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Thread: 2019 World Cup Qualifying Odyssey!

  1. #741
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    Quote Originally Posted by madmax View Post
    If anyone is itching for my 2 cents regarding every NT team player not named JV or Sabonis, I think they all have loads to prove in the upcoming training camp... Not even Kuzminskas or current Kalnietis get a free pass in my opinion
    Of course they have a free pass until they are healthy. The core of about 10 players is clear.

  2. #742
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher View Post
    So Australia should be strong, isn't? Already confirmed the NBA-core of the team (half of the roster) that destroyed Lithuania in the Olympics + Simmons. I don't watch NBA and basically didn't see him, but he's NBA star and should be very strong individually.

    Add Thon Maker (Pistons) to that Olympic group as well. He's played in a number of Qualfiers.
    Dante Exum is at injured and won't play. Ryan Broekoff (Mavs) supposedly is not playing due to the expected birth of a child. But most others seem on board. The games against the USA on home soil sure hope rally the players.
    Josh Green (highschool stud) going to Arizona is injured, but should be cleared by camp and could play. He is quite young but address guard depth.

    I welcome any of you to join in on are Team Canada thread on RealGM.
    https://forums.realgm.com/boards/vie...269&start=1280

    We'd love to hear a summary on the current state of Team Lithuania. Loads of news about the Canadian team there (best on the internet). We are fairly hopeful to finally pull much of our top talent together. Sucks we are all in the same pool but that's FIBA for you.

    No absolute knowns for Canada yet but based on history, public comments and marketing material we are fairly confident of participation by Kelly Olynyk, Cory Joseph, Dwight Powell, Tristan Thompson and Khem Birch. Semi-confident in Jamal Murray, Nik Stuaskas, Shai Gilgeous Alexander, RJ Barrett and Chris Boucher and fairly skeptical of Andrew Wiggins, Trey Lyles, or any of the 3-5 other kids drafted in June besides RJ Barrett (due to NBA rookie commitments). Probably 7-10 NBA guys with roles filled out by a few Euro based players. Mostly likely names: Kevin Pangos, Melvin Ejim, Phil Scrubb, Thomas Scrubb, Brady Heslip and Kyle Wiltjer.
    Last edited by mojo13; 05-15-2019 at 06:40 PM.

  3. #743
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    Yeah, for Australia, Canada and Lithuania to all end up up the same group is unbelievable. FIBA bent over backward to ensure that China would be in an easy group and this is the net result.


  4. #744
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    Quote Originally Posted by mojo13 View Post
    Add Thon Maker (Pistons) to that Olympic group as well. He's played in a number of Qualfiers.
    Dante Exum is at injured and won't play. Ryan Broekoff (Mavs) supposedly is not playing due to the expected birth of a child. But most others seem on board. The games against the USA on home soil sure hope rally the players.
    Josh Green (highschool stud) going to Arizona is injured, but should be cleared by camp and could play. He is quite young but address guard depth.

    I welcome any of you to join in on are Team Canada thread on RealGM.
    https://forums.realgm.com/boards/vie...269&start=1280

    We'd love to hear a summary on the current state of Team Lithuania. Loads of news about the Canadian team there (best on the internet). We are fairly hopeful to finally pull much of our top talent together. Sucks we are all in the same pool but that's FIBA for you.

    No absolute knowns for Canada yet but based on history, public comments and marketing material we are fairly confident of participation by Kelly Olynyk, Cory Joseph, Dwight Powell, Tristan Thompson and Khem Birch. Semi-confident in Jamal Murray, Nik Stuaskas, Shai Gilgeous Alexander, RJ Barrett and Chris Boucher and fairly skeptical of Andrew Wiggins, Trey Lyles, or any of the 3-5 other kids drafted in June besides RJ Barrett (due to NBA rookie commitments). Probably 7-10 NBA guys with roles filled out by a few Euro based players. Mostly likely names: Kevin Pangos, Melvin Ejim, Phil Scrubb, Thomas Scrubb, Brady Heslip and Kyle Wiltjer.
    I only now begin to realize that we are in a big trouble because Australia and Canada individually are stronger - maybe even too much. In the past years we could solve it by being a better team, passion, defense and etc. But now i'm not sure about that.

    P.S. Brazdeikis isn't close to Canadian NT, is he? The referendum in Lithuanian didn't end up successfully enough so he won't be able to get a Lithuanian citizenship. Presidential elections that takes place in Lithuania don't help it as well so the federation won't be able to do anything in the nearest future.

