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Thread: USSR vs Yugoslavia in Eurobasket 2011.

  1. #81
    Senior Member Jon_Koncak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Genjuro View Post
    You are not taking the factor "team" into account. Yugoslavia had been playing together for many years (the 67-68 born core, with Divac, Radja, Kukoc or Djordjevic, has been playing together since 1986 at least and they joined the senior NT in 1987). Despite the unbelievable amount of individual talent displayed by Yugoslavia (for European standarts), they stood out for their amazing team play.

    This is like Argentina beating the USA in 2004, or every time a USA team built of NBA players has lost a game: were the opponents better players? No way. They played better as a team.

    You're also forgetting the different level of preparation of each team. Yugoslavia used to focus a lot on these championships. The US Team went to Montecarlo to practice...

    Furthermore, the Dream Team wasn't really ready for a serious game. Their Olympic Games was more of a series of exhibition games, and only struggled against Croatia in the first half of the final. Their solution? To defend harder on the ball and run the fastbreak, the same old recipe for every US team. With a Croatia struggling at the PG position that was easy. Not so sure against Yugoslavia.

    My point is, they could have stood a chance. USA had so much more talent and would've been favourites, of course, but again, this is a team game.
    Dream Team didn't exactly struggle against Croatia in the final.Croatians kept it close for 15 minutes,good for them but in the end of the half Usa was up by 14 i think and were shooting like 70% from the field.They just cruised in the second.You're saying Usa weren't ready for a "serious game" but in the same time you admit that they tightened up their defence and found easy transition scoring when Cratia stood up to them,isn't this contradictory?

    I don't agree with the argentina example as well,yes there was a gap in talent between the two teams(Usa-Argentina) but it's one thing beating Paul Pierce,Finley,Antonio Davis,Reggie Millers corpse and a whole different beating Jordan,Pippen,Barkley,Malone,Magic etc ..i mean we're talking about all time greats here..some of the best to have played the game,they didn't call them Dream Team for nothing.Out of the squads Usa fielded from 2002 to 2004 only Duncan makes the best of all time lists(rookies Lebron,Wade don't count)

    After all didn't Argentina lose twice in panamerican games in 2003 to Usa?Did they forget how to play as a team?I guess not they just went against a stronger and more talented american squad.In a similar manner a yugoslavian team migh have competed against the original dream team for more than 15 minutes but i highly doubt they'd be able to beat them.

  2. #82
    Senior Member NorCal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wardjdim View Post
    Regarding the conversation on how measurable the hypothetical matchup can be, there could of course be certain criteria

    For example, I am watching the USA-Lithuania semi-final in the 2000 Olympics and there is an obvious (and constant) aggression of the Lithuanian bigs on the offensive glass that wasn't obvious in the previous USA opponents after 1992. Also, there is no lack of fear for the Lithuanian players to slash or pass the ball during their drives in order to distract the defensive focus, although the defensive bigs were Garnett and Mourning. In other words, basketball had changed a lot. It had become quicker and the way to beat the U.S. team was to get closer to their way of approaching basketball than to wait for them to play your style and beat them with team ball. After all, there was a challenge for the European NTs to get a team to beat under whole new circumstances. Finding ways to reduce the easy points through fast breaks and force a more tactical approach to the match, focusing on a possession-per-possession plan became more realistic as a view for international coaches, with a team playing a clearly superior game athleticism-wise

    This point, however, is existing mainly because the 1992 team was lucky enough to not get a decent matchup in the Olympics. This way, the debate of "USA vs the Rest" was transferred from the "NBA vs Europe" to the NTs immediately, without interruptions and it was considered as common sense. No-one would doubt the 40+ margins that the U.S. team got in Barcelona without even trying. Add to that the NBA's clear superiority as a league and you don't need much to create a legend. Legends are not easy to overcome. And this one has many sides and it's rather convincing

    The "no matchup" thing is what I call key here. And it might have given the U.S. three straight golds in the 90s, but these competitions are nearly living the "no matchup" dream rather than reality. If someone excludes the Olympics of 1992, then the fear against the U.S. team as a given "unbeatable" one severely diminishes

    Genjuro's point about Serbia (Savic, starting PF indeed, and the team's 2nd scorer missing the final and Divac with 5 fouls mid-way 2nd half) is true. Back then, again, even with the living myth of the U.S. being incomparably better than the rest, the Serbian mentality was a winning one. Either because they were not allowed to play for 3 years or due to this champions' mentality, it was back in 1996 that Serbia made it clear that USA wasn't unbeatable for 30'. Divac being a big name in the NBA (thus being able to matchup with the U.S. bigs) was and remains a factor for this match's turning point, but there is a disregarded note here.. Even after 1999, when the transformation of international basketball was obvious, it wasn't so likely that USA would lose a match, as it was in this 1996 match. If you ask me why, there is only one reply and it's very clear. No-one had seen these players losing. Neither as Yugoslavia nor as Serbia. If it was common sense for the U.S. team not to lose, so it was for Serbia. Maybe someone can explain that it was a taboo, even then, for USA with NBA players to lose and it wasn't for Serbia, because USA existed and was beating everyone by more points


