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Author Topic: § Basketball World Events, Celebrations & Anniversaries • Celebraciones, Aniversarios y Eventos Mundiales del Baloncesto  (Read 162930 times)
basquete32
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Posts: 399


« Reply #43 on: Aug 14, 2012, 09:09:27 PM »

Basketball World Events • Eventos Mundiales del Baloncesto

Men's Final, the remake

I guess another shootout was possible. In the end, Spain DID have four quarters of top notch offensive basketball in them and the 2012 Men's Olympic Final DID live up to the incredible level of the 2008 Final opposing the same two teams.

Just think, to build an eight-point lead at the end of the first quarter, Team USA had to make seven of 10 three-point shots (!) because Juan Carlos Navarro re-became the ruthless scorer he was as the MVP of the last Eurobasket, too quick for Kobe Bryant to catch on his way to 14 points in the first seven minutes.

Unfortunately for Spain, Navarro had to nurse a foot injury all season and lacked game conditioning from there on. As predicted, Spain played a lot of zone defense but at the start of the second quarter they came out in a man-to-man and regained the lead behind Marc Gasol and Sergio Rodriguez.

Coach Sergio Scariolo was slow to pull Marc after his third foul and he immediately picked up his fourth which glued him to the bench until the fourth quarter. This could have really hurt them, but Spain held strong thanks to Serge Ibaka and Rudy Fernandez to be only one point behind at halftime, 59-58, winning the second quarter 31-24, something Team USA was definitely not used to!

Spain scored 58 points in the first half against the USA's solid defense after only scoring 66 against France and 67 vs. Russia in the whole game! Coach K's team never panicked getting some timely baskets against the zone from Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams in the first half and timely scores and assists from LeBron James, Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant throughout the game.

In the third quarter, Spain took back the lead when an excellent Pau Gasol (who finished not far from a triple-double) scored seven straight points. He and his teammates played good defense and controlled the boards as the Team USA shooters hit a cold stretch.

Ibaka finished strong making a lot of free-throws and two buckets to compensate for Marc Gasol's absence and Spain attacked the fourth quarter still behind by one point, 83-82, the ideal scenario for them because they played well in the fourth quarter in the quarters and semis.

On the other hand Team USA had seen enough and attacked the fourth quarter playing aggressive defense and LeBron and Paul took over the scoring load before KD shook Spain's box and one defense to increase the lead.

As usual, Fernandez got under the skin of a few guys with his flopping and hard fouls but overall, he had a pretty good game. With two minutes to go it was a two-possession game at 99-93 before LeBron and Paul closed it out 107-100.

Both teams scored a hundred, 22 three-pointers were made, turnovers were low with 11 for each team, the score was close throughout and some nice assists, dunks and blocks will fill up the highlights.

Spain once again started an international tournament slowly, losing to Russia and Brazil, but as the elimination games advanced, Spain looked better in each round.

In the Final we saw the culmination of all those years playing and winning together as their quality of play will attest to but this was still not enough to deny Team USA, a team with a good attitude, respect for the game and their opponents and more than anything, NBA All-Stars coming off the bench right up to the 11th man which is one heck of a lot of pure basketball talent.




Since the ensemble was also darn well coached, Spain and all the other beaten opponents could only accept defeat with dignity and tip their hats to James (what a summer for the King!), Durant et all. This final was once again a wonderful promotion for the game and the good news is that all the NBA stars will be back in Rio in four years for another turn on the Olympic merry-go-round!    
George Eddy from FIBA



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basquet212
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Posts: 200


« Reply #42 on: Aug 14, 2012, 08:03:10 AM »

Basketball World Events • Eventos Mundiales del Baloncesto

OLY - An Olympics to remember

Another Olympics has come and gone for basketball, a sport that took center stage in London.

At the Summer Games, the appetite for big-time international hoops was huge, both for the men's and women's tournaments.

Players fed off the energy in the Olympic Basketball Arena, and the North Greenwich Arena.

Tickets were a hot item.

Even when games had 9am starts, or tipped off after 10pm, there were, as they say in Great Britain, bums on seats.

