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Thread: Tournament Debriefing: GREECE

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    Senior Member Gyroscope's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Tournament Debriefing: GREECE

    Lets be honest. The performance of the Greek NT on this tournament was below average. BUT, as usual, they managed to pull the very last drop of courage, stamina, and talent in the critical moments. Qualifying for the WC would be a success. Getting into the semis would be amazing. Getting the bronze is UNMATCHED. I dare say, this medal is equal to the gold in 2005 and the silver in 1989 and WC 2006, and inferior only to the 1987 gold.

    Completely new team, without 4 key players (two of them PG). With a new coach. With emergency solutions such as Kalambokis and Kaimakoglou. Like Spanoulis said, this bronze is like gold

    Best game:
    vs Croatia.

    Worst game:
    vs Russia (with the caveat that we'll never really know what was the intention)

    Individual evaluation:

    Calathes
    He was better and better in each game, and he was critical in the bronze medal game. A few turnovers, not too much contribution in scoring, but he definitely inspired confidence when the ball was in his hands. Some great assists in the last game, and good defense. Coached by Obradović and mentored by DD, he'll become a fantastic PG. The comparison is inevitable, but I dare say Calathes is not the Greek Ricky Rubio. Rubio is the Spanish Calathes!

    Spanoulis
    He was THE man of the match against Turkey, and defensively he did great throughout the tournament, but all in all I would consider him in the minuses of the team. Too many turnovers, not great %, didn't inspire confidence as a ball handler, and he was predictable.

    Zisis
    Much, much better than last time. I think we saw, at least partially, the pre-Varejao Zisis. Confident, good % overall, great defense, and even some important rebounds. Like Spanoulis, though, not a true PG and it showed. He did command respect however; his teammates took heart when he was in the game, I think.

    Kalambokis
    Tried his best, particularly in the first days of the tournament against weaker opponents, but his inexperience forced Kazlauskas to keep him on the bench

    Kaimakoglou
    The same pretty much applies to him as well. A few quality minutes when it didn't really matter. But he has the chance to evolve perhaps. We'll see...I consider it next to impossible that we'll see him again in the NT

    Perperoglou
    Defensively OK - with a silly, almost fatal overtime mistake against Turkey. But offensively he was disappointing. I think his inexperience in the NT and nervousness showed. He could do better in the future perhaps

    Printezis
    Super. Fantastic defensively, he helped a lot against difficult opponents, and he contributed offensively as well. Didn't use his height against shorter opponents though, perhaps there was a reason/direction for that?

    Fotsis
    Really big games in QF and bronze medal game, particularly defensively. Critical rebounds (13 against Turkey!), cool blood from the free throw line. Offensively didn't take many attempts, but he did score some critical 3 pointers. Once again, a great, modern PF performance

    Bourousis
    Tricky. We have to remember he had some health problems in the beginning of the summer. It seemed as if he gave his all, but he certainly was a click down from the known Bourousis. OK defense, helped with rebounds, had some nice shots in, he gave quality moments all in all. And he was super against Croatia

    Koufos
    The biggest disappointment of the team, unfortunately. Before someone says that Kazlauskas didn't offer him any playing time, consider why that happened. It was clear that Koufos was out of place in this tournament. He couldn't integrate into the team, couldn't help in the team defense, his posting still needs improvement...But hopefully he'll get better in Utah.

    Sofo
    The MVP of the Greek NT in this tournament! Simply unstoppable offensively, great improvement in FT %, huge improvement defensively - did you notice how he defended against guards near the 3p line? - and over all he gave you this confidence when the ball was in his hands. By far the most guaranteed solution offensively. Against Slovenia he was simply stratospheric (had he ever score more than 20p with the NT? I'm not sure, I don't think so...)

    Glyniadakis
    Didn't take much playing time - and what he did take was garbage time - as expected. He did hold his own in these minutes, though. Like with Kaimakoglou and Kalambokis, I can't see him finding a place in the NT next year (unless we are once more plagued by injuries, knocking on wood)

    Jonas Kazlauskas
    Words are too little to describe the magnitude of his contribution. A true basketball tactician, philosopher, and psychologist! He worked with what he had, was not afraid to audaciously say that the Greek NT always aims high, and he was vindicated. Some might think that the Greek way of playing was unlike his style, or that it was unidimensional. But again, if one considers that he managed to grab the bronze medal for Greece with that material, it becomes obvious that his strategy squeezed every little drop of efficiency from these players - even when key players like Spanoulis had 1/14 or so FG% and 25% FT (!) against Slovenia

    See you next year in Turkey!
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    my only disagreement is with koufos. it is obvious that the illness took out a lot of him.
    also he was not given enough liberty in his game and there was no pg to help, because kazla never used calathes -koufos in the tournament together. remember how they worked in the friendlies.
    i was disapointed with kazla, using spanoulis as a pg. we lost the game against spain because of that. he should use calathes as a pg, spanoulis at two and not allow him to dribble so much. in the game against slovenia we only played well when calathes was allowed to run the game at the top and spanoulis on the side.
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    Senior Member Mysh's Avatar
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    Nice post. Well written.

