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Author Topic: § EuroBasket & European Basketball Tournaments News & Analysis • Análisis Torneos Europeos de Baloncesto y Eurobasket  (Read 558620 times)
Coach E Smith
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« Reply #8 on: Aug 18, 2011, 10:30:51 PM »

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

Spain scarily good

There will only be two tickets for London up for grabs at this summer's EuroBasket in Lithuania and one of them seems almost pre-stamped for a scary good Spanish squad.

Of course favorites don't always pan out but in Spain's case, there are so many factors in their favor, you just have to bow down to their excellence.

Let's take a look at those factors in the light of their three easy wins against France, Lithuania and Bulgaria to start off their preparation for the upcoming Eurobasket with a bang!

By the way, in those three wins coach Sergio Scariolo played the piano with his roster, limiting the playing time of his biggest stars who were still quite efficient.

He can afford to bring them along slowly in order to reach peak form during the elimination round. For example, Juanca Navarro scored 19 points in 12 minutes in the latest win v Bulgaria on five of seven shooting from three-point land.

Wow! This golden generation of Spanish players has come of age together around the Gasol brothers, Navarro, Rudy Fernandez and Calderon to name a few, and Scariolo had so much talent on hand he left the excellent Barcelona center Fran Vasquez at home.

I know a few national team selections where he would have been the best inside player!

Since this generation has played and won together for so many years, their team chemistry is off the charts and they circulate the ball and hit the open man with their eyes closed! These guys don't take many forced or bad shots and that is the sign of a champion. It's like they have an internal honor code for the group and bad shot selection is just not acceptable.

Okay, you might feel I paint too rosy a picture because in the recent past, sometimes Juanca and Rudy would be competing to be the top dog offensive threat from the wing, but this is only natural in such an elite hyper-competitive setting. Everyone will keep their ego in check for the greater good as they usually do because of the dominance and leadership of Pau Gasol, the ultimate go-to player in European basketball.

Now that his brother Marc is as good as he is, Spain has a double-whammy inside presence and you can make that a triple with the arrival of Serge Ibaka to bring athleticism and shot blocking to the already powerful mix. Not since the golden generation of Yugoslavia ( Divac, Radja, Kukoc ) have we seen such an impressive trio of in the paint superstars.

Spain has all the answers for upcoming defences in Lithuania and a seductive, fan pleasing, spectacular style to boot!. They can play really fast thanks to their quickness and steals on defence or slow the game down and pound the ball inside while surrounding the Gasols ( excellent passers ) with dead-eye three point shooters.

About the only tactic left for opponents is to leave Ricky Rubio open and zone up around the big men with alot of help from Rubio's defender.

That's when Scariolo can go to Calderon, a much better shooter and so on and so forth. This team has no weakness, ah, except maybe one... or two...




They must avoid getting overconfident or complacent and they must avoid arrogance and constant complaining with the referees which we have regretted in the past.

Of course, an upset is always possible but frankly, after lining up all these factors in Spain's favor, I have a hard time believing they won't get a direct ticket to the London Olympic games in September!

by George EDDY from FIBA



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kevinpiter
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« Reply #7 on: Jul 31, 2011, 02:42:18 AM »

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

FIBA clears NBA players to play abroad during lockout

FIBA has confirmed it will approve the transfer of players under contract with the NBA deciding to play for clubs of FIBA affiliated leagues during the on-going lockout.

During a lockout NBA players who continue to be under contract with an NBA team are free to play anywhere they want, whether for their national teams and/or for club teams.

If an NBA player requests to play for a club of a FIBA affiliated league, the NBA will not object but will state that the player will have to return to his NBA team as soon as the lockout ends. Consequently, FIBA will deliver a letter of clearance subject to the receipt of a declaration signed by the player, stating that he will return to his NBA team when the lockout is over.

“As the world governing body for basketball, we strongly hope that the labour dispute will be resolved as soon as possible, and that the NBA season is able to begin as scheduled,” said FIBA Secretary General and IOC member, Patrick Baumann.

“In view of our role to promote basketball worldwide, we support any player wishing to play the game, wherever and whenever. We do so while obviously taking the interests, rights and obligations of all parties into account,” he added.

“We are delighted to see that, in spite of widespread doubts related to the lockout, National Teams competing in this summer’s Olympic Qualifiers will be able to count on the participation of most of their NBA stars.”

Any NBA player deciding to play during the lockout, does so at his own risk, notably if he sustains an injury.




FIBA has stated that it is up to the clubs to decide whether or not they shall sign a waiver clearing them of any responsibility towards the player in case of injury and other reasons preventing him from returning to the NBA and from fulfilling his obligations vis-à-vis his NBA team.



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pregunton
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« Reply #6 on: Apr 09, 2011, 05:48:51 AM »

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

Here come the batmen!

At the beginning of the third quarter of the Euroleague quarter-final decider between Real Madrid and Power Electronics Valencia on Thursday night, an 11th player entered the game.

A bat began to dart this way and that, dipping as low as eye level for the players.

The ball flew through the air, but so did the bat.

