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Thread: 2019 World Cup Qualifying Odyssey!

  1. #961
    Senior Member Svajunas's Avatar
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    Love what Grigonis is bringing to NT. Just all around great guard, who is making this team a lot better.

  2. #962

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    Bendzius out. It's between Butkevicius and Geben left as Janavicius stays just for safety reasons.
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  3. #963
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    Useless game agaisnt Fin. But hopefully tomorrow Russia will show that it's not a useless trip overall.

    So now Bendzius is baller than he made couple of triples? Nah, he's a gonner, no-brainer.
    And so it was.

    What surprises me though is that less than a week ago Coach Adomaitis told reporters that there was no urgency to make any more cuts prior to the tournament since having three groups of five with which to work in camp was ideal.


  4. #964

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    They're up to Asia soon now, so 14 players make sense, just couple of guys in case of injuries and making a decision with the last cut. Basically after Serbia we won't face any elite team in preparation. I was about to be concerned with that, but decided that this is OK. Now suddenly we have pretty comfortable start of WC. Senegal is depleted, so a good game for a start. Canada is second worst team in the group, so also good game for second game. And third game will be against Australia. Now I think it's good we don't have best opponents in preparation left and we won't face the heaviest load early in the tournament. In 2016 we looked damn well oiled in preparation stage and we were really good at the start of the tournamnet taking down still very strong Brazil and Argentina, and Nigeria if I'm recall. Than we completely collapsed. We peaked too early. And Kazlauskas was riding Kalnietis for basically 40 minutes early in the tournament. This team is much deeper and less Kalnietis dependant, IMO, but we still should peak at the right time.
    Last edited by Straight forward; 08-19-2019 at 02:40 PM.
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  5. #965
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    Arvydas Sabonis said they will work on Brazdeikis issue after WC. They think Nauseda has things to do now and federatiin wants to stick with WC things, but later they will talk with Nauseda. I want Brazdekis in the camp of 2020. He's far from surely making a team, but his skillset is what we highly lack at three or even two. At NBA he's a SG/SF tweener, probably still more SF than SG. But let's face it, we badly need skilled, ball handling scorers which can create their own shots at 3. I wouldn't even be surprised Brazdeikis would make 2020 team with some credit, I see him a great fit. The path is pretty much open - declining Maciulis, Ulanovas, Butkevicius are role players and all sort of of a one kind. The fact that we have Brazdeikis (who could be already in the camp this year in terms of being ready) and Sirvydis in a horizon is a blessing. I have little doubt both will long time NT material and will lift us offensively (Kulboka, Sedekerskis hopefully as well).

    I'm relieved to see those long and precise passes by Sabonis from the double team (I also have hopes Tubelis can become an elite big with good passing skills and mobility), I like what we're getting in Grigonis as one of the keys in a long run and I love what we potentially getting in my mentioned prospects who should be in the national team sooner than later. The only real serious question remains PG position. Kalnietis will probably still show up in 2021 I have a feeling, but in a long run we should expect we get solid players from Jokubaitis, Velicka, Marciulionis. I like our options in Valanciunas, Sabonis, Gudaitis, Kuzminskas, Grigonis, Brazdeikis, Sirvydis, Kulboka, Sedekerskis, Tubelis and have little doubt those will pan out into long term NT material. (Also hope that JV's role will be lesser, that we won't be desperate to feed him as wee do now and will have all around options offensively. Some won't like it, but I don't think any team can be truly elite team with JV as No.1 option).
    I'm not sure that your list of prospects adequately addresses the two major problems I see on the horizon for Team Lietuva.

    1. With Mantas Kalnietis perhaps riding off into the sunset after 2021 and Lukas Lekavičius being nothing but a career backup in my opinion, it's critical that another front line PG emerge. Hopefully either Arnas Velička or Rokas Jokubaitis can emerge as such. Either that or dare we hope that Dovis Bičkauskis blossoms out to his full potential with Rytas this year?