There were some blowouts, but close contests were the norm.

The United States reigned supreme for the second Olympics in a row, but both sides had to clear significant hurdles.

For some of the teams, the summer was extra long because of the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments in Ankara, Turkey (women), and Caracas, Venezuela (men).

Turkey, France, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Canada entered the women's field after competing in Ankara, while Russia, Lithuania and Nigeria made it to London from Caracas.

Nigeria’s progression meant that for the first time, Africa had two teams in the men’s Olympic tournament.

They joined Afrobasket champions Tunisia in London.

The qualifying tournament clearly helped Russia.

Their men cut down the opposition in Venezuela like a scythe slicing through wheat, and in London, they overcame all opponents before falling to Australia on the last day of the Preliminary Round.

Turkey, France and especially Canada appeared to benefit from the women's qualifiers.

Basketball will be remembered in London because of spectacular plays.

Australia were involved in three.

The Opals' Belinda Snell made a shot from beyond half-court, one that travelled more than 16 meters, at the buzzer to force overtime against France in the Preliminary Round.

Opals center Elizabeth Cambage dunked in another Preliminary Round encounter against Russia.

Pat Mills hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Boomers victory over Russia.

Before that, Russia had won a thrilling encounter against Brazil when a closely-guarded Vitaliy Fridzon drilled a three-pointer from the left corner just three seconds from the death.

France had their moments, including one that Celine Dumerc provided when nailing a long three-pointer at the buzzer in overtime for a victory over hosts Great Britain in the women’s tournament.

Great Britain’s basketball teams won a combined one game, yet they were in several close contests.

“I think the British (men’s) team didn't let us down,” said FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann.

“It's always hard to come to the Olympics for the first time and even try to win a game.

“They won a game (against China) but also they lost very narrowly in a couple of other games (to Brazil and Spain) and they will be a force to be reckoned with in the years to come and certainly given that the financing will continue for the next four years, they should have a good chance qualifying for Rio 2016.

“That's something very positive because having basketball grow in this market is something we've all been looking forward to.”

The bronze-medal game in the men’s tournament between Russia and Argentina could not have been any closer.

Alexey Shved drilled a go-ahead three-ball with 37 seconds to play for Russia, and David Blatt’s team then survived a frantic finish.

Manu Ginobili and Pablo Prigioni trapped Fridzon at midcourt, and Ginobili came up with a steal.

The ball ended up in the hands of Prigioni, who dribbled but then had the ball taken away by Shved.

Russia added a Fridzon basket before time expired for an 81-77 victory.

“I was next to him and he got fouled,” Ginobili said.

“Refs are human and of course you get upset. But it's part of the game.

“Before that, I fouled Fridzon on a three-point shot and they didn't call it and we were not complaining about that one.”

One of the best women’s games in the knockout round came when France fought back from a double-digit deficit to stun the Czech Republic.

The United States also trailed Australia in the Semi-Finals after Cambage scored 19 first-half points, yet the Americans won that contest.

The men’s tournament had several thrilling encounters, including Quarter-Finals between Spain and France, Lithuania and Russia and Argentina against Brazil.

Spain had to come from behind to defeat Russia in the Semi-Finals while in the gold-medal game, the United States were behind in the second half against Spain but eventually won, 107-100.

Kevin Durant had 30 points for the Americans in their win.

“We've had amazing games at nine in the morning,” Baumann said.

“There have been great games.

“It wasn't clear who next to the USA would go to the Final seeing how Spain played during these two weeks.

“No one could have guessed for sure it would be the remake of the Final in Beijing.”




Fans were able to see a high level of performance from many teams.

“Certainly the technical level in the men's tournament is even better than Beijing,” Baumann said.

“I think that's visible for everyone.”

FIBA



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regis212
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Posts: 301


« Reply #41 on: Aug 11, 2012, 02:04:43 AM »

Basketball World Events • Eventos Mundiales del Baloncesto

OLY Basketball Men's Semi-finals, one from the heart !

Spain goes into a mammouth Semi-Final with Russia less dominant and serene compared to the recent past but still confident that they can battle and claw their way to victory despite the adversity.