  5. #745

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    I think Simmons is changes things interestingly. Now we surely can start Kalnietis rather comfortably as he is the best fit to guard Simmons for the guards, or we can throw even Kuzminskas on him defensively, allowing Kalnietis to try to check their 2 or 3. Assuming Simmons is still jumper less, we should leave alone in the perimeter and make sure we can match his size and physicality inside. On other hand, with JV and Sabonis in the line-up we will remain rather poor transition defence team and that's the spot were Simmons is deadly. Once he gets the ball, he's a train, and a fast one. How can we fix transition defence - that's huge question. Now Australia probably will play Mills and Ingles around Simmons, that increases the need of strong wing defenders as Ulanovas, Grigonis, Sabonis and obviously Maciulis would be priceless here as he is not only able to check his own man, but provides smart help defence.

    As for Canada, for them the key is Murray, IMO. I'm still not convinced Canada has a great culture of a team ball which matches elite EURO teams abilites, so they need exceptional individual talent to overcome opponent as Lithuania. From such breed they have Murray and maybe Alexander (I'm not counting in Wiggins). So whenever they will play, it's a huge question.
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  6. #746
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    Had a chance to rewatch 2016 and Australia and 2017 versus Greece playoffs.

    I take atleast 3 of 4 shooters with experience Bendzius,Giedraitis,Juskevicius,Milaknis to my 2019 team with 2 big elephants inside.We are not winning playoofs games with 65points scoring against elite teams no matter what we do on defence.We need shooting badly to disguise our huge lack of 1vs 1 offensive tallents in back court.
    The less said about the crashing and burning of the 2016 Olympics team the better, but you could indeed be right about the loss to Greece at Eurobasket 2017.

    While the conventional wisdom (on this board anyway) is that the loss to Greece was due to the defensive deficiencies of the Lithuanian team particularly when it came to covering Greece's guards, the numbers indicate that Lithuania's shooting was the even bigger problem. Consider. The average score during Lithuania's five preliminary round was Lithuania 85.2 Opponent 71.8, but during the playoff game it was Lithuania 64 Greece 77. The Lithuanian team just couldn't score. Lithuania's three-point percentage was particularly bad as the team made only 6 of 24 shots.


  7. #747

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hepcat View Post
    While the conventional wisdom (on this board anyway) is that the loss to Greece was due to the defensive deficiencies of the Lithuanian team particularly when it came to covering Greece's guards, the numbers indicate that Lithuania's shooting was the even bigger problem. Consider. The average score during Lithuania's five preliminary round was Lithuania 85.2 Opponent 71.8, but during the playoff game it was Lithuania 64 Greece 77. The Lithuanian team just couldn't score. Lithuania's three-point percentage was particularly bad as the team made only 6 of 24 shots.
    How is that strange? Scoring goes down in the knock out stage. Another reason, we had too many unreliable players. Out of shape D-Mo and streaky Juskevicius were among top 5 scorers of that team. The worst thing is to build your team around players who can't bring their status quo game to the knock out stage. Greece on the other hand a little bit struggled in the group stage, but they had their elite backourt and we were using Juskevicius, even Gecevicius for a try. Another huge problem was that Maciulis was having a bad tournament. We needed more contribution from him. Usually Maciulius has been lifting us in the knock out stage, but that time it wasn't the case.

    Let's not forget that we were lacking Sabonis, Jankunas, Seibutis, Lekavicius. That's huge amount of talent here.
    Last edited by Straight forward; 05-16-2019 at 05:52 PM.
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  8. #748
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hepcat View Post
    The less said about the crashing and burning of the 2016 Olympics team the better, but you could indeed be right about the loss to Greece at Eurobasket 2017.

    While the conventional wisdom (on this board anyway) is that the loss to Greece was due to the defensive deficiencies of the Lithuanian team particularly when it came to covering Greece's guards, the numbers indicate that Lithuania's shooting was the even bigger problem. Consider. The average score during Lithuania's five preliminary round was Lithuania 85.2 Opponent 71.8, but during the playoff game it was Lithuania 64 Greece 77. The Lithuanian team just couldn't score. Lithuania's three-point percentage was particularly bad as the team made only 6 of 24 shots.

    i write what numbers say and watching game without emotions you see clearly we couldnt score points.Our last 4 playoofs games 67,63,64,64 pts performances talks loudly.

