Olympic Basketball and summer tournaments

InstaFace

The Ultimate One
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
23,263
Pittsburgh, PA
The Team USA thread simply won't hold it all. There's too much good stuff.

Lots of Olympic warmup tournaments going on right now, but also the Qualifier tournaments handing out the last 4 golden tickets to Paris. Here is the Final of one of those tournaments, between hosts Puerto Rico and tiny basketball-mad Lithuania - Jose Alvarado vs Sabonis.

View: https://youtu.be/WdkhkMefq3Q
 

InstaFace

The Ultimate One
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
23,263
Pittsburgh, PA
How good is Greece’s 2nd best player?
First off, like most Euro national teams, you can't evaluate them off the clubs they play for. They all get together way more often than the USA roster does, they play more tournaments together, and have longer-term commitments to the program, so they more resemble a team than a collection of "best available talent". I think they had a different Player of the Game for each game in the qualifier tournament. Because of them having so many reps together (mostly without Giannis), historically Giannis has really not integrated well with the Greek team, they just haven't known how to use him and sometimes haven't even played him starter minutes. I think they played against USA each of the last two FIBA World Cups and he looked like a fish out of water compared to playing for Milwaukee, like "Barely knew the playbook" level awkward.

However, they now look like they've finally figured out how to use him (he and Calathes especially have nice chemistry), and the results showed, especially against Croatia who have a great team. So the more complete answer is, you can watch and answer this for yourself!

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCeGJXuJFto


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1s2hd5pzWps


(for my money, it was PG Nick Calathes in the Slovenia game, and their center Papagiannis in the Croatia game. Sidenote, Luka Scuka sounds like a made-up name.)

...and while we're at it, look what qualifying means to Giannis:

View: https://twitter.com/BleacherReport/status/1810043595153457263


But yeah if you're just going to focus on their qualifier roster (Paris rosters aren't out yet for the qualifier-winning teams), the roster is mostly from Greece's Big Two clubs (Olympiacos and Panathinaikos, who came in 3rd and 1st in the EuroLeague playoffs this year), plus AS Monaco (3rd in reg season, lost in QFs). The player with the second-most-prestigious career to date is probably team captain Kostas Papanikolaou, a two-time EuroLeague champ, former Rockets and Nuggets player (and Barcelona) who's been at Olympiacos forever. The whole roster is EuroLeague standouts though, some of whom probably could have played in the NBA if they really wanted to but were happier to remain closer to home. So, again, their roster isn't "Giannis and a bunch of guys", you need to think of it more like a high-level soccer national team, maybe Argentina, where their best player doesn't play in the leagues most of them run in, but
 
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InstaFace

The Ultimate One
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
23,263
Pittsburgh, PA
BTW, if you're looking to procrastinate today, France and Germany play another friendly today at 3:00pm ET. To make it more fair, this time France is sitting Wembanyama, who "has the sniffles", aka "Gregg Popovich told us no nice restaurant in the world would ever seat us again if we overplayed the kid before the Opening Ceremonies". Unclear if Germany is now sporting more Wagners.

I believe it is streaming for free via NBA.com:

https://www.nba.com/watch/event/france-vs-germany

Their last game (from which we saw the Wemby highlights in the other thread) got real spicy for a friendly warmup. Fournier and Schroder tried to choke each other. Can't imagine why we got rid of them, really.
 

Senator Donut

post-Domer
SoSH Member
Apr 21, 2010
5,700
I heard on Brian Windhorst's podcast that France is running pick and rolls with Wemby and Gobert. France will be appointment viewing this summer.
 

Euclis20

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Aug 3, 2004
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Imaginationland