    I think Spanoulis will be much better, when his role will be more specific and less demanding. Don't forget that always the opponents offense was focused on Spanoulis.

    This team clearly needs a better PG at the monent. Calathes will be our new star, no doubt!

    Greek defense is outstanding, while offensively we are hopeless.

    Fotsis proved a solid rebounder, but he needs to improve his shoot and give Greece some crucial breaths in offense. The same applies for Printezis, who is a super talented player.

    Finally, Kaimakoglou and Kalabokis did their very best for this team. Well done guys! You were there when our NT needed you.

    Very proud of them, all!
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    You really know basket well...
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    Senior Member qiangdade's Avatar
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    I completely and utterly disagree about zisis. He was the worst player of this team, a real burden. He is not even NT level. His defense was totally crap, he chocked on key moments, his shooting percentage was 42% in 2pointers and 24% in three-pointers with the vast majority of shots being wide open and not even being close to the target.

    He was a real ball-hogger, he only exchanged passes with his buddy spanoulis, turned the ball over and is responsible for many turnovers of his teammates as he passed the ball to them with 3-4 seconds to go, leaving them no chance but to turn the ball over or releasing crappy shots.

    The last paragraph applies for Spanoulis too, with the difference that Spanoulis can at least score. He is too turnover prone though, while also being responsible for even more than his average (3.9) just like zisis. Spanoulis just proved once more that he is under no circumstanced a PG.

    All in all our back court was extremely crappy and the only light i saw was the potential of Nick Calathes who given his inexperience and his age did just fine and he would have done even better if Zisis was not used so much (the NT may also have done better in that case).

    And i literally hate the greek journalists for praising those two guys for what they've shown, especially zisis. Imo, they are blind and have no idea about bball.

    The MVP was of course Sofo. He was wonderful to watch: he passes the ball great (better than spanoulis and zisis), he knows how to position and move without the ball, he improved his freethrow %, he is fast, he can rebound and block. He has to lose some 10 more kg and improve his stamina and he's off for great things.

    The rest were more or less as expected. Afterall they did not get the chance to do much more as the ball went from zisis to spanoulis and from spanoulis to zisis.

    Glyniadakis as expected played only dead minutes and he should not be on that team.

    My wish for next season is:

    Diamantidis
    Papaloukas
    Spanoulis
    Calathes
    Pappas

    Perperoglou
    Vassilopoulos
    (Papanikolaou)

    Printezis
    Bourousis
    Fotsis
    Schortsanitis
    Koufos

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    It's utterly bizarre since Spanoulis is such a horrible player why Greeks keep putting him on their wish list for their 2010 roster. Strange.

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    Senior Member qiangdade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FIBA Europe Basket View Post
    It's utterly bizarre since Spanoulis is such a horrible player why Greeks keep putting him on their wish list for their 2010 roster. Strange.
    he is a horrible pg, but terrific sg.

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    Senior Member g.g's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qiangdade View Post
    I completely and utterly disagree about zisis. He was the worst player of this team, a real burden. He is not even NT level. His defense was totally crap, he chocked on key moments, his shooting percentage was 42% in 2pointers and 24% in three-pointers with the vast majority of shots being wide open and not even being close to the target.

    He was a real ball-hogger, he only exchanged passes with his buddy spanoulis, turned the ball over and is responsible for many turnovers of his teammates as he passed the ball to them with 3-4 seconds to go, leaving them no chance but to turn the ball over or releasing crappy shots.

    The last paragraph applies for Spanoulis too, with the difference that Spanoulis can at least score. He is too turnover prone though, while also being responsible for even more than his average (3.9) just like zisis. Spanoulis just proved once more that he is under no circumstanced a PG.

    All in all our back court was extremely crappy and the only light i saw was the potential of Nick Calathes who given his inexperience and his age did just fine and he would have done even better if Zisis was not used so much (the NT may also have done better in that case).

    And i literally hate the greek journalists for praising those two guys for what they've shown, especially zisis. Imo, they are blind and have no idea about bball.

    The MVP was of course Sofo. He was wonderful to watch: he passes the ball great (better than spanoulis and zisis), he knows how to position and move without the ball, he improved his freethrow %, he is fast, he can rebound and block. He has to lose some 10 more kg and improve his stamina and he's off for great things.

    The rest were more or less as expected. Afterall they did not get the chance to do much more as the ball went from zisis to spanoulis and from spanoulis to zisis.

