View Poll Results: Who will overthrow Spain as the #2 team in the world?

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  • France

    3 18.75%
  • Serbia

    5 31.25%
  • Brazil

    0 0%
  • Argentina

    0 0%
  • Lithuania

    0 0%
  • Croatia

    0 0%
  • Australia

    1 6.25%
  • Greece

    3 18.75%
  • Nigeria

    0 0%
  • Senegal

    0 0%
  • Turkey

    3 18.75%
  • Other Europe

    0 0%
  • Other Americas

    1 6.25%
  • Other Africa

    0 0%
  • Other Asia

    0 0%
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Thread: Who (If Anybody) Will Overthrow Spain As The #2 Team In The World?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by R1ou View Post
    He is joining this year.
    I don’t think you can definitively say that 7 months before the tournament. There are many variables excluding injury that can arise. What if Milwaukee makes a deep run into the playoffs and then he chooses to rest this summer instead.
    But if I had to bet on it right now I would probably lean towards him participating, I just don’t think it’s as certain as you may think.

  2. #22
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    The reason why Greek Freak's contribution to the national team is risky because he would be the leading member of the Greece. That's different than NBA stars joining to the national team, let's say stars like Lebron, Kyrie, Harden, George, CP3, Davis, Curry, Klay and Durant joined USA, then they can only play 10 minutes per games and avoid being tired too much and not risk an injury.

    But if Greek Freak joins Greece, then he is the leader of the team and he needs to play like 30 minutes per games, which would tire him more and I guess he will already come to Greece with a very tired mindset after playing 82 NBA games + playoffs.

    Which is why players like Nowitzki and Pau Gasol are true legends, especially Nowitzki played like almost every tournament with a very limited Germany team even when he also played at NBA playoffs. We never really get enough contribution from Memo and Hedo in the past for that reason, they never showed true potential in national team. Even though when Memo and Hedo were mostly shooters like Nowitzki.

    But the difference between Greek Freak and Nowitzki is their playing style. Nowitzki is a shooter player while Greek Freak penetrates and dribbles a lot, and he is a physical beast plays only with athleticism unlike a sharp shooter like Nowitzki. Which increases the level of the pressure on his body and risks an injury more.
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  3. #23
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    Hedo and Memo in the same breath as Giannis, Gasol and Nowitzki.
    I rest my case.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by usagre View Post
    Hedo and Memo in the same breath as Giannis, Gasol and Nowitzki.
    I rest my case.
    I was talking about not getting enough contribution from them because they were coming to national team tired or they simply didn't want to risk an injury, I already said Nowitzki and Gasol are true legends because they also played well in their national team. That could be the case for Greek Freak even if he joins to Greece.

    Where did I say they are in the same level with them? Memo and Hedo were important players in NBA, but obviously they were not stars like Gasol and Nowitzki. Let's stay on the topic and not a create stupid discussion.
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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tevfik1907 View Post
    I was talking about not getting enough contribution from them because they were coming to national team tired or they simply didn't want to risk an injury, I already said Nowitzki and Gasol are true legends because they also played well in their national team. That could be the case for Greek Freak even if he joins to Greece.

    Where did I say they are in the same level with them? Let's stay on the topic and not create stupid discussion.
    Then let your point stand on its own. Including a couple of players that don’t belong anywhere near those superstars no matter what their importance is to their relative national teams is pointless. You are minimizing the greatness of the elite player when you throw in clearly inferior players in the discussion.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by usagre View Post
    Then let your point stand on its own. Including a couple of players that don’t belong anywhere near those superstars no matter what their importance is to their relative national teams is pointless. You are minimizing the greatness of the elite player when you throw in clearly inferior players in the discussion.
    I asked this, can Greek Freak play like Nowitzki as he did play with a very limited team Germany in the past.

    There are many questions;

    - He might not come to the national team. It's a possibility.
    - He might come, but he might not play well due to being tired or not taking any risk like getting injured, just like other NBA players did in the past on their national teams.

    You can't guarantee that he will join the team, and play like Nowitzki for that reason. Also another reason is the big difference between their styles. Nowitzki is a shooter while Greek Freak is mainly playing with his physicality. That's why, due to the difference between the styles, Greek Freak might not be effective in national team like Nowitzki did, due to not wanting to take any injury risks.

