The elimination round of EuroBasket 2011, an international competition pitting 24 European countries against each other with the top two teams qualifying for the Olympics, started started today. With real live basketball action featuring a number of NBA players taking place, I thought now would be the perfect time to a break from looking at the NBA’s season leftovers and look at some of the best and worst plays of EuroBasket’s second round. To check out last week’s post on the first round, click here.
Off-ball Movement Sets Up Lithuania’s Pick-and-Rolls
We already know that Lithuania loves their pick-and-rolls, as they ran it 30+ times in at least two of their games in this year’s EuroBasket tournament. Fighting for seeding, Lithuania needed a win, and late in the game they found themselves trying to pull away from Germany. To do that, they used the pick-and-roll. However, it was some movement away from that action that freed up Jonas Valanciunas for his two big dunks on the roll to the rim:
We pick up this possession as Jonas Valanciunas gets in position to set a ball screen for his teammate. Valanciunas’ defender, Chris Kaman, is going to step up and hedge on the screen, relying on his teammate’s help defense in the corner to try and stop Valanciunas as he rolls to the rim.