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Thread: Lithuania to bounce back?

  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mindozas View Post
    Not the same? Not the great achievement? Or we are suddenly top4 material?

    Btw, if not those washed-up veterans, half-injured Kleiza we wouldn't play in 2012 Olympics at all
    Reaching final and getting direct spot to Olympics is a great achievement. 2011 EB team couldn't do that. Let's no underrate what Lithuania did this summer - they beat Serbia (and all what it did in EB shows the potential) surely a powerhouse (which statistically was the best team in EB till that game and they beat Spain in the group stage) in semis and that's without D-MO and other important peaces. It's not the same in terms of the upsides of 2012 and 2016 team. On the paper 2016 should be much better team. Look the way Mačiulis played in EB this year, he was better than Kleiza in Olymics 2012. Lithuania is not top4 material, but it's not so far away. Besides USA, Spain and France who is miles ahead of fully packed Lithuania with JV, D-MO, Klanietis, Maciulis, Kuzminskas, maybe Kleiza? It doesn't matter, all I want to say, I think 2016 Olympics should be substantially better than 2012 where Lithuania simply sucked. We didn't win a single game against a strong team back than.
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  2. #42
    Moderator Mindozas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    Reaching final and getting direct spot to Olympics is a great achievement. 2011 EB team couldn't do that. Let's no underrate what Lithuania did this summer
    So how come I underrate what Lithuania did this summer (autumn), if I already called it a great achievement? And I don't really get why you come with comparisons with 2012 all the time. I just pointed out that for 2012 team it was great achievement to make it to Olympics, for this team it's also the same. Of course it doesn't mean that we will go there just to participate, medal must be our goal, but speaking realistically, at this point (don't know what will happen in a year) we aren't top4 material, close - yes, but not top4. That's all I wanted to say. If you want to compare 2012 and 2016 - wait for a year atleast, but I'm afraid it still won't be fair comparison, cause in 2012 we had to play in qualies and for our team (age, injuries) that was the main reason why we couldn't re-gain our shape once again in London


  3. #43

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    Fair enough, I agree with what you're saying, but I also have an impression you can't decide by your self completely if you are satisfied with NT making Olympics (not trying to take away this as an achievement, I'm not) or you actually think this team should make noise in Olympics next year. I'm leaning towards the latter if we'll have all the team.

    Anyway, some American reporters don't shy away giving some hype to Lithuania. Here's the quote:

    "This past year has been one of extreme highs and lows for Houston Rockets big man Donatas Motiejunas. Sunday he celebrated his 25th birthday and enters the beginning of what should be the prime of his career.

    It’s not unusual for big men to develop at a slower pace compared to their back court counterparts. Players like Motiejunas who have demonstrated the ability to play either power forward or center are rare. It’s also unusual to find a big who is equally adept at working in the paint or can spread the court.

    Young big men tend to become specialists in either one area of the court or the other and even fewer are a legitimate 7 feet tall. Examining the current top NBA bigs only DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis have demonstrated the ability to dominate both inside and outside the paint and also be capable of playing either front court position.

    To that end, there is a player who shares many commonalities with DeMo: Jonas Valanciunas is another 7′ Lithuanian who also just finished his third season and plays the center position. Perhaps this comparison best demonstrates how versatile Motiejunas is.

    J.V. may have the edge in rebounding, but he can’t spread the floor, isn’t as fast as Motiejunas and is more of a inside paint specialist. While Valanciunas is a great free throw shooter for a big he isn’t comfortable letting the ball fly from outside 10 feet and definitely has a ways to go to catch up to DeMo’s ball handling skills.

    Still, J.V. has been dominate in EuroBasket 2015 leading his team to the finals (where they lost to Spain) and securing an Olympic berth along the way. With a healthy Motiejunas who will no doubt play power forward beside Valanciunas in Rio it makes Lithuania a definite medal possibility."


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  4. #44
    Moderator Mindozas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    Fair enough, I agree with what you're saying, but I also have an impression you can't decide by your self completely if you are satisfied with NT making Olympics (not trying to take away this as an achievement, I'm not) or you actually think this team should make noise in Olympics next year. I'm leaning towards the latter if we'll have all the team.
    I'm satisfied of course, it was huge relief for me and I believe for all bball lovers in our country that we made it. But since we are there, I guess it'd be crazy not to try to go for medal. It's not that I'm expecting that or we must do it, not at all, no additional pressure is needed. But what we have to lose afterall? Let's give it a try, enjoy our stay in Rio, enjoy experience and whatever happens happens, I'm not gonna crusify this team if we won't make it


  5. #45
    Senior Member Modis's Avatar
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    These 3 big players will be the most important . Valanciunas is improving year by year and its a fact. I am predicting PPG 14 to 15 this Regular Season for Toronto. If only he could shoot from further that would be a huge plus for us.
    If Motiejunas can play like last season I see him dominating in the Olympics. All these Post Moves will be tough for defenders.
    Maciulis right now is on a big wave ! If he doesn't lose that rhythm until Olympics again he will destroy anyone in his path.