Spain beat France with Pau Gasol scoring only ten points and Juan Carlos Navarro going 3/11 shooting.

They mixed up man and zone defences intelligently, put the stops on Tony Parker and Nicholas Batum thanks to Sergio Lull and Rudy Fernandez, and were more cool-headed down the stretch.

It was symbolic that Marc Gasol's deciding basket in the last minute came after two passes from Navarro and Pau because those three have been accumulating medals and titles for seven years together!

Both teams played fabulous defence for four quarters but Spain got to the free throw line more often and hit just a few more clutch shots. Of course, France was frustrated to see the same scenario play out once again vs. their arch-rival, coming ever so close in what Vincent Collet called the game of their lives for the Parker generation.

Collet regretted after the game not having rested Parker to start the fourth quarter because Tony didn't have 38 minutes in his legs and it showed on his last few shots which were all short. Spain's craftiness(France would translate this to flopping and complaining to the referees!) once again prevailed as they never panicked and did just enough to win.

Pau said that this difficult win came from the heart! Spain will need all this and much more against a strong, deep and balanced Russian team built around their extraordinary all-around leader Andrei Kirilenko.

Russia like Spain made just a few more decisive plays and shots than Lithuania (thank you captain Sergei Monya, who came out of nowhere in the 4th quarter)but the Russians are bigger and more physical than France whose defence is built more around quickness so Spain will have to play a completely different, more rugged type of game in the semi-final.

If France could finally come SO close to beating Spain, this might be a sign that Russia will be able to do it as they did in Madrid in the 2007 Eurobasket Final. That game came down to the last shot and this one may too!

In the other semi-final, we will finally see what Team USA is really made of because Argentina only lost to them by six during preparation and played great defence to beat Brazil.

This one should be much closer than the first round game opposing the two teams because Argentina won't try and win a shootout with USA this time.




On the contrary, they will do the opposite and slow the pace to force a low-scoring defensive struggle from the trenches as they did vs. Brazil. This is their only chance to bother Team USA who blew out Australia in the fourth quarter of their Quarter-Final.

In any case the Ginobili-Scola-Nocioni-Delfino generation can be proud of their spot in the semi-finals. After the gold in Athens and the bronze in Bejing, what a fitting finish to an incredible run!

George Eddy from FIBA



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basketboller
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Posts: 299


« Reply #40 on: Aug 08, 2012, 09:35:50 PM »

Basketball World Events • Eventos Mundiales del Baloncesto

Top 10 from first week

After a week in the men's basketball tournament, here's my top 10 of key events so far.

10. If Lithuania logically beats Tunisia on Monday, then the four teams eliminated will be the four we expected before the start of the competition. No surprises there.

9. Australia beat China by 20 and Great Britain by 31 to handily qualify for the quarters behind Patty Mills, who is tied as the leading scorer of the competition with Luis Scola at 22.5 points per game.

8. The most eye-opening dunks for Team USA have come from Russell Westbrook who floats above the rim and benefits the most from the gorgeous super slow-motion camera coverage.

7. The loser of the Spain-Brazil match-up on Monday will finish third in  Group B and would play France in the quarters, then Russia in the semis instead of Argentina then USA. Does this mean the coaches are going to play their bench players extensively? Let's hope not!

6. Players who have upped their stock with NBA franchises during this tournament are Mills, Joel Freeland, Ike Diogu, Alexey Shved, Timofey Mozgov, Linas Kleiza and Yi Jianlan.

5. Argentina has three blowout victories thanks to experience, a superb passing game and Scola and Manu Ginobili who are on top of the leading scorers board and despite some bizarre contributions from several of the subs!

4. In France's three wins, Tony Parker and Nicolas Batum have found their legs despite missing most of the preparation. Tony is the seasoned money time finisher and leader while Batum continues to be a formidable lieutenant as the second scoring option and France has once again reached its high level, defensively and collectively, of last summer's brillant Euro campaign.

