One of the most fun things about huge international basketball competition is seeing matchups we’d never see in the NBA. I mean, Al-Farouq Aminu taking on Radhouane Slimane? Wow! Knock me over with a feather.
But really, it’s neat seeing guys we never see playing against each other, actually playing against each other. For instance, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, who are probably the best example of this and face each other tomorrow. These two have been on the same team their entire NBA career, so they know everything there is to know about each other’s game, which in turn means they need to reach deep in to their respective bag of tricks to find an edge.
And that’s why it seems like Ginobili has the advantage, because he’s trickier. From the San Antonio Express-News:
Manu Ginobili says he’s been giving his Argentine teammates a few tips about how to play Tony Parker.
“Go right up to him,” Ginobili said, “and go ‘whooo!’”
Ginobili blew air out of his mouth.
“That should fog up his goggles,” he said.
Ginobili then went on to suggest that his Argentinean teammates laugh in Parker’s face, and then scream, “NEEEEEERRRRDDDDD!!!!!” while laughing and running around in circles. Just kidding, even though that would certainly fit in with Manu’s strategy.
Seems like this would be a pretty effective strategy, too. As the saying goes, you can’t hit what you can’t see, which I think would translate very well to basketball. If you can’t see the rim, you’re probably not going to make very many shots, unless you’re one of those guys like J.R. Smith or Nick Young who are fine with not looking at the hoop when they’re shooting. If the Argentinean team gets Tony Parker’s glasses super foggy, he’s going to be terrible, which will make France terrible, which is good for Argentina. Pretty smart thinking by Manu Ginobili.
Of course, France could easily counter this by using a schoolyard trick of their own. I’m not volunteering to touch it, but pulling Luis Scola’s hair every time he takes a shot would make it very hard for him to concentrate. Just a suggestion.