Valencia's players might have believed that was a good sign for their team because the bat is the symbol of their city.

There are bats on manhole covers in Valencia, above the town hall, on team shirts - everywhere.

What they may not have realized, though, is the affinity Madrid's players have with that winged creature.

"That's our lucky bat," Clay Tucker said.

"We practiced with bats all week long.

"Once the bat came, I told everyone we were going to win."

So, while Manu Ginobili swatted a bat to the court while playing for San Antonio last season in an NBA game and earned the nickname Batman, there was no chance of his Argentina teammate, Real Madrid point guard Pablo Prigioni, doing the same.

Maybe the bat just wanted to be a part of history because Madrid wrote a famous chapter in theirs by beating Valencia 66-58 on Thursday to win the five-game series, 3-2, and reach the Final Four.

The last 10 minutes were something you won't soon forget, but would like to.

It was ugly.

Like an NFL game at Soldier Field in Chicago on a bitterly cold Sunday in January, it was a defensive struggle with the last period ending 8-7 in favor of Madrid.

All that mattered for Madrid was their victory.

It had been 15 years since the famous club had reached the Final Four.

The coach everyone expected to take Madrid to Barcelona was Ettore Messina, but he upped ship and left after a home demolition at the hands of Montepaschi Siena at the end of the Top 16.

The loss didn't impact Real Madrid in the standings as they had already clinched top spot, but Messina rightly pointed out that if fans are going to spend time and money to watch the team play, they deserve the best the players have to offer and against Montepaschi that night, maybe they hadn't given their best.

Messina's departure could have done two things.

It could have sent the club into a tailspin, or helped unify the players and fans, which is what he said he hoped would happen.

As the 3-2 series triumph over Valencia suggests, Messina's exit did the latter.

It brought everyone closer together.

"Messina's a great coach," said Tucker, one of the players left stunned by the coach's departure.

"He's a great person on and off the court and you can't take anything away from that.

"He made the decision to walk away from the team and we couldn't do anything about that.

"We respected his decision.

"But it did help us mentally in coming together as a team.

"With that happening, it prepared us for this (five-game series) and we were ready to get through it."

The man that deserves a lot of credit for Madrid reaching the Final Four is Emanuele Molin, Messina's longtime assistant.

Instead of leaving with his boss and good friend, Molin told Madrid he wanted to finish the job that Messina had started.

"It was a very strange situation for him," Tucker admitted.

"Messina and Molin had been together for what, 20 years?

"The one thing about Molin stepping in and taking his place, we kept the same system.

"Had another coach come in, it probably would have taken us a little bit more time to get used to it.

"So we were fortunate to have Molin step in."

One other thing that saved Madrid is the passion that exists at the club.

Madrid basketball is historically important, and you felt that during this entire five-game series.

They won two of the three games at the Caja Magica and also came from behind and won Game 3 at Valencia.

Everyone was at Game 5 on Thursday night, including club president Florentino Perez and football superstar Ronaldo.

The most important figures, though, were the banner-waving, drum-beating Madristas.

They created an awesome, ear-splitting atmosphere.

It was loud, intimidating.

The noise was continuous and gave the Madrid players a lift.

There were also the journalists of Madrid, some of whom Messina took a parting shot at when he left the club.

There were hugs in the mixed zone because those journalists had seen the basketball team play second fiddle to Barcelona for so many years.

"It made a huge difference," Tucker said.

"The fans really came out and supported us.

"We packed the house tonight and like you said, that ugly fourth quarter got us through."

At least one aim has been accomplished for the season.

Madrid has ended their long spell without a Final Four appearance.

"With the way this club is, and the surrounds, I'm amazed they haven't been to the Final Four in such a long time," Tucker said.




"But every team goes through a stretch where they don't get any championships, in the Super Cup or the ACB or getting to the Final Four.

"Now that we've got past that stage, it's up to us to go and try to win the Final Four."

Jeff Taylor from FIBA



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coach_C
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« Reply #5 on: Mar 30, 2011, 06:08:27 AM »

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


Tucker sees how coaches come and go

If Real Madrid guard Clay Tucker has learned anything the past few weeks, it's that coaching is a volatile profession.

The 30-year-old guard watched one of the best coaches in Europe, Ettore Messina, walk out the Madrid door at the beginning of the month and on Monday, Tucker’s friend and former University of Wisconsin-Green Bay coach, Bruce Pearl, was fired by the Tennessee Volunteers.

Players come and go, and so do the men that lead them.

Pearl, who turned the Vols into one of the best teams in the SEC, endeared himself to his players and students at Tennessee with a gung-ho attitude that was impossible to dislike.

More than anything, he got people excited about men’s basketball at Tennessee, a school best known for a powerhouse football program and a rich tradition in women’s basketball.

Handed the reins five years ago, Pearl went 145-61 with Tennessee.

He made headlines off the court, too.

Pearl, with his players, once showed up at a women's basketball game with his body painted orange.

For that night, Pearl was like any other fan on the Tennessee campus, rooting on women’s coach Pat Summitt and her nationally ranked team.

