a famous Russia triumph.

In 2009, Slovenia finished without a medal yet had thousands of fans travel to Poland to support them and help the side on a roller coaster journey to fourth place.

The team lost players to injuries yet dug deep with coach Jure Zdovc doing a masterful job.

In the Semi-Finals, Slovenia lost a 76-72 overtime heartbreaker to Serbia and then against Greece in the Bronze Medal Game, they narrowly came up short.

Vassilis Spanoulis missed two free-throws with four seconds remaining and Greece on top, 57-56.

Slovenia's Bostjan Nachbar rebounded, hurried the ball up the floor and put up a runner after crossing mid court that missed everything.

In 2011, the game that everyone remembers was a Quarter-Final involving the host nation, Lithuania, and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (MKD) stunned hosts Lithuania after a frantic last 30 seconds.

Bo McCalebb was off target with a drive down the left side of the lane for MKD and Darius Songaila rebounded for Lithuania, only to make an errant pass intended for Sarunas Jasikevicius that ended up back in the hands of McCalebb.

Jasikevicius defend McCalebb well but Rimantas Kaukenas left Vlado Ilievski to double-team the naturalized guard McCalebb.

That left Ilievski wide open behind the arc, and McCalebb passed to his teammate who then drilled a go-ahead three-pointer.

Lithuania failed to score at the other end and MKD had their most famous-ever win in sports.

In 2013?

Twenty-four teams are going to be at the EuroBasket in Slovenia and there is at least one guarantee.

There is going to be plenty of drama.


I just wonder what the signature moment of this year's tournament will be.

Jeff Taylor from FIBA



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BGA John Volger
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« Reply #23 on: Aug 18, 2013, 12:01:56 AM »

EuroBasket & European Basketball Tournaments Analysis • Análisis Torneos Europeos de Baloncesto y Eurobasket

Eurobasket Slovenia 2013 Favorites and Underdogs... !

George Eddy's International Show
Everyone seems to agree that Greece, Spain and France are the pre-tournament favorites concerning the upcoming 2013 Eurobasket in Slovenia.

After watching Greece dominate France in the second half of their preparation match in beautiful Strasbourg yesterday, I agree with French coach Vincent Collet that Greece is farther along in their preparation than France, thanks to a deep roster, aggressive defense and wonderful passing and shooting.
All this, despite adapting to a new Italian coach, Andrea Trincheri, who worked wonders in Cantu with his positive approach and ability to convince players to do things together.

The Greek players reacted well to this optimistic method and seem under less pressure compared to the recent past, despite the absence of Euroleague MVP, Vassilis Spanoulis, who was out with back spasms.

NBA stars Tony Parker and Nicolas Batum only scored two points each as the Greek defense tactically put pressure on the guards and wings and invited the French big men to try and score. Which they did, but wasn't enough to beat Greece who makes an art out of the "extra-extra" pass to set up magnificently their top notch three-point shooters all over the court.

France will need to take a page out of the Greek playbook and defend with more intensity to counter their excellent ball movement but also search for some fluidity in their own passing game.

I was particularly impressed by X-generation star Kostas Papanikolao who will leave Olympiakos for a mega-contract in Barcelona next season. His mobility at 2.06m is incredible because he has the fundamentals and dribble drive of a scoring guard, with the height of a power forward similar to a Kevin Durant at the NBA level.

After this defeat, France knows what it needs to work on before playing Spain twice in the next two weeks. France also knows the importance of finishing first or second after the second round in Slovenia in order to avoid Greece or Spain in the decisive quarter-finals! Greece and Spain are probably telling themselves the same thing concerning France because Parker and Batum won't score only two points very often!

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I also saw Croatia and Germany play this past weekend in Strasbourg and both teams seem to have limited rotations coming from the bench, which will put added pressure and fatigue on their starters.