    When we dont have such quality players that can do everything that we had in the past,so i think we should go atleast with those one that can shoot in those 9-12 bench players spots.They will get limited minutes,but atleast they will bring pure shooting .

    Milaknis,Juskevicius,Giedraitis,Bendzius in my eyes is 4 best pure shooters we have right now.I would take atleast 3 of them.

    Look how Rockets are Bucks are built have superstar and put around them 4 shooters.If opponents wont be able to double team Valanciunas and Sabonis good things will happen inside.But if they gonna double team all game long our two stars,we will strugle scoring 70pts if we wont punish them from distance.

    Spacing and shooting plays very big role last 5 years in world of basketball.Look at Zalgiris and Milaknis example how much pressure average level player can put on euroleague defences if you use him in right way.Ofcourse if you will not use shooters as shooters,but ask for them to do other things ofcourse it wont work.

    and those playoofs game usually went like this Lithuania couldnt make treepointers and our opponenst were killing exactly us there with Mills/Delavedova in 2016 or Sloukas in 2017.

    Forget easy basket in playoofs,everyhting will be way harder and you must be able to strech defences with treepoiinters ,if not its gonna be struggle all game long.At that exactly what happend with our nT team in recent years in playoofs on offensive side.

    dont believe me check how many treepointer we made in those playoffs games.Ofcourse in dream world if we would have players that can do everything like Siskauskas or Kleiza we wouldnt have problems,but now we have to choose lesser evil from those 9-12 spot bench players. Because it looks that our top 8 players cant provide constant treepoint shooting.

    i would choose ability to shoot basketball on high % over other elements looking how basketball is played today.

    Lakers 2019 around James put some kind strange players that cant shoot,but bring ale defence and other things,but if you cant shoot you are making life for your best players way harder.I want as much shooting as possible on our 2019 team.Our recent playoofs games only indicates that too.

    So do we want that our role players make Valanciunas and Sabonis job easier or not?
    Last edited by Shawshank; 05-19-2019 at 10:36 AM.

  9. #749
    Senior Member Shawshank's Avatar
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    Im not afrraid of Ben Simmons,the only thing you need is to stop running game and then he can become problem for his own team.I would be way more worry about Mills,Delavedova,Ingles.

    If Lithuania will try to run with Australia and Canada we gonna get blown out of the building thats a fact

    we must make them play by style we want : slow,systematical patience basketball with 2 bigs on the floor relying on basketball IQ alot.Run only when we have advantage in numbers.But if our team is not making treepointers on decent level our two nba bigs wont safe us.
    Last edited by Shawshank; 05-19-2019 at 10:10 AM.

  10. #750
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    Just came across this thread, always nice to see opinions on international basketball in English.

    For me, this is absolutely a group of death and even Senegal are one of the stronger African/Asian teams, because of legit size, some international/FIBA experience, probably decent coaching and Dieng (if he plays).

    It may well be that qualification comes down to point differential and the final round game between Lithuania/Oz. It could well be a three way Canada/Australia/Lithuania tie, hell, I wouldn't be shocked if Senegal throw in an upset or two...

    Absolutely Simmons has the potential to be a game changer, and coach Lemanis said he plans to use him similar to the 76 ers (Lemanis in fact was assistant to Brett Brown from 2008-2012 so they talk regularly), meaning I expect he will be a forward defensively (perhaps even centre at times), which is where the mismatch between him and opponents is greatest IMO, because it is very, very, difficult to match up with him in transition. I think Kuzminskas will be a pretty good match up for him, don't know who else can stay in front of him, maybe someone here knows better.

    Simmons has a reputation of being a head case, but there is no way he will hijack the team (Bogut, Dellavedova, Ingles, Mills all leaders, Luc Longley an assistant coach), but I see incorporating Simmons, perhaps Maker, Bolden and Josh Green (if he is to be considered) as challenges and I don't think all of these guys will be selected to play, basically you have the NBA elite six of championship winners and current starters (Simmons, Ingles, Mills, Baynes, Bogut and Dellavedova), plus realistically Brock Motum and Mitch Creek, leaving a hodgepodge of players for the final four spots. Broekhoff will be missed, as he is a deluxe outside shooter with surprising athleticism who can play bigger than his listed 198cms.

