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Thread: 2019 World Cup Qualifying Odyssey!

  1. #501
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    There's the candidates. I marked with whom I would go.

    Arnoldas Kulboka SF, SG 205 cm 100 kg 21 m.
    Arnas Butkevičius SF 197 cm 96 kg 26 m.
    Egidijus Mockevičius C 208 cm 104 kg 26 m.
    Dovis Bičkauskis PG 191 cm 88 kg 25 m.
    Martynas Echodas PF, C 206 cm 102 kg 21 m.
    Paulius Valinskas SG, PG 191 cm 85 kg 23 m.
    Žygimantas Janavičius PG 192 cm 80 kg 29 m.
    Gytis Masiulis PF 207 cm 99 kg 20 m.
    Šarūnas Vasiliauskas PG 188 cm 78 kg 29 m.
    Martinas Geben C 208 cm 107 kg 24 m.
    Adas Juškevičius SG, PG 194 cm 90 kg 30 m.
    Renaldas Seibutis SG, SF 196 cm 82 kg 33 m.
    Eimantas Bendžius PF, SF 207 cm 98 kg 28 m.
    Rokas Giedraitis SF 200 cm 88 kg 26 m.
    Edgaras Želionis PF, C 207 cm 97 kg 29 m.

    I didn't include Vasiliauskas because I think he has zero upside regarding NT and shouldn't be even close to WC. Even Janavicius for defensive reasons and toughness seems to be more serious candidate for WC, IMO. Now Bičkauskis can have his chance, what the heck, he's only 25yo, even If I highly doubt he is the one NT needed. Nevertheless it's experiment and Adomaitis should learn doing that kind of things. Vasiliauskas might be the best short term PG actually for these windows, but I believe a look the the future is more important I think we can win both games against Netherlands and Italy if we will play our basketball. We played horribly in Italy.
    Good that Valinskas will have a shot. If we will face some absences at 2, he might be a legitimate candidate for WC.
    Now again Zelionis is complete waste of time. He gives little and he has zero upside as NT player. Why I didn't include Geben and included Ehodas? Because I think Ehodas would be more legitimate candidate and a better for NT in the summer. Why? Well Geben is more fundamentally sound player and better post defender, but he's slow. Ehodas can run to transition and I think would be a better fit coming from the bench with Lekavicius, Kuzminskas (at WC) and also these days it's deadly important to have a center who can step out, who can rotate. If will have 2 lamberjacks in JV and Geben at 5, we're in trouble. The way things turning, we should be serious about back-up center, becaue Gudaitis is surely out and I really doubt we get one of Kavaliauskas/Jankunas. I think we will have to go with some youngster - Ehodas, Birutis, Kairys, Mockevicius, Geben. And let Kulboka run for once, we really need talent. And congrats Dainius for understanding that Girdziunas is not a PG finally. Kazlauskas said that already in 2015, but it took 4 years for Dainius to get that.
    First of all, the absence of Mantas Kalnietis, Mindaugas Girdžiūnas and Jonas Mačiulis has created openings for several intriguing youngsters. I'm delighted to see Egidijus Mockevičius, Dovis Bičkauskis and Paulius Valinskas, young fellows who had not previously received much mention, on the list. They've put up some very good numbers so far this year and it will be interesting to see what they can bring to the team. Moreover center and PG are now the two areas in which Team Lietuva lacks depth and needs to develop some young talent.

    But Martinas Geben needs to be included on the team for this window. Quite simply with only Mockevičius, Echodas, Masiulis and Bendžius there wouldn't be enough bigs. Geben in fact has noticeably better numbers this year than does Echodas:

    2018-19 LKL STATS

    Echodas Geben

    MPG 16:40 20:11
    PPG 6.6 10.3
    FG% 48.1 57.8
    REB 5.1 7.3
    BLK 0.3 0.9
    T/O 1.0 1.0
    FOULS 1.5 2.7
    EFF 9.0 14.0

    I'd be inclined to drop Arnoldas Kulboka from the roster to make room for Geben. Kulboka hasn't impressed previously as a pro and I don't know that his numbers have improved in recent weeks.

    Last edited by Hepcat; 02-08-2019 at 09:56 PM.

  2. #502
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    So the last FIBA window. We already know that Adomaitis won't experiment a lot and maybe he is right if the standings will determine drawing position....
    Twould be absolutely unacceptable for the Lithuanian team to lose to Italy again. Such a second loss would raise question marks about everything else the Lithuanian team has accomplished in these qualifiers.