    Considering the best scenario for Greece, he will play well and taking every risks, then I would say Greece is a main contender, because unlike that Germany team, Greece has much better players on top Euroleague level.
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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tevfik1907 View Post
    I asked this, can Greek Freak play like Nowitzki as he did play with a very limited team Germany in the past.

    There are many questions;

    - He might not come to the national team. It's a possibility.
    - He might come, but he might not play well due to being tired or not taking any risk like getting injured, just like other NBA players did in the past on their national teams.

    You can't guarantee that he will join the team, and play like Nowitzki for that reason. Also another reason is the big difference between their styles. Nowitzki is a shooter while Greek Freak is mainly playing with his physicality. That's why, due to the difference between the styles, Greek Freak might not be effective in national team like Nowitzki did, due to not wanting to take any injury risks.
    I agree with all of the above. Just the Hedo-Memo inclusion seemed like a lot of homerism. Those guys were nice nba players but not anywhere near the level of those guys so you just threw them in their because they are a couple of your favorites. Nowitzki is an excellent comparison, in the mid 2000’s he was a top 5 player in the NBA just like Giannis.
    And he led his limited national teams to silver in Eurobasket and a bronze at the worlds. It remains to be seen if Giannis can duplicate that.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by usagre View Post
    I agree with all of the above. Just the Hedo-Memo inclusion seemed like a lot of homerism. Those guys were nice nba players but not anywhere near the level of those guys so you just threw them in their because they are a couple of your favorites. Nowitzki is an excellent comparison, in the mid 2000’s he was a top 5 player in the NBA just like Giannis.
    And he led his limited national teams to silver in Eurobasket and a bronze at the worlds. It remains to be seen if Giannis can duplicate that.
    Which is why, if the best scenario happens then Greece has a chance to be the second or the third best team. Because Germany was almost a second tier European team without Nowitzki not even a single Euroleague playoff level player was on that team, yet he was still carrying his team to the top 8 or even semi-finals alone.

    Greece has important Euroleague level players like Sloukas, Calathes, Papanikolau, Printezis etc. A top NBA player like Greek Freak can do much better with a team like that.

    Of course that's a very low possibility, joining to the national team first and then risking an injury and playing with his full potential. I would say it's a %20 possibility.
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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terrorizer View Post
    I suspect that France and Canada have the best chances due to the fact that, I believe, depth of the roster should become more and more of a factor in determining who can become the second to US. For the first of the mentioned teams the main problem is finding a proper system and managing a forthcoming generation change and for the latter it's a question if their star players will finally become integral parts of a well-coached, strong-willed team.

    I'm quite surprised to see Australia getting mentioned here - most of their "potential NBA star" prospects are rapidly turning into busts and there is not much quality behind those. Right now there are almost none Australian players in European top competitions and that says a lot. And while NBL progresses a lot, it's still far, far behind top European leagues. I mean, let's take four leading teams of this NBL season. These are United, Kings, Wildcats and Bullets. And let's look at domestic output in these teams: in the first one leading scorers among Australians are David Barlow (35 y.o.), Chris Goulding (30 y.o.) and Mitch McCarron (26 y.o.); in the second one there are Kevin Lisch (32 y.o.), Andrew Bogut (34 y.o.), Brad Newley (33 y.o.) and Daniel Kickert (35 y.o.); in the third one we have just Nick Kay (26 y.o.) and Mitch Norton (25 y.o.) while in the fourth one NT eligible players with decent output are Cameron Gliddon (29 y.o.), Reuben Te Rangi (24 y.o.), Cameron Bairstow (28 y.o.), Jason Cadee (27 y.o.) and Matt Hodgson (27 y.o.). Some of these guys, mostly the older ones, played in Europe and some had decent seasons here but the fact that they are back in Australia is hardly due to the fact that NBL stalwarts are winning a race with top European teams to secure services of these brilliant players. So, speaking frankly, who of these guys can transfer their game successfully to the best European standards? Having in mind that Americans who dominate this league weren't dominating any competition worthy of mention here in Europe, that doesn't look to me like a quality-packed league brimming with tons of up-and-coming domestic talents. And those Aussies in NBA are mostly nonremarkable players aside from Ben Simmons. Exum, for example, was drafted fifth back in 2014 and he averages less than 17 minutes per game (and less than 8 points) this season, while another lottery pick, Thon Maker, plays garbage time and Dellavedova finally hit the predictable deadend of his fairytale-turn-true story. Behind Simmons, ageing Patty Mills and totally mediocre Joe Ingles are Aussie "best" NBA players. It's not a good sign, for sure.