    Other players like Seibutis Pocius and Kalnietis . I just hope we can find for Kalnietis this time a better back up player. Somebody more experienced. For god sakes this is the Olympics no matter how talented Lekavicius is he wont be able to handle the pressure.. Judging him from the interviews he is a quiet fella and I would say shy to. Not good especially if you are a Point Guard.. Starting to lose hope on Kleiza. He might recover but will he be ready for the Olympics. I see us as medal contenders but only if we can avoid Spain or France until the Semis.
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  6. #46
    Senior Member Shawshank's Avatar
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    STF also one american said that our eurobasket team this year is playground level team... americans knows shit about european basketball,except those that plays in nba.All they are mentioning those 2 from nba and dont have a clue who other is playing on our team,and you are listening what they are saying ? is the same as I begin to write about filipinos team...that i dont have a clue who is playing there

    Posibility that we wont get usa,spain,france in 1/4 game is only 25%...75% is that we gonna get one of those big 3 in 1/4.Even if we dont get them,good luck winning 1/4 game against host brasil or argentinias veterans on their continent.When the last time argentina with scola,ginobili,nocioni all in a team lost 1/4 game? answer never or it it was before 2002.

    Our character and strong team bond is allowing us to win against very tallented teams like croatia,italy,serbia and so on.Because they dont have championship character and dont have leadership.But the problem with spain and france when we play them,they not only has big tallent advantage ,they also are championship character teams with leadership from their stars.Its too much to overcome for us even with our characters and togetherness.To win playoofs game against spain and france chances is very slim...

    Im sure we would beat or have good chances againts canada or brasil,italy,greece in playoofs,but i dont see us beating spain or france... And im not sure we would beat argentina team in 1/4 too btw.The smartest international team in this decade for sure.They are like spurs,every year they are too old ,but every year they are up their with the best of them.

    For me im better be realist and say our chances are slim making semifinal (and thats true ) and hope for the best.We all know our players will leave their hearts and sacrifice their bodys in order to win.If their be a way to win,they will find it.IF not we just wont have enough.

    We can play ugly,but its hard to play pretty when you have limited players on perimeter...But i never questioned our players effort.Effort and heart always was there.Its also was in 2012 and will be in 2016,but the question will be: would it be enough to win against best worlds teams with their best players ?

    i dont see us getting 1st pr 2nd spot in the group ,i see as getting 3rd or 4th in the group again.Just hope our players will play the best game in 1/4 stage,like this year against italy.And hope to be in the same group with usa.That no matter what dont get them in 1/4.

    Our team always plays better when we are underdogs,so let be those underdogs For me its already be joy to watch olympics with our basketball team playing its very nice tradicion we have.But i wouldnt put to many hopes on medal thing in this olympics.
    Last edited by Shawshank; 09-28-2015 at 08:13 AM.

  7. #47
    Senior Member Svajunas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Modis View Post
    These 3 big players will be the most important . Valanciunas is improving year by year and its a fact. I am predicting PPG 14 to 15 this Regular Season for Toronto. If only he could shoot from further that would be a huge plus for us.
    If Motiejunas can play like last season I see him dominating in the Olympics. All these Post Moves will be tough for defenders.
    Maciulis right now is on a big wave ! If he doesn't lose that rhythm until Olympics again he will destroy anyone in his path.

    Other players like Seibutis Pocius and Kalnietis . I just hope we can find for Kalnietis this time a better back up player. Somebody more experienced. For god sakes this is the Olympics no matter how talented Lekavicius is he wont be able to handle the pressure.. Judging him from the interviews he is a quiet fella and I would say shy to. Not good especially if you are a Point Guard.. Starting to lose hope on Kleiza. He might recover but will he be ready for the Olympics. I see us as medal contenders but only if we can avoid Spain or France until the Semis.
    Kazlauskas said many times, that only best players should play for NT and he chose Lekavicius instead of Juskevicius/Janavicius. We have all seen that he was better in friendlies. There is a bigger chance that Lekavicius will improve more then those two this year. I fully believe that he will be backup next years aswell.