    Post 2000- Australia have traditionally struggled with slowdown teams, given the bulk of players were traditionally drawn from the fairly fast paced Australian NBL. Indeed, what Lemanis did when taking charge was institute (a fairly soft) full court press in an attempt to create tempo and play on his terms. An additional reasons for this was that Mills really struggled in the half court during the London Olympics and a faster tempo suited him as the most potent offensive weapon on our team- I expect 20+ppg from him again because of our system. He looked so good in Rio that many on these forums had him listed as a 1st team (non-official)Olympic selection.

    I think you guys will be hell bent on revenge as a proud team who dropped games to us in the last two official meetings. I also think that you will try to bait Simmons and see if he commmits silly fouls etc to get him on the bench sooner rather than later, which absolutely swings momemtum, while initially playing a soft zone to see if the Boomers play in an undisciplined way and crank up poor shots. Obviously I expect you to play through the NBA bigs on offence to create looks elsewhere, all of this makes me nervious because Australian teams in any sport play better as underdogs, and there is some expectation for the Boomers to win when favoured. I DO think that NBA experience provides the headline Australian with a steel and confidence against good teams not previously seen, while the much maligned FIBA qualification system, although a shoo in for us, has unearthed players who can help, Creek, Sobey, Kay among them.

  11. #751

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roofman View Post
    Absolutely Simmons has the potential to be a game changer, and coach Lemanis said he plans to use him similar to the 76 ers (Lemanis in fact was assistant to Brett Brown from 2008-2012 so they talk regularly), meaning I expect he will be a forward defensively (perhaps even centre at times), which is where the mismatch between him and opponents is greatest IMO, because it is very, very, difficult to match up with him in transition. I think Kuzminskas will be a pretty good match up for him, don't know who else can stay in front of him, maybe someone here knows better.
    No-one. Speaking about transition defence it should be team's effort, we should get a hammer for first 4 fouls in the quarter. Doubling Simmons early in the contra- attack is an idea that pops in my mind. At set offence, Kuzminskas should stand one meter away from him. I think we have a best shot at mixed zone, risking entirely on Simmons shooting early in the game, just leaving him wide open in perimeter. We should give Simmons any jump shot he wants basically, at least early in the game. The problem however is, our coach is absolute mediocrity and he won't offer anything smart or unconventional here, like zero.

    To me, the only chance to beat you is to match or even to beat Australia physically wise. That's the only way, IMO. We are not even close at the moment to expect to beat you with the talent or scoring power. We can beat you only the way we handled Serbia in 2015. Man's defence with the hammers in our hands. Now with Simmons it's super difficult task, but I do believe Bogut is one step weaker these days, Mills and Delly declined tiny half a step, maybe even Ingles by an inch and Simmons is young and unpredictable. Can we get into Mills and Ingles skin mentally and physically? And can we play cheeky, physical, super aggressive defensively basketball..That's the only question. Other than more talented bigs, we have nothing on Australia at the moment. We have less talented roster, we have weaker coach and we probably be weaker tactics wise.
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  12. #752
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    Here is the announced Aussie 17 man squad.

    17-MAN AUSTRALIAN BOOMERS SQUAD

    DENG ADEL - Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA)
    ARON BAYNES - Boston Celtics (NBA)
    TODD BLANCHFIELD - Illawarra Hawks
    ANDREW BOGUT - Sydney Kings/Golden State Warriors (NBA)
    JONAH BOLDEN - Philadelphia 76ers (NBA)
    MITCH CREEK - South East Melbourne Phoenix
    MATTHEW DELLAVEDOVA - Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA)
    CAMERON GLIDDON - Brisbane Bullets
    CHRIS GOULDING - Melbourne United
    JOE INGLES - Utah Jazz (NBA)
    NICHOLAS KAY - Perth Wildcats
    JOCK LANDALE - Partizan (Serbia)
    MITCH MCCARRON -Melbourne United
    PATTY MILLS - San Antonio Spurs (NBA)
    BROCK MOTUM - Anadolu Efes (Turkey)
    BEN SIMMONS - Philadelphia 76ers (NBA)
    NATHAN SOBEY - Brisbane Bullets


    Commentary:

    https://www.foxsports.com.au/basketb...76c75376f476b3


    https://pickandroll.com.au/boomers-w...th-nba-talent/


    That is a deep talent pool. They should be favorites for the pool.
    Last edited by mojo13; 05-23-2019 at 02:37 AM.