  3. #503
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    I was gratified to see a lot of the less often mentioned Team Lietuva candidates put up some very good to excellent numbers in LKL action over the past weekend:

    ----------------------------MINUTES---PTS---EFF

    Martinas Geben-----------26:21-------7------21
    Gytis Masiulis-------------17:13------13------10
    Paulius Valinskas---------23:51------18------12
    Dovis Bičkauskis----------28:51------16------21
    Žygimantas Janavičius---32:14------19------27

    Nonetheless I'm now beginning to think that with the potential shortage of quality bigs in camp this summer, Coach Adomaitis should perhaps go with Edgaras Želionis as one of the PFs this window. Quite simply in an emergency scenario I could see Želionis as the twelfth man on the team for the 2019 WC tournament. I can't see either Martynas Echodas or Gytis Masiulis on this summer's team though. Neither is ready.

    Last edited by Hepcat; 02-11-2019 at 06:00 PM.

  4. #504
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    So here's Coach Adomaitis' list of players for the final window:

    1. Šarūnas Vasiliauskas PG
    2. Žygimantas Janavičius PG
    3. Dovis Bičkauskis PG/SG
    4. Renaldas Seibutis SG
    5. Adas Juškevičius SG
    6. Arnas Butkevičius SF
    7. Rokas Giedraitis SF
    8. Eimantas Bendžius SF/PF
    9. Gytis Masiulis PF
    10. Martynas Echodas C/PF
    11. Egidijus Mockevičius C
    12. Martinas Geben C

    No real surprises. Five players - Seibutis, Juškevičius, Butkevičius, Giedraitis and Bendžius - have been team mainstays throughout these qualifying windows. Moreover Adomaitis understandably wants to assess other potential PG candidates for the 2019 WC this summer which explains the presence of Vasiliauskas, Janavičius and Bičkauskis in place of say Paulius Valinskas.

    I'm actually eager to see what seldom seen players like Vasiliauskas, Janavičius, Bičkauskis, Masiulis, Mockevičius and Geben will bring to the team. Interesting that Echodas will be the "veteran" as far as appearances are concerned among the bigs. Hopefully he can step up his game for the role.

    Last edited by Hepcat; 02-13-2019 at 04:23 PM.

  5. #505

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    I don't mind Dovis taking a chance because it's the only not boring decision by Adomaitis, but from what I've seen he hasn't really reached the level to be a solid option for Rytas/Zalgiris, let alone NT. His decision making is at the level or even below Jokubaitis f.e. So this is basically a waste of time, both Vasiliauskas and Janavicius are clearly better player and I don't want either of them in the NT.

    Cutting of Valinskas and specially Kulboka shows very clearly again that Adomaitis is investing as much as zero to the future ant that is his style. Zero. Kulboka is among elite prospects in the country and he doesn't get a chance in more or less meaningless qualification games. Adomaitis supposed to be Kazlauskas' disciple and to give some sort of continuity, but he hasn't added any young player to Eurobasket 2017 and I don't see which young player had real ride to expect help in the future. Kazlauskas gave Lekavicius, Grigonis, Sabonis for us who now will be among the keys, and it wasn't an easy decisions, but he made it. Now I see just short term solutions and an absolute block of perspective. Adomaitis just fighting for survival as any mediocre coach would do. Butautas did the same for example even if he absolutely had to integrate young blood in 2009.
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  6. #506
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    I don't mind Dovis taking a chance because it's the only not boring decision by Adomaitis, but from what I've seen he hasn't really reached the level to be a solid option for Rytas/Zalgiris, let alone NT. His decision making is at the level or even below Jokubaitis f.e. So this is basically a waste of time, both Vasiliauskas and Janavicius are clearly better player and I don't want either of them in the NT.
    I don't blame Adomaitis. He's clearly still searching for another PG for depth at that position in case say Mantas Kalnietis comes up injured this summer.

    Meanwhile Rokas Jokubaitis is eighteen years old and has seen an average of only 12:32 minutes of court time per LKL game with Žalgiris this year. If he continues to progress, we could start seeing him during the 2021-23 WC qualifying games.

  7. #507

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    We have plenty of positions under risk. FOA, 1, 2 and 4. At 1 he brings Dovis and veterans Vasiliauskas, Janavicius. At 2 not a single experiment (no Kulboka, Sirvydis, Jogela...not even in the list). At 4 we see Masiulis and that's OK, but he played like minute or so in previous window. I just don't see the effort.