  8. #48
    Moderator Mindozas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Modis View Post
    Other players like Seibutis Pocius and Kalnietis . I just hope we can find for Kalnietis this time a better back up player. Somebody more experienced. For god sakes this is the Olympics no matter how talented Lekavicius is he wont be able to handle the pressure.. Judging him from the interviews he is a quiet fella and I would say shy to. Not good especially if you are a Point Guard..
    Why you judge about him on interviews? Judge about him about his actions on court - I didn't see that he is shy or some coward. He was brave enough in his debut for Zalgiris in EL, also in NT. And after it all, he has more or less the same amount or even more experience on NT level like any other possible back-up PG

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    i dont see us getting 1st pr 2nd spot in the group ,i see as getting 3rd or 4th in the group again.Just hope our players will play the best game in 1/4 stage,like this year against italy.And hope to be in the same group with usa.That no matter what dont get them in 1/4.
    If the seedings will like that:

    1) Brazil/USA
    2) Lithuania/Spain
    3) Venezuela/Argentina
    4) Nigeria/Asian champ
    5) Australia/qualifier
    6) qualifier/qualifier

    We might very well even think about top2 finish in group, if draw will be favourable of course. Argentina is surely beatable nowadays, Brazil of course is the team to beat in Rio, but all the pressure will be on them and as the history shows - they aren't the best team dealing with that + just like in Argentina case, their leaders are aging and most are well over 30 already. Another thing is qualifiers, now we can only guess. the same France might not make it, if f.e. will be drawn in some tough group, let's say in Toronto vs Canada, Belgrade vs Serbia, even Stambul vs Turkey. It'll be interesting to see how it all will go


  9. #49

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    Why should Brazil be in the top seed? It should be USA and Spain.

    As for the quote, at least they know D-MO and his abilities A lot of current European fans don't know how good D-MO was last season.
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  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    Why should Brazil be in the top seed? It should be USA and Spain.
    They are hosts + also it'd be easier to divide teams from the same continent into different groups, but that's just my guess, no guidelines were given so far, also last competitive Olympics host was Greece, don't remember how draw was held back then


  11. #51
    Senior Member LuDux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    STF also one american said that our eurobasket team this year is playground level team
    LOL no

  12. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    i dont see us getting 1st pr 2nd spot in the group ,i see as getting 3rd or 4th in the group again.Just hope our players will play the best game in 1/4 stage,like this year against italy.And hope to be in the same group with usa.That no matter what dont get them in 1/4.

    Our team always plays better when we are underdogs,so let be those underdogs For me its already be joy to watch olympics with our basketball team playing its very nice tradicion we have.But i wouldnt put to many hopes on medal thing in this olympics.
    Again it's more on Lithuania than other countries. The same Spain almost didn't make it to the knock-out stage, lost against Serbia, Italy. We should just look for best team. I don't know why you guys trying to be so reserved - the papers not so bad if we'lll have all the team. D-MO and JV will come improved, Kuzminskas will come improved, Kalnietis will come in better shape, Maciulis should come strong again (he won't be overused in Real), Pocius will bring his value to the team. If we'll have that - it's going to be a strong team.
    Last edited by Straight forward; 09-28-2015 at 07:13 PM.
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  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Modis View Post
    Gudaitis for Rytas is playing as a PF. Also NBA told him that with his height he could only play as a PF. He has no chance entering NBA as a Center.
    But one of the problems facing Lithuanian basketball is that the whole of Team Lietuva is height challenged! Gone are the seven footers of yore. Look at these height in metres numbers:

    A. Sabonis 2.21
    Ž. Ilgauskas 2.21
    E. Žukauskas 2.18

    J. Valančiūnas 2.13
    D. Motiejūnas 2.13
    D. Lavrinovič 2.12
    R. Javtokas 2.11
    A. Kavaliauskas 2.08
    A. Gudaitis 2.08
    D. Sabonis 2.08

    They're all relative midgets these days! That's why I'm still hoping that 2.18 metre Ovidijus Galdikas finds a way to step up his game thus presenting Coach Kazlauskas with an option for the team.