    2. Team Lietuva is now critically short of bigs, specifically the huge dominant in the paint lumberjack types that every team needs. Think Serbia's 2.21 m 132 kg Boban Marjanović as the prototype of the kind of center that I'd like to see emerge. Moreover a PF or two along the physical lines of soon to be retired Paulius Jankūnas or Robertas Javtokas is also needed. (I know, I know, Javtokas played C but he had the physique I'd like to see in a PF.) Can seventeen year old Ąžuolas Tubelis really add the height and mass needed to play PF against men in the next three or four years?

    So while there's plenty of prospective wing players waiting in the wings, I'm afraid that Lithuania is light on prospects in the two main areas of weakness I see developing.


  6. #966

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    1. Well, yeah, if Jokubaitis and Velicka will fail that will be a tough situation. Those are closest things to make a PG line-up with Lekavicius. I also still sticking to idea that most talented PG is Marciulionis. I think he's a late bloomer just as his father. I hate the fact we don't have a clear cut world class prospect at PG, but I would bet on Marciulionis to be closest to that.

    And nope, Bickauskas will never be a real NT material. I even doubt he'll ever reach the level of current Janavičius. BTW, if either of Velicka, Jokubaitis won't be ready, I can see us playing with Lekavicius, Janavicius for one tournament. Pretty crappy line-up, but we had worse (2006, 2009, 2014).

    2. I completely disagree. I don't see how we short of bigs with JV, Domas, Gudaitis and such players as Ehodas, Geben, Birtutis being around NT already. We don't need freaks. Barely any teams have super long, lanky and slow dudes. Serbia barely use Boban, he suffers as much at D as he provides at O very often. He's a good role player for Serbia, but nothing more. BB is going small and Kuzminskas is basically a player that will be a traditional PF from now on, pretty much. Contrary, I think our frontline will be great. JV still relatively young, Sabonis will add mobility, passing, IQ, Gudaitis is a heck of role center and, yeah, I think Tubelis will be a beast, likely a mobile center. PF situation is more tricky, but Sabonis can be used there a little bit, Sededekerskis as well, Kulboka too, Masiulis, and maybe even Tubelis. If he stays at 205cm, which I doubt though, he probably will be skilled and mobile enough to crack a rotation at 4 much as Sabonis. So we're good. We'll have bruisers, and we will throw some-one like Kulboka to stretch the floor.
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  7. #967
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    BTW, if either of Velicka, Jokubaitis won't be ready, I can see us playing with Lekavicius, Janavicius for one tournament. Pretty crappy line-up, but we had worse (2006, 2009, 2014).
    Don't remind me of 2006 and 2009. What happened in those years is exactly what I fear. And thank Perkūnas and all the other gods that Adas Juškevičius rose to the challenge he was given in 2014.

    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    2. I completely disagree. I don't see how we short of bigs with JV, Domas, Gudaitis and such players as Ehodas, Geben, Birtutis being around NT already. We don't need freaks. Barely any teams have super long, lanky and slow dudes. Serbia barely use Boban, he suffers as much at D as he provides at O very often. He's a good role player for Serbia, but nothing more.
    I'm not saying we need several such fellows, just one more in addition to Jonas Valančiūnas would be really nice though. After all, I like what I'm seeing in these pictures of Bobi:





    Or someone with a shot like 2.21 m Kristaps Porzingis:



    You know, someone opposing players can look up to!


  8. #968

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    Come on, Hepcat. You're not serious now ranking players by their pictures And, again, we barely know how to find minutes for Sabonis at 5 (where he obviously feels in his won skin, did you see how he dominated Russian bigs?) and you need another lumberjack? Come on, man...Boban is no-where near JV and Sabonis and you dreaming about Boban.
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  9. #969
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    I agree. Boban Marjanović is no where nearly as good as Sabonis or Valančiūnas. But!!! In a year like this one when Team Lietuva is short of bigs and Sabonis will be called upon to play PF much or even most of the time, I'd be delighted to have someone like Marjanović as a backup center.