    At 1 he could have both Velicka, Jokubaitis if he worked hard on it.
    At 2 I already mentioned. Why to cut Valinskas anyway? He has been great lately. To test Juskevicius and Seibutis?
    At 4 grab the same Kulboka (his position is absolutely unknown, between 2-4), Masiulis, reach Sedekerskis just to ask how things going. I wonder if he's working on contacting Brazdeikis for the long term situation, cause he was named among top 10 young PFs in the country (Karl Malone's award). As far as we know the facts, he managed to cut ties with one of the best talents in the country D-Mo in the first season of Olympic cycle. Somehow Kazlauskas was able to work with D-Mo, under Adomaitis D-Mo is suddenly a nut case.
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  8. #508
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    Cutting of Valinskas and specially Kulboka shows very clearly again that Adomaitis is investing as much as zero to the future ant that is his style. Zero. Kulboka is among elite prospects in the country and he doesn't get a chance in more or less meaningless qualification games. Adomaitis supposed to be Kazlauskas' disciple and to give some sort of continuity, but he hasn't added any young player to Eurobasket 2017 and I don't see which young player had real ride to expect help in the future.
    Absolutely not so! Just look at the above lineup. I see a whopping eight players - Janavičius, Bičkauskis, Butkevičius, Giedraitis, Masiulis, Echodas, Mockevičius and Geben - who have not previously been on Team Lietuva for any summer tournament. And only Seibutis and Juškevičius have more than one appearance! Yet you condemn Adomaitis for lack of experimentation simply because Adomaitis hasn't selected Arnoldas Kulboka, a personal favourite of yours!

    Moreover you seem to select these personal favourites on a "beauty contest" basis, i.e. you like their mechanics, release, ball-handling, but you don't alter your perception/preferences on the basis of actual performance! I don't care how Kulboka "looks". What has he actually done? What are his actual production numbers these last two years? And if he doesn't have much to show in this regard, why are you so insistent on bumping players who have shown more on the court in favour of Kulboka?

    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    At 2 I already mentioned. Why to cut Valinskas anyway? He has been great lately. To test Juskevicius and Seibutis?
    Now there I could agree. Maybe Adomaitis could have given Seibutis or Juškevičius some time off to test Valinskas.


  9. #509

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hepcat View Post
    Absolutely not so! Just look at the above lineup. I see a whopping eight players - Janavičius, Bičkauskis, Butkevičius, Giedraitis, Masiulis, Echodas, Mockevičius and Geben - who have not previously been on Team Lietuva for any summer tournament. And only Seibutis and Juškevičius have more than one appearance! Yet you condemn Adomaitis for lack of experimentation simply because Adomaitis hasn't selected Arnoldas Kulboka, a personal favourite of yours!

    Moreover you seem to select these personal favourites on a "beauty contest" basis, i.e. you like their mechanics, release, ball-handling, but you don't alter your perception/preferences on the basis of actual performance! I don't care how Kulboka "looks". What has he actually done? What are his actual production numbers these last two years? And if he doesn't have much to show in this regard, why are you so insistent on bumping players who have shown more on the court in favour of Kulboka?

    Janavicius already played in qualification. And he's thirty...I mean are you serious here? Butkevicius played in plenty of windows already, as well Giedraitis. All of your mentioned players are tested except Mockevicius I believe.

    And Kulboka isn't among my favourites youngsters. My favourite young players are Marciulionis, Sirvydis, Kancleris, Sedekerskis and Brazdeikis (Jokubaitis, Jogela at lesser extent). But Kulboka is one of our best prospect who has great upside, and he was available.
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  10. #510
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    Janavicius already played in qualification. And he's thirty...I mean are you serious here?
    That's young enough to play this summer or next if he's needed (and good enough).

    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    My favourite young players are Marciulionis, Sirvydis, Kancleris, Sedekerskis and Brazdeikis (Jokubaitis, Jogela at lesser extent). But Kulboka is one of our best prospect who has great upside, and he was available.
    Hopefully we see all those fellows in Youth tournaments and 2023 WC qualifiers beginning in 2021.


  11. #511

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hepcat View Post
    That's young enough to play this summer or next if he's needed (and good enough).



    Hopefully we see all those fellows in Youth tournaments and 2023 WC qualifiers beginning in 2021.

    No Youth tournament for Kulboka, Sedekerskis, Masiulis, Jogela anymore. And some of them will make a debut in EB 2021. It's not about when they will be here and there, it's about looking to the longer perspective and groping the whole picture. The times of idiot coaches only watching at the passports of the players are long gone. You have to constantly check all the players and give chance to the most talented if they deserve it, not looking at the passport. Our basketball school is very weak in terms of coaching, but luckily there's ome real coach in Jasikevicius and I would actually like to see Maksvytis taking the job if Saras won't be available.
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  12. #512
    Senior Member LuDux's Avatar
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    After cutting Walton there's 0% chance of Zalgiris letting Jokubaitis play in NT

  13. #513
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    At 1 he could have both Velicka, Jokubaitis if he worked hard on it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    And Kulboka isn't among my favourites youngsters. My favourite young players are Marciulionis, Sirvydis, Kancleris, Sedekerskis and Brazdeikis (Jokubaitis, Jogela at lesser extent). But Kulboka is one of our best prospect who has great upside, and he was available.
    None of those fellows looks anywhere close to being ready to play on the big team in 2019 or 2020. So why take them for this window? Most of the players Coach Adomaitis has selected have at least an outside chance of being needed this summer, depending on injuries to some of the more likely participants of course.