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    See my comment on this squad on the FIBA WC page. Can't be bothered copying and pasting....

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    Impressive roster, some well known names, some local league standouts. Saw some action of Nick Kay this season, really liked the guy with his energy, hustle, soft touch from beyond the arc. I suppose he is the lock above some Brock Motum or Jock Landale, who will hardly crack the rotation. Mitch Creek can be used as PF too. I guess only questions remains in backcourt, who will fulfill the spots after Simmons, Mills, Matty, Ingles


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    I would be very surprised to see Landale make the Aussie team. I really like him as a person and he is a good player, but he has never played for Lemanis, and he provides no point of difference to the traditional bigs, so I expect Bolden to be picked for some x-factor. Will be good to see how Jock goes in Zalgiris Kaunas though.

    Kay could be a surprise packet, 1st team all NBL, played virtually all qualifiers, FIBA Asia, Commonwealth Games etc... Lemanis is big on him.... I am surprised he has developed so much given he was only a US division 2 college player (Metro State) and not heavily recruited by clubs in Australia or Europe.

    I only worry that our team won't have time to be cohesive, not kidding, we only have four warm up games.

  16. #756

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    With Australia announcing 17 men squad, here's what I expect to see from Lithuania:

    Kalnietis, Lekavicius, Janavicius
    Grigonis, Seibutis, Milaknis, Juskevicius
    Ulanovas, Giedraitis, Butkevicius
    Sabonis, Kuzminskas, Maciulis
    Valanciunas, Gudaitis, Kavaliauskas


    Assuming both Maciulis and Gudaitis out, I would add three more names - Geben, Ehodas and Sedekerskis

    I know most of you would think I missed Bendzius, but just don't want him in the NT. Not with that defence. And his offence sucks in most of any more serious games.
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  17. #757

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    OK, Hepcat will be delighted. I'm starting to see a spot for Butkevičius. I think today he might be the most athletic small forward we have (aside Kuz who is locked at 4). He might actually be the best defensive forward we have today (even better than Ulanovas and Maciulis, though it's debatable). If I would think he's that kind of player to throw against Simmons, I would like Butkevicius chances. He's strongest forward on his legs defensively today, usable from 1 to 3 at D. I also think we should lock Giedraitis as third SG. Let's face it, he's better than Juskevicius, Milaknis. If Milaknis can bring elite catch and shoot perimeter ability, he can bring that and much more. Here's the puzzle I want today:

    Kalnietis, Lekavicius
    Grigonis, Seibutis, Giedraitis
    Ulanovas, Butkevicius
    Sabonis, Kuzminskas, Maciulis
    Valanciunas, Gudaitis
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  18. #758
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    Quite unexpected, but Jankunas leaves the door open for NT. Thought that he is done with it after injury plagued season. Anyway, his real capabilities nowadays is under question. If he could finally rest like in summer 2017 and revive his shape from 2017/2018, he would be great help, but I have my doubts now


  19. #759
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    Let's look realistically Jankunas at 35 is close to be done.I don't see him playing in summers anymore and don't feel he can really help even if he wanted.Wouldnt be surprised seeing that Paulius will retire after next season,he can't stay healthy anymore.How he runs today he looks like Javtokas of 2016...he is just too slow to play pf these days.Last summer he also was resting,but theres come a point doesn't matter how much you rest,your body just can't take professional level speeds anymore.

  20. #760
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    Let's look realistically Jankunas at 35 is close to be done.I don't see him playing in summers anymore and don't feel he can really help even if he wanted.Wouldnt be surprised seeing that Paulius will retire after next season,he can't stay healthy anymore.How he runs today he looks like Javtokas of 2016...he is just too slow to play pf these days.Last summer he also was resting,but theres come a point doesn't matter how much you rest,your body just can't take professional level speeds anymore.
    He wasn't resting previous summer. He underwent two quite serious surgeries and he wasn't prepared for the season properly, that's huge setback for a veteran, and it was clearly seen right from the start. Then two injuries, especially the second one was out of nowhere thnx to dumb move by rival player. All this combined you have such season. Now he doesn't have any serious health issues, just minor injury, so no surgeries expected either. Of course the question remains will he be able to get his shape back or how much of it. Or will he take a chance with NT at all. All remains to be seen, but such experience would be helpful, especially with already depleted frontcourt


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