  10. #970

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    Wow, finally I've got one person who is really on the same page with me. Obviously it's Sarunas Marciulionis. He named Kalnietis' usage as the main concern and issue of NT. I've been preaching this since 2016 with little feed back, not much guys seen this as serious problem, or maybe thought there's no alternatives or whatever. But we do have alternatives now. OK, don't get me wrong, I'm more than aware that Lekavicius now isn't at his top shape and isn't as much ready as he was before 2017 EB. That is clear. But also it's more than obvious he is basically underused, not only in terms of playing time, but how he is turn off from aggression, constant driving, slashing, how locked and limited his action is. I hope this is due to polishing plays and offensive sets at the moment, but we badly need more aggression from him. Give him that, test his opponents. He can beat most of his opponents with the penetration. Just let the guards to initiate the plays, don't try to throw every damn ball from perimiter to inside, let the guards go inside. Now if Lekavicius fails, and there will be such games, put Grigonis or Seibutis at 1 for some stretches. The key is to have not a washed out Kalnietis for the knock out stage. If manage that, we are one of the best teams in the WC. We have depth and I hope Adomaitis won't panic and will be able to utilize that. So far I've been convinced he will get Kalnietis to the ground as soon as with the first group stage. He doesn't trust line-ups without Kalnietis one bit so far and that's fatal mistake, an old one as well...

    At 7:36

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-9nd7dubc4
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  11. #971

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    Now explain me, how the fuck sitting down Sabonis and Grigonis just before WC make sense? I mean, seriously, I gave a word not to criticize Adomaitis much till the actual WC, but man this is just amazing...Specially with Sabonis who seemed lost at 4 thus far and there was no much playing time with him and JV either. Unless there's some injuries, I can't follow this.

    Also Adomaitis tolerates only one missed shot by Lekavicius, hit the bench, Kalnietis will handle all the freakin minutes I mean that's against Korea...
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  12. #972
    Senior Member LuDux's Avatar
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    Donatas Urbonas
    Domantas Sabonis will miss the game vs South Korea most likely due to food poisoning. He felt something in his stomach on his way to the arena. That’s the same reason why Marius Grigonis stayed at the teams hotel.


    Apology incoming, surely

  13. #973

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuDux View Post
    Apology incoming, surely
    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    . Unless there's some injuries, I can't follow this.
    Here you go.
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  14. #974

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    Loved how Giedraitis had a great shooting stretch, he needed that, he's that kind of player + hustle. Same goes to Lekavičius, he must be aggressive and shoot with confidence, we badly need his contribution. We don't have much scoring power and we need that punch from Lekavicius, and hopefully Giedraitis as well from the bench. To me, Butkevicius has been by far the best defensive SF in exhibition, Adomaitis shouldn't be hesitant to use him when Maciulis and Ulanovas sucking. Sure those 2 reads the game better offensively and in Ulanovas case has more expressed offensive game, but the differences between those three forwards are minimal at the moment, they are all pretty much on the same level, and I love our defence with Butkevicius. I even feel his face to face aggressive offence is a better fit for NT at the moment. Really hard to watch when Ulanovas or Maciulis posting up when we have JV and Sabonis in the team, unless it's super obvious mismatch. We post up too much generally. The worst part is that this way the game within rhythm stops, the movement and the game within the flow and insticts stops. We inevitably will have to post up JV and Sabonis, but if we also post up wings, the game becomes way to robotic, way to artificial and static. It's really hard to expect our backourt to feel comfortable and sharp while we use 70% of sets as as post ups. We'll need more balance and I like that Butkevicius can penetrate face to face from perimeter utilizing his athleticism.
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  15. #975
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donatas Urbonas
    Domantas Sabonis will miss the game vs South Korea most likely due to food poisoning. He felt something in his stomach on his way to the arena. That’s the same reason why Marius Grigonis stayed at the teams hotel.
    So I was reading the account of the game on Basketnews.lt and learned that Domantas Sabonis did not play due to him being "sunegalavęs/sunegelavo". Since this is a word beyond my workmanlike level of Lithuanian comprehension, I had to resort to translation programs. These translated the expression as "sighed" or "sunbathing".... I switched to Krepšinis.net where I learned that the problem was actually food poisoning.