  14. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hepcat View Post
    But one of the problems facing Lithuanian basketball is that the whole of Team Lietuva is height challenged! Gone are the seven footers of yore. Look at these height in metres numbers:
    Hepcat, you can't be serious here? Lithuania was 4th best rebounding team in EB. Speaking about the height - JV has ridiculous wingspan and already is one of the best rebounders in the world (his NBA rebounding numbers are even better than Sabonis and Ilgauskas per 36), at 4 we have D-MO with 2.13cm (huge for this position), at 3 we have Kuzminskas 2,05cm (huge), we have Kalnietis who is 196cm PG who was grabbing 5 rebounds per game in EB 2013. Not to mention that the player who has the biggest rebounding upside in the team is 19yo Sabonis who broke youth tournaments record with 28 rebounds, he also averaged 14rpg which even JV couldn't ever do it. Gudaitis will be (and already is) a heck of rebounder because he is tough as tank and has leaping ability. To sum up, the height and the frontline is the least problem Lithuania has, it's actually the best thing and, IMO, it will be the best frontline of all time barring injuries.

    Speaking about shooting in EB, I have to take my words back and to say that Lithuania (despite Seibutis and few others struggling badly) shot similar % in 2013 and 2015 from 3pts - it's 34%. In WC 2014 it was better, but not much - 37%. Those are numbers you can live with. On other hand 2pts field goals should be higher. Lithuania only 19th in the tournament with 47% and this number can be improved next year, IMO. Also reducing turnovers (4th in EB) should be a goal.
    Last edited by Straight forward; 09-28-2015 at 09:56 PM.
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  15. #55
    Senior Member Modis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hepcat View Post
    But one of the problems facing Lithuanian basketball is that the whole of Team Lietuva is height challenged! Gone are the seven footers of yore. Look at these height in metres numbers:

    A. Sabonis 2.21
    Ž. Ilgauskas 2.21
    E. Žukauskas 2.18

    J. Valančiūnas 2.13
    D. Motiejūnas 2.13
    D. Lavrinovič 2.12
    R. Javtokas 2.11
    A. Kavaliauskas 2.08
    A. Gudaitis 2.08
    D. Sabonis 2.08

    They're all relative midgets these days! That's why I'm still hoping that 2.18 metre Ovidijus Galdikas finds a way to step up his game thus presenting Coach Kazlauskas with an option for the team.

    Somebody like Sabonis or Ilgauskas with these kind of physicall stats and skill come ones in a life time. Our front court is still one of the tallest comparing to other teams and still skill full. But overall what would be the point of a tall player if he is shit... Anyways .. I am just saying Gudaitis has no chance of competing in NBA as a Center. Sacramento Kings Acquired him as far as i know, and they will only take him if he develops his skills.
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  16. #56

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    Well I guess it will take at least one more Olympic cycle

    We still don't have 2017 NT thread and the post I want to write doesn't directly belong there, so I write here. I think we looked quite nice in preparation stage when our rotation still was very decent, Grigonis played a lot and he delivered, some other guards. And I think this team had higher upside than 2012, but never peaked or peaked too soon. What I wanted to say the key was rotation and defence. I don't want to complain about Kazlauskas here because I respect what he did in this Olympic cycle and big thanks to him because NT generally overachieved, but I just have to say few things. Backourt rotation absolutely sucked and was ill- advised and reduced even compared to 2015 EC. Let's compare 5 first games of EB and Olympics. The backups of the backourt in 2015 (Milaknis, Lekavicius, Gailius) played 141 minutes combined, in 2016 Olympics (Grigonis, Juskevicius, Kariniauskas) 124 (51 of those are meaningless minutes against Spain) and the worst thing that against Croatia (just before 4finals) both Kariniauskas and Juskevicius DNP. Generally our 2 main guards were playing alone just before most important game and overall had very limited time of rest. Lithuania never played A defence in this tournament, except maybe fragments of that in the first 3 games. But the thing is that Delevadova was shooting open in front of Kalnietis, you could obviously see that Kalnietis couldn't play any defence against Australia anymore. He was dead tired and tried to save at least something for the offence (still couldn't run at the same pace as he did in first 3 games where he averaged 35 minutes). I think that was the key. The main difference compared to 2015 I think is that Kalnietis in 2015 didn't play so huge role in offence and Maciulis, Valanciunas took way more pressure attacking the basket (and did that well) and backourt rotation was broader. This year, not only Kazlauskas overplayed him, but he was insanely active and aggressive, team was too Kalnietis' dependant. So my main and generally only complain - Kazlauskas had to broaden rotation, even if that cost us loss against Brazil or Argentina. We never had a chance against Australia because our main guards already were tired and couldn't bring any pressure defensively.