Bojan Bogdanovic, future Brooklyn Net, who scored 25 points against the tough Greek defense, is Croatia's offensive leader (AP Photo)
Photograph: atlantic twine


Bojan Bogdanovic, future Brooklyn Net, who scored 25 points against the tough Greek defense, is Croatia's offensive leader, along with Roko Ukic. Barcelona's top center Ante Tomic will have to pick up speed in the upcoming weeks in order for Croatia to avoid disappointing their numerous fans who will come and support them in Slovenia. They will be an underdog in Group C behind Spain and Slovenia but will have their chances against the other contenders for the third qualifying spot.

Same thing for a very young German team in Group A, the weakest first round group, where France should win all their games but it will be a toss-up between the other five teams for the two remaining spots to qualify for the second round.

France will start running into some difficulty when Group A crosses paths with the mega-strong Group B in the second round. I see France and three Group B teams moving into the quarter-finals. Watch out for Lithuania with its young and talented NBA big men, Jonas Valanciunas (Toronto) and Donatas Motiejunas(Houston). They should be a handful especially now that Nikola Pekovic has pulled himself out of the Montenegro team because of his NBA contract situation.

In Group D look for Greece and Turkey to qualify with the third spot a toss-up between Italy and Russia.


Of course, surprises can and will happen, as The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (MKD) proved two years ago in Lithuania, but in the end I see the usual suspects (or favourites) on the podium. The question will be, in which order ?

George Eddy from FIBA



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ESB Mario Sebastiani
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« Reply #22 on: Aug 04, 2013, 02:13:31 AM »

EuroBasket & European Basketball Tournaments Analysis • Análisis Torneos Europeos de Baloncesto y Eurobasket

Eurobasket MVP candidates

In my last article I went over a non-exhaustive list of players who will not participate in the Eurobasket in Slovenia.

Players like Pau Gasol, Juanca Navarro, Luol Deng or Andrei Kirilenko who all would have made fine candidates for the MVP trophy or a perennial spot in the Top 5 players of the tournament.

So now, who will carry the torch in Slovenia, leading his team to important victories while racking up some big statistics?

I would start my list with Tony Parker, who just came off his best season as a Spurs and was brilliant in the NBA Finals which he rightly feels the Spurs should have won! Tony, very faithful to the French national team and as motivated as ever, will pull out all the stops to make up for the absence of several centers.

Portland's Nicolas Batum should have a breakout performance as the second major scoring option behind Tony.

Vassilis Spanoulis should have the same type of role and impact with Greece that Parker will have with France because both players are scorers first and playmakers second.

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Be assured that opposing defences will try to force them to PASS! If Greece wins the Eurobasket I see Spanoulis, at the summit of his art, as the MVP.

Vassilis Spanoulis should have the same type of role and impact with Greece that Parker will have with France because both players are scorers first and playmakers second.
Photograph: ClutchFans


You might be surprised that I see Goran Dragic having a breakout tournament too. He'll be playing at home and if legendary coach Boja Maljkovic gives him the keys to the locomotive and freedom to play his uptempo game, he should speed around defences like a race car and possibly lead Slovenia into the semi-finals which would confim his excellent season-individually speaking- with Phoenix.

Rudy Fernandez and Marc Gasol are MVP candidates if Spain goes far in the competition even though they are such a strong team collectively, the stats will be spread around between alot of talented players.

Another surprise, in the vein of what F.Y.R. of Macedonia accomplished at the last Eurobasket, could come from Montenegro which boasts the best tandem of inside players in the tournament with the two Nikolas, Vucevic and Pekovic who represent building blocks for the future in Orlando and Minnesota.

Vucevic has superior rebounding skils and Pekovic is a fabulous back to the basket scorer. Both players are much better than expected at the NBA level. Those are the main stars to watch for MVP but let's not forget Russia's new leader,also from Minnesota, Alexey Sved or Bo Mccalebb who surprised everyone two years ago in Lithuania.

I would add Marco Belinelli, the new Spur and Andrea Bargnani the neo-Knick, who are both prolific scorers on an Italian team that looks to recapture past glory similar to Milos Teodosic with Serbia.