    I think you are underselling Australia a little. They have much more depth than you mention with 11 players in the NBA.

    Ben Simmons & Jonah Bolden (PHI), Joe Ingles & Dante Exum (UTA), Matthew Dellavedova & Deng Adel (CLE), Patty Mills (SAS), Aron Baynes (BOS), Thon Maker (MIL) & Ryan Broekhoff (DAS).

    Although quite a few are borderline players getting few minutes they are be equivalent to decent EuroLeague players. If they had full turnout they likely have something like this.

    Starters: Baynes, Bolden, Ingles, Mills, Simmons.

    Bench: Delly, Exum, Maker, Brockhoeff, Deng, Humphries and Creek.


    Loads of other names out there besides the ones you mention like Jock Landale and Brock Motum.

    This would be a hard nosed defensive team per usual but still might have trouble scoring. Could see Simmons driving and kicking to Ingles or Mills, or offloading to Baynes/Bolden in the post being pretty efficient. Similarly with Exum having time at PG. Both first step past their defender easy enough at FIBA level verus most countries. Still spacing could be an issue but there is real depth there.

    I’d put them right among the 6 or 8 medal contenders depending on who shows up (as goes for all the contenders besides the US - it all depends who shows).

  10. #30

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    Few days ago I wanted to write this reply, but luckily mojo did. Totally agree. I would even say Australia is among top 5 if fully packed - USA, Serbia, Australia, France, Spain.

    On other hand, to me Greece with Giannis and overall Canada are dark horses of the tournament.
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  11. #31
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    Sorry for a late answer but I have a lot of work to do recently.

    Quote Originally Posted by mojo13 View Post
    I’d put them right among the 6 or 8 medal contenders depending on who shows up (as goes for all the contenders besides the US - it all depends who shows).
    Well, I think that I would also put them among 8 to 10 medal contenders next to USA (most of the European national teams who will qualify - and some who won't also would be viewed as such should they be more successful in qualification - plus Canada plus Argentina). But here people name them as a leader of this pack of "medal contenders" and I clearly don't see them as such.

    Quote Originally Posted by mojo13 View Post
    I think you are underselling Australia a little. They have much more depth than you mention with 11 players in the NBA.

    Ben Simmons & Jonah Bolden (PHI), Joe Ingles & Dante Exum (UTA), Matthew Dellavedova & Deng Adel (CLE), Patty Mills (SAS), Aron Baynes (BOS), Thon Maker (MIL) & Ryan Broekhoff (DAS).
    You know, most people would say that I have some sort of a neagtive bias towards NBA and it may be somewhat true but the number of NBAers (or even NBA stars) was never something which easily translates into international success in FIBA competitions. I remember times when our Italian friends were overecstatic when their trio of NBA stars (Bargnani, Gallinari, Bellinelli) finally came to play for the national team - and the first two were real NBA stars back then with Bellinelli bordering on that status, so current Australia doesn't have a trio of NBA players with similar level of success in NBA. Yet their Eurobasket results from that era were 20th, 8th and 6th places (by the way, I predicted this sort of underachievement).

    But let's take a closer look towards the players youv'e mentioned. Simmons is young and we have to see how he will mature but nevertheless it's a given that he is not only an NBA star in the making but also a player with a potential to be a difference maker in the FIBA basketball where he can play (and defend) multiple positions. Nevertheless, he has his Achilles' heel in the way he is such a clumsy shooter (a big deficiency for someone who likes to have a ball in his hands, ask Nick Calathes) and also his level of concentration, especially in defense, is questionable. He certainly would put off-the-charts individual stats playing for Australia but will he make his team a medal contender the way prime-time Dirk made Germany one is a big burning question. His NCAA story with LSU wasn't promising, for sure. And what sort of basketball players he is surrounded with?

    Patty Mills is the best of them but he is getting older and, hence, he loses his main strength - speed. He is terribly undersized for a SG even for FIBA standards and he is one of the very worst passers among PG in NBA which is a hard feat to achieve. Plus he likes to have a ball in his hands and his extreme offensive egoism makes him a huge liability in FIBA-style basketball. I mean, he is a quality offensive option but it's not for nothing that once Olympics or WC come a player like Kalnietis becomes much more of a desirable option than a player like Mills.