    Glyniadakis as expected played only dead minutes and he should not be on that team.

    My wish for next season is:

    Diamantidis
    Papaloukas
    Spanoulis
    Calathes
    Pappas

    Perperoglou
    Vassilopoulos
    (Papanikolaou)

    Printezis
    Bourousis
    Fotsis
    Schortsanitis
    Koufos
    100% agree, you have covered totally my thoughts about the Greek players.......I am also very happy that somebody included Papas in the guards for next year. In my opinion he should had been in this team from this year....
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    i believe Vasiliadis should be given a chance to prove himself.

    Also Diamantopoulos could be a gould solution off the bench. Great scorer.

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    Senior Member Mysh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FIBA Europe Basket View Post
    It's utterly bizarre since Spanoulis is such a horrible player why Greeks keep putting him on their wish list for their 2010 roster. Strange.
    No, mate. V-span is a SG that's all.

    This time he was asked too much, in my opinion; be the leader, play 30min, be the playmaker, be the scorer, be the shooting guard, press on defense. He did try his best though. In the end he was just too tired.

    Spanoulis is one of a kind. Perfect for SG when he has adequate support, which I am sure he will get.
    Quote Originally Posted by ozziem View Post
    You really know basket well...
    Thanks ozziem.

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    Junior Member kgram's Avatar
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    None so far has talked about strategy and tactics - which is the coach's job.

    So, what were the goals for the greek team in this Eurobasket.

    1. Satisfy the "common opinion" fans (all the greeks more or less, not just the basketball experts). For this goal the team needed a triumph over FYROM and a victory over Turkey. Both done.

    2. Book a place for Turkey2010. The first step for that was to be in final 8. The team triumphed over FYROM and took 4 wins in a row to book a place in final 8. Then lost 2 games (with just a basket diff.), in order to avoid Spain before final-4.

    3. As soon as these 2 goals were accomplished, and it became clear from 3rd qtr that a victory over Spain was impossible, Jonas preserved the team from exta-useless effort, and focussed them on the next target - bronge medal. He had the experience to feel that the dissapointment and the low moral that the Slovenians had after the loss from the rivals Serbs, was equal to the feelings greek players would have if they had lost from turks - its something that has to do with history, national perceptions, not just basketball skills.

    With greek coaches, every time we reached final four ( and I think this happened around 10 times the last 30 competitions), if we won the first game, we won also the second with 50% success. But if we lost, the mentality was "either fist or nothing" . Typical greek mentality - VICTORY or DEATH!
    Thanks to Kaslauskas, we got the bronge afer 60 years. And also we got a national lesson: If you cannot be the first, its better to be the third than to be the fourth!

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    Facts:
    1) Spanoulis is a leader
    2) Sofoklis is the new Shaq
    3) Calathes has some features of Papaloukas
    4) Perperoglou is the worst player ever seen.
    5) Bourousis was terible according to his standards
    6) Zissis was positive
    7) Koufos needs time. He will Greece's super star in the forthcominhg years. He became slow.He needs a lot of practise to become better.
    8) Kazlauskas. Although he is sympathetic, although he took a bronze, although he turned Greece into a more attractive team, I personally doubt him.
    The team had no plan. Just running a lot, give Spanoulis the control of the game while he is hot as a sg. The game in offense was completely in anarchy. He was predictable.. Ok we will see a better basketball, but with Kazlauskas you will never take the gold as Giannakis did when all the players were unknown.

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    Giannakis fanboys appearing out of nowhere like comets after Greece won a medal, to doubt Kazlauskas.

    Just priceless.

    I see the well-oiled system is working.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kgram View Post
    None so far has talked about strategy and tactics - which is the coach's job.

    So, what were the goals for the greek team in this Eurobasket.

    1. Satisfy the "common opinion" fans (all the greeks more or less, not just the basketball experts). For this goal the team needed a triumph over FYROM and a victory over Turkey. Both done.

    2. Book a place for Turkey2010. The first step for that was to be in final 8. The team triumphed over FYROM and took 4 wins in a row to book a place in final 8. Then lost 2 games (with just a basket diff.), in order to avoid Spain before final-4.

    3. As soon as these 2 goals were accomplished, and it became clear from 3rd qtr that a victory over Spain was impossible, Jonas preserved the team from exta-useless effort, and focussed them on the next target - bronge medal. He had the experience to feel that the dissapointment and the low moral that the Slovenians had after the loss from the rivals Serbs, was equal to the feelings greek players would have if they had lost from turks - its something that has to do with history, national perceptions, not just basketball skills.

    With greek coaches, every time we reached final four ( and I think this happened around 10 times the last 30 competitions), if we won the first game, we won also the second with 50% success. But if we lost, the mentality was "either fist or nothing" . Typical greek mentality - VICTORY or DEATH!
    Thanks to Kaslauskas, we got the bronge afer 60 years. And also we got a national lesson: If you cannot be the first, its better to be the third than to be the fourth!
    Had they beaten Russia they would avoid Spain till the final.