  14. #514
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    So I see that now Laurynas Birutis is out as well as Artūras Gudaitis with knee surgery. Depth at C could be a very real problem for the Lithuanian team this summer. It looks like Coach Adomaitis will be reduced to choosing one or two from among Evaldas Kairys, Martinas Geben, Egidijus Mockevičius and Darjuš Lavrinovič.


  15. #515
    Senior Member madmax's Avatar
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    I honestly think that 40 years old Lavrinovic is still the best option out of this lot...

  16. #516

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hepcat View Post
    So I see that now Laurynas Birutis is out as well as Artūras Gudaitis with knee surgery. Depth at C could be a very real problem for the Lithuanian team this summer. It looks like Coach Adomaitis will be reduced to choosing one or two from among Evaldas Kairys, Martinas Geben, Egidijus Mockevičius and Darjuš Lavrinovič.

    D-Mo is running young and healthy out there... With those absences Adomaitis will have a huge pressure to invite D-Mo. He just must be in the national team under circumstances because we lack both 5 and 4 high quality players. Unless Adomaitis will find ways to involve Jankunas and Kavaliauskas which is would be nearly a miracle I think.
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  17. #517
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madmax View Post
    I honestly think that 40 years old Lavrinovic is still the best option out of this lot...
    Sadly you may be correct, other than the detail that Darjuš won't turn forty until November.

    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    D-Mo is running young and healthy out there... With those absences Adomaitis will have a huge pressure to invite D-Mo. He just must be in the national team under circumstances because we lack both 5 and 4 high quality players. Unless Adomaitis will find ways to involve Jankunas and Kavaliauskas which is would be nearly a miracle I think.
    I'm not even thinking in terms of Antanas Kavaliauskas anymore. He wasn't one of the big time contributors to the team in the 2012-16 period and he's not been at all impressive with Žalgiris these last two seasons. I'm hoping that Coach Adomaitis can find a jewel in the rough among the younger centers this summer.

    Last edited by Hepcat; 02-15-2019 at 06:00 PM.

  18. #518
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuDux View Post
    After cutting Walton there's 0% chance of Zalgiris letting Jokubaitis play in NT
    Coach Jasikevičius gave Rokas Jokubaitis major minutes against cellar dwelling Šiauliai earlier this week and his numbers were simply dreadful. Jokubaitis needs a lot more seasoning to be considered for Team Lietuva.

    Last edited by Hepcat; 02-15-2019 at 04:53 PM.

  19. #519
    Senior Member LuDux's Avatar
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    In last 6 Euroleague games before injuries Kavaliauskas averaged 14.2 minutes, 10.2 points shooting 71% from the floor and 95 (21/22) from the line and 3.2 rebounds.

    We need 3rd center as injury insurance anyway and I doubt even healthy Gudaitis could serve as JV or Domas replacement. JV and Domas playing around 25 minutes cover C position and give 10+ minutes at PF. Now we have around 25 minutes at PF and SF left that we can fill any combination of Kuzminskas Bendzius Maciulis Ulanovas and Kavaliauskas/Jankunas/Motiejunas if they choose to attend

  20. #520

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuDux View Post
    We need 3rd center as injury insurance anyway and I doubt even healthy Gudaitis could serve as JV or Domas replacement. JV and Domas playing around 25 minutes cover C position and give 10+ minutes at PF. Now we have around 25 minutes at PF and SF left that we can fill any combination of Kuzminskas Bendzius Maciulis Ulanovas and Kavaliauskas/Jankunas/Motiejunas if they choose to attend
    That was one complicated theory Why healthy Gudaitis couldn't serve as JV and Domas replacement (I think you want it to say backup)? Gudaitis was surely better than Kavaliauskas. Better rebounder, tougher post defender, way better rotation defender. Kavaliauskas only has slight advantage as more skilled and consistent scoring big, but just a slight because Gudaitis is way better pick and roll center. In my opinion Kavaliauskas barely would survive in current Armani to be honest He was good only because Saras is brilliant at utilizing individual strength and putting players in the right place. With that said I would like Kavaliauskas as a back-up center now.

    JV in Eurobasket played 27 minutes. Sabonis can at least play 5 minutes more. Unless fouling out.
    Last edited by Straight forward; 02-15-2019 at 07:12 PM.
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