Pearl was known for something else after big wins.

He’d charge into the locker room and high-five his players.

Pearl was immortalized at Tennessee in a video that shows him running into the locker room after one big win when and ripping off his shirt and doing an Incredible Hulk imitation before hugging his players.

"Bruce is probably any player's ultimate dream coach," Tucker said.

"He's into the game, he brings energy.

"He's never negative no matter what the situation is.

"He keeps the team positive."

Pearl knew his stuff during the game, too, according to Tucker.

"On the X's and O's, he's perfect," Tucker said.

"He scouts like no other coach.

"He can tell you any out-of-bounds play that a team is going to run for a last-second shot, or early in the shot-clock.

"But for me, he's best at motivating his team to get ready to play."

Tucker thinks Pearl will be working again soon.

"It all depends on what his buyout was," Tucker said.

"I'm sure if something good comes along, he'll step up and take it."

If it was uncomfortable watching Pearl be shown the door by Tennessee, Tucker was much closer to an unexpected turn of events at Madrid.

Messina, with Madrid having qualified for the Euroleague quarter-finals, decided to leave the team after a heavy home defeat to Montepaschi Siena in the Top 16.

"It was shocking,” Tucker said.

“He came into the locker room after the game we'd lost here and told us.

"But we've moved on. We have to play as professionals and do our job."

Emanuele Molin, Messina’s long-time assistant, was put in charge of Madrid for the rest of the season.

Tucker did not go into the Valencia series in the best of shape.

He was hurt in Madrid’s weekend defeat to Unicaja Malaga but played through the pain barrier and appeared in both games.

Tucker winced on more than one occasion in Tuesday’s game.

“I was in terrible pain the other night, but it's no excuse,” he said.

“It's a physical sport.

“I tried to fight through it and help the team get the win. We got the win on Tuesday but we came up short the second time.”

On Thursday night, Valencia bounced back from the 71-65 defeat and won 81-75.

The two games against Valencia at the Caja Magica have reinforced Tucker’s belief that he is playing basketball at a very high level, a fact that might not be appreciated back in the United States.

A native of Ohio, Tucker said: “People back home don't understand how real basketball is in Europe. And in my opinion, it's a lot more serious.

“They take it more seriously than NBA basketball.

“In the NBA, they play 82 games and a lot of guys don't play until the fourth quarter of some games and then they really pick it up.

“And a lot of teams don't pick it up until play-off time.

“Here, every game counts. You have to bring it every game or you can come up short like we did today.”

Madrid and every one of the teams in the Euroleague quarter-finals are in the same situation.

Each best-of-five series is knotted at 1-1.

Tucker knows it’s going to be a real dogfight the rest of the way.

"Valencia is a great team,” he said.

“They struggled at the beginning of the year.

“They switched coaches (dismissed Manuel Hussein and appointed Svetislav Pesic), found their stride and they're playing excellent basketball on both ends of the floor.




"We knew coming in that they were going to give us their best shot. They did, they came out successful and now it's our time to go to Valencia to try and steal a game there.”

Games 3 and 4 will be played in Valencia TODAY and Thursday.

Jeff Taylor from FIBA



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badref
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« Reply #4 on: Feb 02, 2011, 03:09:16 AM »

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


The draw for EuroBasket 2011 maps out tough routes to medals and Olympics

The draw for EuroBasket 2011 took place at the National Drama Theatre in Vilnius on Sunday evening with tournament hosts Lithuania being drawn in the same group as Spain.

With only two automatic Olympic places and three to four Olympic Qualifying spots on offer, a top five or six* finish will be essential for any team with Olympic ambitions.


But making it beyond the first round, from which only the top three of each group qualify, will be a challenge in itself for some of the countries with big ambitions and strong basketball pedigrees.

Group A looks especially daunting, with defending Champions Spain drawn alongside World Championship silver and bronze medallists Turkey and Lithuania.

Great Britain, who should now be able to count on at least two NBA stars, are seen as the dark horse in the group, while Poland and an additional qualifier complete the lineup.

Some have already singled out group A as the 'group of death', but the strength of European basketball is such that none of the other three groups will leave respective players, fans and coaches particularly comfortable.

Some of the most talented young players in World Basketball will be on show in group B, with Serbia, France and Germany headlining the show.

Israel, Italy and Latvia will provide stiff competition, and will hope to do more than just battle it out between them for the fourth and final second round ticket.

Group C has a distinct regional flavour to it, with all but the as yet unknown qualifier hailing from the Balkan peninsula.

European heavyweights Greece are joined by Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina and FYR Macedonia with the second of the three additional qualifiers completing the lineup.

Russia and Slovenia look to be the heavy favourites in group D where they are joined by Belgium, Bulgaria, Georgia and Ukraine.

The Additional Qualifying Round will be disputed by Finland, Hungary and Portugal.




*The number of European Olympic Qualify places will be three if Great Britain are awarded an automatic place in London, otherwise it will be four. The decision will be made by the FIBA Central Board on 12-13 March 2011.

from FIBA



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