    Another thing i noticed about bourousis is that he seems to be very angry which affects his game as it leads to wrong estimations and decisions. He also contests every foul he is called on (even though 90% are correct calls), and asks for a foul on every of his attempts even if the defense is clean. He is kinda going the wrong way i think.

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    Senior Member gatos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FIBA Europe Basket View Post
    It's utterly bizarre since Spanoulis is such a horrible player why Greeks keep putting him on their wish list for their 2010 roster. Strange.
    Skatoulis (just kidding) is only getting abuse for his turnovers. He is still a great player and he was also selected in the top Five Best team at the end. We owe a lot to Spanoulis for finishing 3rd, but I will also take the mikey out of him every time his turns the ball over. Most people who also critisize Spanoulis on this forum will also agree with me too (or at least i think so

    Quote Originally Posted by qiangdade View Post
    Had they beaten Russia they would avoid Spain till the final.
    So what ??? they would still kick the hel out of us. We are lucky France beat us, otherwise we would be playing for 5-8 positions
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    Quote Originally Posted by gatos View Post
    Skatoulis (just kidding) is only getting abuse for his turnovers. He is still a great player and he was also selected in the top Five Best team at the end. We owe a lot to Spanoulis for finishing 3rd, but I will also take the mikey out of him every time his turns the ball over. Most people who also critisize Spanoulis on this forum will also agree with me too (or at least i think so



    So what ??? they would still kick the hel out of us. We are lucky France beat us, otherwise we would be playing for 5-8 positions
    Absolutely. I am just saying that losing to just France would be enough for avoiding spain in the quarters. Cause the post of kgram sounded like we needed to lose both to russia and france in order to avoid spain which is inaccurate.

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    Senior Member g.g's Avatar
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    The biggest disappointment IMHO was Zisis, simply average. A player that can be bench in a NT but not in a NT that targets medals.
    Sofo just shown his potential, I really hope he continues that.#
    Calathes is the best that Greece comes out of this tournament with. I am expecting him within a year or two to be the true leader of the team.
    IMHO we need as a team to risk a bit and invite 2-3 players from the U20 in the team. Papanikolaou, Papas must have a place.
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    Pelekanos is a far better player than Zisis and Perperoglou. If Kazlauskas is smart he will bring him to the team and use him.

  18. #18

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    Some comments from me as well..
    K played safe all the way in the tournament with the schemes he trusted most although this was also a risk couse this wore out key players.
    I aggree that Zisis was a dissapointment. He was painful to watch
    I would have liked to see Koufos a bit more esp when Bourousis was not playing well, at least as option in the rotation
    Saying rotation, it seems to me that it was abandoned at some point, mainly because of the lack of options in G, PG positions. I hope this is symptomatic and K playing safe and next year in a longer tournament he will use rotation more efficiently to preserve energy in the team.

    And good night to all

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    Quote Originally Posted by qiangdade View Post
    Another thing i noticed about bourousis is that he seems to be very angry which affects his game as it leads to wrong estimations and decisions. He also contests every foul he is called on (even though 90% are correct calls), and asks for a foul on every of his attempts even if the defense is clean. He is kinda going the wrong way i think.
    Thats the main drawback on bourousis mentality. he is a fighter but as you said he gets really angry sometimes and he argues with his teammates and the refs a lot...

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    Senior Member fasoulaki's Avatar
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    For me the biggest disappointment was Bouroussis. He was good in rebounding but apart from that he seems to play without using his brain.

    Koufos definitely needs to improve his defense and his ability and determination to grasp rebounds.

    I am not able to criticize Zissis because I like this player as a personality. He has given a lot of bad passes but also made some crucial 3pt shots and assists.

    Perperoglou has shown some very nice games offensively in the first & second round but showed less in the final rounds . But taking into account that this was his first tournament and that he was left alone as the only small forward it should be possible for him to improve his performance in the next tournament.

    It is obvious that Kalathis has a lot of potential & he was the big surprise hopefully he will get some minutes with Pao but I somehow doubt this.

    I was very surprised of the Printezis this year. His play was not only athletic but also very intelligent.

    Archidoulis is not a point guard. He likes to penetrate & to shoot 3pts. This he does above average and he deserves to be in the All tournament Starting 5.

    Sofo is all the money in this team. Without him we would not have any offense this year.

    Now what I would like to see in the next tournament:

    I would like to see Greece playing the same defense as during the Giannakis era but at the same time I would like Greece to play faster as well and to base the game on transition and fastbreak plays.
    Last edited by fasoulaki; 09-21-2009 at 09:04 AM.

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