    Ingles is a living testament of how much modern NBA sucks. He is a complete mediocrity, a jack of all trades but certainly a master of none. He came to NBA aged 26 and before that his best EL season (out of 4) was the one when he averaged 6.4 ppg. Yes, you read it right, 6.4, not 16.4. The fact that he is one of the main players for a moderately successful NBA team just says how really fucked up NBA is.

    Which leads us to the fact that Exum who struggles to get a decent playing time in this very team is rapidly progressing his way onto Anthony Bennett-levels of draft bust. 5th place out of high school in a draft which was almost 5 years ago - and he definitely doesn't look like someone who lives up to the potential he once showed.

    Jonah Bolden is a player whom I liked when he played in Europe but he is very young and very raw. I hope he will get back to Europe soon as he has a playing style much more fitting to his (potential) advantages in Europe and here he can progress a lot (he's athletic enough for Europe and his lanky, agile sort of athleticism is much more fit for our realities than pure 'musclehead supreme' athleticism prevalent in NBA and also he's not a creator, he's a 'system player', someone who could be quite effective in a well-oiled, multifaceted offensive system but will struggle when left on his own). Yet in the 76ers squad this year he loses a competition for a playing time to people like Mike Muscala, and Mike Muscala is so clumsy and retarded that you really start to feel a pity towards NBA flying circus if players like these can stick there for many years.

    Baynes showed some promise 6-7 years ago but he never quite fulfilled it, despite being able to safeguard his place in NBA (or maybe because of it?). Yet his history in NBA is the one of slow degradation, which seems to be accelerating this season. He was very fit, strong and powerful, moreover he moved fast, now he looks (and moves) like a massively overweight and moderately inebirated slumberjack who is slow like molasses and this will be exploited on FIBA scene. Well, Baynes was eaten up by Raduljica, a player of similar set of strengths and weaknesses, and he became only more slow, more fat-ass and more apathetic since those times.

    Delly is an NBA unlikely Cinderella whose only major strength is defensive tenacity which is exciting only for current "why should you bother to defend" NBA mentality. In international basketball he's no better than some Rok Stipcevic, maybe, even worse. Broeckhoeff is an excellent, hard-working role player with supreme shooting skills. Keyword here is "role" - if he has his clearly cut adequate role in an excellently organized team with fluidly flowing offense, then he can be deadly with his three pointers and a little bit of everything else he does. If he has no such role or if his team is shovenly organized, then he is a complete non-factor. And truth to be said, Australia with its current roster looks closer to the second description. Thon Maker is long - three years since he was drafted (10th, let's talk about Canadoaustralian major draft busts) it is still his only true strength. Ike Humphries showed a lot of promise once (a common trait among Aussie youngsters, there are tons of them showing a lot of promise) but look where is he now - averaging less than 10 points per game for Erie Bay Hawks.

    Jock Landale is too young (though certainly promising, I liked him in NCAA for that lil' Assie newfound haven in St. Mary and it's great to see him in Europe) and Brock Motum is like Baynes-lite, currently more fit and, hence, singinificantly less clumsy yet also less physically strong.

    Truth is that Australia lacks: a) true stars; b) non-star players who are great offensive organizators (someone like Kruno Simon - and no, Joe Ingles is not the one); c) depth of its roster. Let's compare them to Canada: NBA Canadian representation also fails to live up to all the promises of major domination experts were giving to them (Stauskas as a new Reggie Miller, Bennett as a first pick, Tristan Thompson as a major star - share with me some shit y'all were smoking back in the day) but it's more powerful than an Australian one and there is one major factor which makes Canada three levels above Australia - there is a major abundance of high quality Canadian players in the top non-NBA leagues (which are still European leagues, for sure). Pangos plays for Barca, Ejim plays for UNICS, Wiltjer plays for Unicaja, Scrubb bros play for Zenit and Varese and so on, and so forth. If some of Canadian NBAers are not coming or if they hurt team chemistry, then there will be enough of quality options to compensate. Canada's sixth or seventh option on PG position is someone like Kenny Chery who is a quality player through and through (and a potential starter for many other national teams). Who is third option for Australia on this very position? Is it still Damian Martin?

    Quote Originally Posted by mojo13 View Post
    Loads of other names out there besides the ones you mention like Jock Landale and Brock Motum.
    Who do you mean exactly?

    Quote Originally Posted by mojo13 View Post
    This would be a hard nosed defensive team per usual but still might have trouble scoring.
    Yep, here I do agree. But I guess that I want to see something more than that for Spain's successor as a "#2 team in the world".