    That's of course true, but good enough only to put on paper a favourite and an underdog. So, in this matchup, the rule of "no matchup" that existed before doesn't make much sense, if you ask me. I can accept that we have an equation with an x factor and a y factor and in 1996, USA as x is stronger of a factor than Serbia as y. But until then, it was only equations using an x factor and there was no y factor. And, if there was Yugoslavia in 1992, there would definitely be an x and there would also be a y, and the 1992 y would be stronger than the 1996 y and maybe equally strong or stronger than the 1992 x

    To give it some more depth, in 2002, before the Olympics started and with the U.S. having got the first scares from Sydney, Divac had said the famous today "We don't think we can beat them. We know we can beat them" quote. This is not an accident and this is not the Yugoslavia of 1992. It is Serbia of 2002, with Divac way past his prime and the U.S. team suspected that they can actually lose

    So, in my opinion, there are several ways of measuring things. The one is how teams approached the U.S. game. On this, several factors have played a part and they are well discussed here. Another way is the improvement of defence overall in Europe. A third factor is the lack of knowledge of international players by the U.S. teams. In other words, the understanding that there is more than the NBA and it's worth mentioning it. Somewhere there, one can place the stats of the players in their NBA teams, whether they are Yugoslavians or Americans. It's a less important factor than someone would think. Take the stats of any NBA successful player in international basketball in any of the important squads in international competitions and you will note that the stats are either similar or worse. Divac, as mentioned before, though the leader of the Serbian team and an important player of the Yugoslavian squads, he was never among the top scorers for them. This doesn't mean much really. It has more to do with the coach. On the other hand, Haddadi has more influence for Iran, because he is by far the team's best player. This is why Yugoslavia is Yugoslavia and Iran is worse than them

    And, another thing. The 1992 dream team helped basketball a lot. Not by creating fans, of course or by creating the superiority feeling to the opponent. They just helped the other teams understand that basketball in Europe and basketball in the U.S. can actually come closer over the course of time. The 1992 team dominating and the 1994 team being clearly worse yet not possible to challenge yet gave an image of regression that was approached in the 1996 and 2000 competitions as "doable" by other teams, before Argentina, Serbia and Spain all beat them in 2002. If it wasn't for the 1992 team, it wouldn't get the rest of the squads trying to figure out what they need to do in order to improve and beat them at the end. And this is one of the parts of the previous decade's image of basketball. I am still not as sure that things would have been so good for international ball today, without three things:

    1) The Yugoslavian team not existing in 1992, thus the U.S. team prevailing witout another "unbeatable" factor in the equation
    2) The first wave of successful NBA players coming from Europe, thus breaking the original taboos before the mid-late '80s
    3) The takeover of Euroleague from ULEB in 2000, which slowly helped basketball become more professional in Europe

    Your points are valid though but they are mostly regarding the rise of European basketball and the dominance of Yugoslavia in Europe, which gave rise to their mentality amongst themselves of being dominant and unbeatable.

    I agree with the majority of your points here but if we are strictly talking about what objective factors we have on hand to measure a '92 Dream Team vs. '92 Yugoslavia you didn't mention that much

    As for the stats of European players in the NBA and whether those can be used as a measure of a player's overall value by FIBA rules- well, we'll agree to disagree. I still think a player's relative value in the NBA is directly correlated to his relative value in other leagues. Its not all about stats but my point is that if a player is valuable to his team in the NBA he will be even more valuable to his team by FIBA rules (with very few exceptions). So that tells me that the two rule sets are different but not incredibly different. Sometimes on this forum the difference between NBA and FIBA rule sets are treated like they are from two different planets and two different sports.

    One comment about that '96 final- I mentioned this in another post months ago but there were some seriously bad calls against the U.S. in the first half which allowed Yugoslavia to keep it close. I think I'm being objective enough, see for yourself and let me know what you think, here's the youtube link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kq0nE...eature=related

    There are a number of really, really bad calls, especially in the 1st half that helped Yugoslavia. (and a couple of bad calls that went in the U.S.'s favor- particulary the horrible no call on a Shaq goaltend).

    And even if the game was close almost halfway through the second half the U.S. still went on one of there traditional runs and won by 26.

    This game reminded me of Spain in this year's Eurobasket, in that the U.S. was challenged but to me it never felt like they were going to lose this game.

  3. #83
    Senior Member serbianhoops's Avatar
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    Everybody forgot to mention Bosnian Edin Salaharevic (PF 205) who was one of the Yugoslavian top prospect in the 1973 born year class. He was killed with his father in 1992 by Bosnian Serbs milicia men. At the time, Partizan & Red Star wanted to recruit him. He was a really impressive old school PF with a strong body & good atheticism. Definitively a NBA prospect. Without Yugoslavian break up and war, he would have been among candiates for the 1994 WC in Belgrade and for the 1996 Olympics.
    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." (George Orwell)

  4. #84
    Senior Member auris1's Avatar
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    oh well,at least ,one nicely moderated topic.
    Nevermind 4 pages of absolute trash.

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