Archive for the ‘EuroBasket 2011’ Category

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.

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Look at this guy, rolling to the basket for some easy alley-oops like his name is Marcin Gortat or 2008 Tyson Chandler. It’s OK to get a little bit excited, Raptors fans. Just a little.

It was a tough day for basketball in Canada yesterday. There was the loss to Panama, the realization that there would be no Olympics and the head coach stepping down. It wasn’t awesome. While fans were angry and looking for answers and columnists were trying to provide them, Gary Forbes of the Denver Nuggets was speaking his truth and serving up a reminder that things could always be worse.

During the FIBA Americas, Forbes kept a diary for SLAM Magazine. In his final installment, he unloaded on some of the issues, challenges and barriers members of the Panama national team faced during the tournament. From training conditions, to coaching staff to support, it’s not a pretty picture.

Here’s more from Forbes:

I have to be honest with you guys. Team Panama is struggling on the court due to behind the scenes issues. Our team is the only team not backed by our government and probably the only team without any sponsors. Our president, who I will not name, has put the team in a lose/lose situation in my eyes. Our practice facilities are subpar, practicing on 9-foot baskets, as your regulation baskets are 10 feet. Panama has a facility, “Roberto Duran” Coliseum, which we can’t use because it is a government owned facility. There are two federations in Panama and basically we are a private club team. Crazy, huh?

Our President booked our tickets home for September 4th because he didn’t believe we’d make it to the second round. Along with that, we have one coach, no staff, no trainers, and once again no backing or support from our country. I was in a meeting before I left Panama with the Pan Deportes President who said that we don’t represent Panama when we play in these international tournaments, FIBA recognizes us but not the government. I had no clue of these conditions before I came to represent my country.

Props to Forbes for being open and honest about his experiences. I’m sure it wasn’t easy to say how he was feeling and then show up to suit up and play despite his thoughts on how the team has been handled. It’s really not a great scene. Practicing on nine-foot baskets? Not having scouting reports? Guys taping themselves in the locker room because of a lack of trainers available? That’s just not safe.

It made me sad to read this post. Playing for your country should be an amazing experience that you never forget because of the proud moments, not because of sub-par training conditions. Hopefully the candor of Forbes will lead to some changes. Regardless, he gets a high-five for honesty.

EuroBasket 2011, an international competition pitting 24 European countries against each other with the top two teams qualifying for the Olympics, started on September 1st. The second round 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 first round.

France Rotates and Gets a Stop

On the final day of round 1, Serbia and France played each other to determine the winner of their group. In the middle of the fourth quarter, France found themselves up one point, looking to get a stop on the defensive end. Serbia went with a pick and roll, however good rotation from France forced Serbia into a tough shot.

We pick up this possession with Nenad Krstic setting a ball screen for Milos Teodosic. France is going to defend this ball screen by hedging hard with Kevin Seraphin and having the man defending the ball handler go over the top of the screen. That isn’t the only rotation that needs to be made, however. On the weakside, Mickael Gelabale, who is defending a Serbian in the corner, dives to the middle of the paint to defend the roll man.

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