    Quote Originally Posted by mojo13 View Post
    Could see Simmons driving and kicking to Ingles or Mills, or offloading to Baynes/Bolden in the post being pretty efficient.
    For the fist option - once again "yep", especially if we substitute Ingles for Broeckhoeff (which Ausiie coach won't have gall to do, most probably). Moreover for the teams which don't camp their defenses in the paint Simmons could easily exploit his defenders due to him being a natural mismatch for just about anyone and storming through to score buckets in the paint by himself. Offloading to Baynes/Bolden is more problematic, I guess, but nevertheless let's count it as a major offensive option also. But the major question is: is this enough? And the second one: enough for what?

    I think it's enough for being not written off from the list of potential medal contenders. I think it's enough for a great run (maybe, even a medal run) in any given major international tournament if the stars are aligning the right way, Simmons is in his top form, coach is doing a great job and everything goes bright (something lalong the lines of Rio-2016, only with Simmons and on a greater scale). But in this sort of situation Slovenia can become a EuroBasket champion (then failing qualification to WC - and, no, not having G.Dragic/Doncic/Randolph is not enough of an excuse for playing like that for a team with such a history) and Macedonia can finish an (un)lucky shot outside of medal podium (where is it now?). But does this Australia look like a team posed to carve out a niche similar to the one occupied by Spaniards from 2006 to 2016? I.e., a role where your team is able to finish in medals in three successive Olympics and continuously outshine extremely tough European competition for almost a decade (there were 6 Eurobaskets from 2007 to 2017 - Spain won three of these, was second once and third twice, in the same time period France and Lithuania finished in medals three times while Russia and Serbia did it twice). I think that the answer to this latter question is a resounding NO
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  12. #32
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    Great rebuttal and I agree with much you say.
    In my own personal defense I was not presenting Australia as Spain's heir, rather that they are in the mix for the top 8 or so. I am no champion of Australia nor can speak to them to the depth you did. My comment was they you seemed overly dismissive of them and I think they should clearly be in the conversation. I don't think there is any clear #2, but do think the competition is very is close among a large number of teams, which will make this summer very exciting. Spain is old, Serbia is steady and deep as usual, France has so many options, Greece has the Giannis question, Canada is raw and inexperience and so on. So much variability can unfold this summer and 2020.

    In your commentary towards Canada - I'm happy to see your commendation for some of our European based pros (Pangos, Wiltjer, the Scrubbs, Ejim). They are underappreciated in Canada and most here don't realize their value. There is a fairly strong and small support group of Canadian fans who see what they can bring to the table. But most think that anyone who is touching the NBA is a superior player by default with no consideration to FIBA gameplay and experience (for you to reference the quality of Kenny Chery shows you may know more about Canadian bball than 99% of Canadian bball fans). Personally I still expect a good number of NBA no shows this summer and we may be better for iit. I expect 50-75% NBA turnout and expect 3 or 4 of Ejim, Pangos, Wiltjer, Tommy Scrubb, Phil Scrubb and Brady Heslip on the roster - depending on position needs. Even if we had full NBA participation I'd expect Melvin Ejim on this summers team no matter what - he has been the heart and soul of the NT for the past few years and is a very versatile roll player.

    My ideal team would be something like:

    Cory Joseph
    Jamal Murray
    Dillon Brooks
    Tristan Thompson
    Kelly Olynyk

    Kevin Pangos
    Nik Stuaskas
    Shai Gilgeous Alexander
    Thomas Scrubb
    Melvin Ejim
    Dwight Powell
    Khem Birch


    I just don't think Andrew Wiggins or Trey Lyles will play, but I'd make room for them. I don't really want RJ Barrett on this summer's team. And I sort of think Shai Gilgeous Alexander (very unfortunately) won't play as the Clippers are supposedly quite against their players participating in FIBA, so Phil Scrubb could easily slide in there. You point out Kenny Chery, but I don't think he is much involved with Team Canada (unfortunately). But the depth is still there with Tyler Ennis, Dylan Ennis, Xavier Rathan Mayes, Anthony Bennett, Andrew Nicholson, Kyle Wiltjer, Brady Heslip and a dozens of other pretty good players to slot into roles if need. I believe we used 35+ different players in the qualification process.
    Last edited by mojo13; 02-05-2019 at 07:36 PM.

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