3. The USA-Nigeria game was a record-breaker for scoring, win margin, shooting percentage and Carmelo Anthony's record 37 points on 10 three-pointers in only 14 minutes. What an offensive orgy!

2. Oddly enough, Team USA followed that up with a nail-biter against Lithuania, winning by only five points. The coaches and players welcomed the wake-up call and congratulated the hot shooting and passing Lithuanians, who played much better than against Argentina and France and will be full of confidence and a dangerous adversary for Russia when the quarter-finals begin on Wednesday.




1. The best and most exciting game so far opposed Russia and Spain. This seasaw battle for first place in Group B lived up to its billing with Russia coming back from a horrible 2-20 start to rip away its second lucky win in a row (after Brazil) behind Vitaly Fridzon's and Anton Ponkrashov's career nights. Russia is up and down but has the resourcefulness and talent to come back from any dire situation. This is why I would not be surprised to see them play Team USA for the gold. In basketball, timing is everything and during the elimination round, it's more important than ever to be lucky AND good!

George Eddy from FIBA



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pedro_saban
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Posts: 401


« Reply #39 on: Aug 06, 2012, 07:52:17 PM »

Basketball World Events • Eventos Mundiales del Baloncesto

No basketball entitlement for USA Men

In 1992, the United States went nuclear with the Dream Team and introduced the NBA to Olympic Basketball. A loss to the USSR in a Seoul Semi-Final four years earlier drove home the point that the game had gone global. Another bronze medal in Athens made it clear that even American NBA stars weren't a shoe-in for victory.

Yet still, when it comes to basketball, there seems to be a public sentiment that because the game was born in the U.S. (albeit by a Canadian), we should still own it. The Brits know what I'm talking about. They still hold on to that fantasy when it comes to football. But we like they, are wrong.

Sure, LeBron and his boys are laying waste to opponents in the Preliminary Round of London but they've been well coached not to take anything for granted. “Remember Puerto Rico!” is, or should be, the battle cry.

While the American men won the first seven Olympic titles until the controversy of Munich, on the Paralympic side, parity came earlier with Israel winning in 1968 and 1980, and France in 1984.

The USA won seven of the first 10 Paralympic titles but have not worn gold since 1992. (The Americans did win the gold medal game in Barcelona but were disqualified when one player tested positive for a pain medication.)

The last four Paralympics have been ruled by the Commonwealth with Australia and Canada taking two each. After taking bronze in Atlanta and Sydney, the USA didn't even medal in Athens or Beijing. So where would a sense of entitlement come from?

"I think we're beyond that," says American coach Jim Glatch. "I've got a group of guys who have never won a gold medal so instead of feeling like they've automatically earned it; they all really want it bad. You can see that in their work ethic."

Go on.

"I don't think it's a sense of entitlement but more a sense of 'We want that'. They have it; we want it."

He says his players "want to be on that medal stand, not because they think they deserve it; they want to feel like they earned it."

Paul Schulte, who hit the buzzer-beating shot that won the last bronze medal for the USA in Sydney, agrees.

"I think there is more of an expectation than an entitlement," he said.

"That begins with the players and the coaching staff. We believe each time out that we are a major contender and that we can get that gold."

Schulte was in Beijing last go round when the Americans lost a double overtime Semi-Final thriller to Canada which would've guaranteed at least a silver. He'll be on the court in London. Like most players, he knows the score.

"In able-bodied ball and in wheelchair ball, there were certainly a number of years where the U.S. became used to being a dominant force," he went on.

"It's simply not the case anymore and that's for the betterment of the sport. Any of the top four can win it and I think that kind of parity adds excitement."

Schulte reiterates that it's more expectation than entitlement that drives the USA men.

"The expectation comes from being competitors and athletes. I don't think that anybody would tell you that to represent our country with honor or in a correct way in London that we would have to win gold," he offered.

"But I think our competitive nature and our desire to be the best in our sport is what makes us think about gold so much."




It's certainly not entitlement that's motivating Glatch.

He's been told "you've got to win the gold to keep the job."

From that standpoint, it's not entitlement, it's self-preservation.

Steve Goldberg from FIBA



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