Three days full of Eurobasket action have passed, and the waters have started clearing a bit. OR NOT. Dive in to see what you missed over the last two days and what our favorite Rockets have been doing.
The second day of the Eurobasket featured hosts Slovenia going for the upset against mighty Spain. The furias rojas held the advantage throughout the game but failed to make it clear to the pesky Slovenians that they were the boss. Led by Goran Dragic and spurred on by the home crowd the hosts went toe to toe with Spain for a minute and a half that saw consecutive three pointers from both teams in D'Antoni situations. Then Slovenia took the ball to the rack and rebounded better, forcing a turnover to bring the game out of reach with 30 seconds to go.
Lithuania beat FYR of Macedonia rather convincingly. As willricewillsweep noted Donatas Motiejunas was played more, perhaps owing to the peculiarities of the FYROM big men (they prefer shooting to banging), perhaps owing to Linas Kleiza having much more awesome facial hair than play. He wasn't a focal point in the offense, deferring to Valanciunas but still taking good positions to post. Really, you should read willricewillsweep's comment, he obviously watched the game.
In other news France let Great Britain hang in close but got serious near the end and prevailed over a much less talented opponent. Germany deflated against Belgium, Montenegro (they really, really miss Pekovic) lost a nailbiter against Latvia, just the same way they won the day before (karma I hear you saying?), Finland totally blew out Sweden, Marcin Gortat and Co. lost a close one against the Czech Republic and Greece beat Russia handily.
Turkey was a disappointment for a second night in a row. Like the French in soccer, the Turks cannot achieve anything major away from their home soil. Italy had their way with them all game long, shooting 54.5% from the floor while taking 16 more shots. Turkey was abysmal from the foul line, only hitting 16/28 (they lost by 15). Omer Asik started but played a total of 16 minutes despite only commiting one foul all game. He led Turkey in scoring with 12 on 4/4 from the field and 4/6 FTs. He grabbed 2 rebounds and blocked a shot but commited 2 TOs.
In the other point of major Rockets interest, Omri Casspi and Israel took on Ukraine, of players you and I don't know. Casspi started and played 30 minutes, but shot 1/8 from the floor, missing all 5 3-point attempts and commiting 2 TOs. He had 2 steals, an assist and a rebound, but in a game of runs Ukraine had the last word, going on a 9-3 spurt when Israel failed to equalize the score with 5:37 to go and hanging on for the win.
Stay tuned in for day 3 recap, coming soon (TM). I will write a day 4 recap tomorrow, when the games are all played.