    Of course this raises the question of what Sabonis and Marius Grigonis were eating. Hopefully they weren't sampling street vendors' fare! And what in general is the protocol for the Lithuanian team when they're travelling to exotic locales? I take it they don't bring their own cook along but just eat from a buffet set up for them in a hotel meeting room the team rents for their stay.

    This of course touches upon what can become a serious problem. A few of the members of Team Canada had contracted food poisoning in 2015 prior to a pivotal semi against Venezuela which determined which team qualified for the Olympics. Maybe Coach Adomaitis should bring his mother and a sack of Lithuanian potatoes along to prepare kugelis for the team.

    Last edited by Hepcat; 08-24-2019 at 03:21 PM.

  16. #976
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    To me, Butkevicius has been by far the best defensive SF in exhibition, Adomaitis shouldn't be hesitant to use him when Maciulis and Ulanovas sucking. Sure those 2 reads the game better offensively and in Ulanovas case has more expressed offensive game, but the differences between those three forwards are minimal at the moment, they are all pretty much on the same level, and I love our defence with Butkevicius. I even feel his face to face aggressive offence is a better fit for NT at the moment.
    Coach Jonas Kazlauskas was fond of saying that he always takes the twelve best players available for the team regardless of the position they play. If Coach Adomaitis acts according to this nostrum, Arnas Butkevičius will be selected for the team since he's easily among the twelve best players remaining in camp.

    But!!! Coach Kazlauskas himself was never actually bound by his own nostrum. So Butkevičius might end up being cut in favour of Martinas Geben who I just don't think is ready for this level currently.


  17. #977

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hepcat View Post
    Coach Jonas Kazlauskas was fond of saying that he always takes the twelve best players available for the team regardless of the position they play. If Coach Adomaitis acts according to this nostrum, Arnas Butkevičius will be selected for the team since he's easily among the twelve best players remaining in camp.
    Everyone has it's own philosophy. To me, Geben can't help even if one of our bigs would fall out with injury. But generally I don't like this "I don't care who's 11th, 12th guy", to me it's very primitive and trivial attitude. FOA, even 12th player can make a difference with tiny role, second, there's no 12th player in this team simply there's no, unless Geben is taken who is at least one level below than other guys. Butkevicius is on the same level as Ulanovas, or specially current already more or less washed out Maciulis. Personally I have an impression today Butkevicius is a better player than Maciulis, but I value Maciulis nevertheless. If you have 12 quality players, every spot matter, you can pick your 10 guys different each game.
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  18. #978

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    I'm listeting to this and face palming in most cases, Jezz:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfjiSjEI4n0
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  19. #979
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    Which part(s)? It's a pretty long piece.


  20. #980
    Senior Member Shawshank's Avatar
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    One week before tournament starts who will be 12th player is just irrevelant.Those 11-12th players will play from 10 to 30min in entire tournament,mostly in Senegal game.

    Biggest puzzle for our team is our two centers, they don't fit together and worst thing our coach couldn't even try them again in last 2 games because injuries/ illness.

    Games shows both playing and scoring way better when they are alone inside with more space.

    Will Adomaitis go with same formula as in friendlies both playing together first 6 min of 1st and 3rd querter and after that changing each other and finishing game the one which played better in that day.

    How much realistically can we play them together 12-15min per game in close game?

    Ps. Australia is on same level as in 2016 and simply it's just bad matchup wise for us.Baynes and Bogut + Landale gonna hold their own againts our bigs and we will have hands full with Ingles, Dellavedova,Mills

    Canada is dangerous team ,unknown names,but with lots of athletes and good coaching.We must dominate inside them or game can become way closer that you could think looking at rosters.

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