As Tony Parker said recently, the key at the Eurobasket will be to not waste time worrying about who is absent while putting in the time and work to get the most out of those who are present!

George Eddy from FIBA



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HBC Brian Denver
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« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2013, 10:07:27 PM »

EuroBasket & European Basketball Tournaments Analysis • Análisis Torneos Europeos de Baloncesto y Eurobasket

All Euroleague Rising Star Trophy winner
Papanikolaou does is win

David Hein's Eye on the Future
Kostas Papanikolaou is a winner - that's all there is to it. And the Olympiacos forward, who is on his way back to the Euroleague Final Four, has proven all season that he's the worthy winner of the 2012-13 Euroleague Rising Star Trophy.

Papanikolaou follows in the footsteps of Real Madrid's Spanish star Nikola Mirotic, who had won the last two Rising Star awards and finished second to the Greek international in this season's voting.
The 22-year-old Trikala native played a huge role in helping Olympiacos to their first Euroleague title since 1997 in May 2012, leading the Greek powers with 18 points in a spectacular 19-point comeback in the final 12 minutes over CSKA Moscow. Papanikolaou and Olympiacos also finally broke through in the Greek league, winning their first league crown since 1997.

Papanikolaou had fully arrived on the professional stage after picking up a long list of youth trophies - gold at the 2008 U18 European Championship, 2009 U20 European Championship and 2008 Albert Schweitzer Tournament as well as silver at the 2007 U18 European Championship, 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship and 2010 U20 European Championship.

The lock-down defender graduated to the senior Greek national team in 2011 and played a solid role at EuroBasket 2011 in Lithuania and nearly helped Hellas to the 2012 Olympics with a superb performance at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) in Venezuela. And he will undoubtedly be a key factor for new Greek coach Andrea Trinchieri.

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Despite not turning 23 until late July, Papanikolaou has also long become a staple in Olympiacos' success since arriving in Piraeus in 2009.

Kostas Papanikolaou is a winner - that's all there is to it. And the Olympiacos forward, who is on his way back to the Euroleague Final Four, has proven all season that he's the worthy winner of the 2012-13 Euroleague Rising Star Trophy.
Photograph from Sentimiento AyN


This season Papanikolaou started slowly - and not surprisingly Olympiacos as well, with two losses in first three games. After averaging 4.3 points and 2.0 rebounds in the first three games, Papanikolaou picked up his production with 13.1 points and 4.9 rebounds as Olympiacos reeled off seven straight wins to finish off the Regular Season.

Papanikolaou - as well as the whole Olympiacos team - was a bit up and down in the Top 16. But he stepped it up when it mattered most at the end of the Top 16 stage, nailing 4-4 from three-point land in scoring 16 points against Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul and then going a perfect 6-6 from downtown for 21 points along with 12 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks in the final game against Khimki Moscow Region for a spot in the Quarter-Final Playoffs.

Papanikolaou collected 6.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists in the Playoffs to get Olympiacos to their third Final Four in the past four seasons.

Most impressive about Papanikolaou's Euroleague stats line this season (9.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game) was his shooting 52.7 percent (49-93) from three-point range. That number is up from 33.3 percent last season in the Euroleague.

"In addition to team practice, you have to work on your own if you want to improve and help the team more. I worked the whole summer and during the season with our coaches, who have helped me a lot. I am trying to improve my game," said Papanikolaou, who had three-point showings of 5-6, 4-7, 3-3, 3-6, 4-4, 6-6 and 4-6 this season in the Euroleague.

Papanikolaou is hardly a youngster - especially in terms of winning hardware. But combine his performance at last year's Euroleague Final Four with the 2012-13 season and it's clear he is a winner.


Of course, the Rising Star Trophy is a nice individual award. But this winner is thinking bigger titles - and becoming the Euroleague's first repeat winner since Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2005 would be a great way to close the Euroleague season.

David Hein from FIBA



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