    Also, if we look at 2013 Kleiza turned on the beast mode in the knock out stage, in 2015 Maciulis, Kuzminskas and Valanciunas, in 2016 - generally no-one (maybe Kuzminskas looked like one pretty much ready, but even he couldn't carry NT), even Kalnietis got tired and wasn't as assertive and aggressive. At the end of the day one of our leaders Maciulis is very unpredictable in terms of offence (he resembled more of his 2014 self when he was taking ill-advised shots and overdoing). I guess it's reality ticked - Maciulis is not offensive player and he shouldn't play such a big role offensively, Seibutis will never average 15pts per game and this team kinda needed that. Kuzminskas is a bit inconsistent and Sabonis too young to be among the leaders. Off course JV had to be absolute locomotive for this team (averaging ~20ppg and 10 boards) and that could fill some gaps, but it never happened. So this national team still could succeed, but this time not everything went our way and we lack players who can score and who can facilitate.

    So to sup up this, NT choked a little bit (specially JV, Maciulis), coaches didn't do best job this time as well I think and NT couldn't contend for awards. Also this shows that with current talent bar, some players really have to overachieve and the team should show special coherence and charackter to contend. To be among real contenders steadily, we have to bounce back somewhere close to 00's level and that can happen only with invasion of new players (I still think JV will bounce back, D-Mo will eventually make impact, Sabonis will improve in 1-2 years and NT will look differently, probably will have more reliable offensive options, but to reach another level we need balance between backourt and frontcourt so we should be slowly looking for new blood at the backourt since 2017).
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  17. #57
    Senior Member auris1's Avatar
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    Are we going to bounce back ?
    If we can maintain this roster ( and we might even add Motiejunas ) we would be going as a strong favorites for next euro 2017 ,alongside Serbia .
    Spain could be even stronger without them veterans , but who knows if they care enough to turn up for the tournament as a team .
    France wont be the same without Parker .
    Italy , i think they missed their chance by failing to qualify for Olympics .
    What happens after 2017 i do not know and i do not care .
    We have another 3 years until WC in 2019 .
    If we get there , the team will be different . But we do have talented players coming up . Not sure if they can deliver though in the future .

  18. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by auris1 View Post
    If we can maintain this roster ( and we might even add Motiejunas ) we would be going as a strong favorites for next euro 2017 ,alongside Serbia .
    Spain could be even stronger without them veterans , but who knows if they care enough to turn up for the tournament as a team .
    France wont be the same without Parker .
    Italy , i think they missed their chance by failing to qualify for Olympics .
    What happens after 2017 i do not know and i do not care .
    We have another 3 years until WC in 2019 .
    If we get there , the team will be different . But we do have talented players coming up . Not sure if they can deliver though in the future .
    Nope, Serbia on paper would still look better because they have better guards and they have more than 2 Next year I think Maciulis, Jankunas will skip NT, maybe even Seibutis and Kalnietis (that would be interesting ). I just want our young and peaking guns IN - with JV, Motiejunas, Kuzminskas, Sabonis in the first rows - and we can tank the tournament in terms of result if we will bring some fresh blood in (if it's for me).
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  19. #59
    Senior Member auris1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    Nope, Serbia on paper would still look better because they have better guards and they have more than 2 Next year I think Maciulis, Jankunas will skip NT, maybe even Seibutis and Kalnietis (that would be interesting ). I just want our young and peaking guns IN - with JV, Motiejunas, Kuzminskas, Sabonis in the first rows - and we can tank the tournament in terms of result if we will bring some fresh blood in (if it's for me).
    Why would they ?
    If anything , this would be a last hooray for them . They are not likely to get another chance , not for another 3 years at least from now on to play for NT at tournament (WC 2019) .
    So yeah, i am pretty sure they will continue if needed .
    edit
    The thing i like about our NT is that players never actually retire from NT .
    They get injuries/surgeries , or take a year off for personal reasons ,and so on ..
    But ... Brothers are still there . Jasaitis was surprised(not me ) not be invited . Javtokas even made the team . So the team spirit is still going strong .
    Last edited by auris1; 08-21-2016 at 11:39 PM.

  20. #60
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    Whad do you guys think about such players like Shurna? Our federation was too blind to contact with A.Rautins... And now other player with Lithuanian roots Drew Crawford signed with Raptors. Few years before he said that his dream is to play for our NT..

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