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Thread: 2020 Lithuanian NT: in a chase of Olympic dream

  1. #181
    Moderator Mindozas's Avatar
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    Indeed, 2012 was a tough one. That crazy game vs Puerto-Rico, besides that traveling, acclimatization, awful conditions, home cooking. We were lucky that we had Kleiza ready, his missing in 2011 was vital and in 2012 it was many questions regarding his participation, but he took a risk. Then we didn't need that much of preparations when we had Saras and Kalnietis at point - improvisation was at top level. Anyway we complained about PG back then, but now we could only wish to have that duo Good that at least we won't have to cope with that travelling, acclimatization, poor conditions stuff. We just need to have the players ready and fresh as much as possible. It will be important when our players will finish the season. I'm not much into NBA, but I guess Indiana and Memphis should finish their season early, maybe even won't make it to PO, especially JV club. I see LKL finals will start only on 31st of May... so at best we will finish the season on 6th June. But it's not a big deal maybe. Grigonis, Lekavicius, Ulanovas should have enough rest after EL regular season is over. Kalnietis and Kuzminskas hardly will make it to VTB finals, semis at best IMO, so May it is. That's the core if I didn't forget someone.
    Regarding the draw, I'd surely pick Poland to our OQT from 2nd seed. Or Brazil. Czechs is well gelled unit, again core plays together all season long and that benefits them a lot. They has system, Satoransky fits great, only Vesely is dead now, but still such teams is dangerous, they can shoot the lights out and has nothing to lose. Italy also shooting team, has go to guys like Gallinari, Belinelli. In one single game if we'd meet them in semi or final anything can happen. Not that we should be afraid of someone, we must beat any of them, but the easier path will be the better. From 3rd seed I'd pick Puerto-Rico. From 4th would like to avoid Germany. Venezuela or Dominicana would be just fine. 5th/6th, just for the record, Korea and Angola


  2. #182

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    Sabonis may go deep into the PO and he's playing tons of minutes so he's at high risk, IMO.

    I don't know, objectively looking we should absolutely grab it. On other hands, failures in 2016, 2017, 2019. The last time we succeeded is 2015 which was a little miracle. I don't feel we have a winning vibe around, I do feel we are shaky and out of identity. The narrative "we play around JV because we have what we have" have been a failure. Some people think 2019 campaign wasn't all that bad and they have a point, but that's the half empty, half full glass argument because we went -18 or so against both Australia and France. At the moment I would describe NT condition as crisis and I see 2020 as a chance to re-discover our identity, to see where we truly stand and to show that we learned something from 2016-2019 period.
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  3. #183

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    I knew you will come with exactly these contra-arguments Here we go.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    STF in every comment is biased against Valanciunas its getting boring.Our best player in last 5 years is main reason by this forum expert thats why we failed in couple tournaments.Who cares that Valanciunas was the last ltu player that made all tournament team,who cares that our backourt is at best very average one .It always Valanciunas fault
    Weak cognitive action, man. We build around JV last 4-5 years, that's a fact. We failed, a fact. That's all. Only sour homers can see some JV antagonism here. I criticize idea to build around JV, not JV per se. Could we win with different tactics? I don't know. But I know we failed with these tactics. This I said a complete true, simply stated a fact. Is three tournaments enough to understand that it's not a good tactics? I believe so, unless jv himself would establish some sort of dominance and lead us to success in 2020, but I can't see this happening. My thesis, we bond to fail building around JV because that's against all systems of conteprorary basketball.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    He even decided that if oponents dont have good centers we need to go small and do not attack teams like Italy or Turks inside where obviuosly are there weakest spots of those teams.Somehow i didnt see Serbia going small and totally dominating inside such small teams like Italy year after year in this decade.
    JV's defensive flaws > JV's low post coring
    JV gives to little at offensive end that he could justify his horrific p'n'r defence. Even when there's Lumberjack as his opponent which is rarer and rarer these days, he can't switch he can step out, thus we receiving threes and all sort of defensive problems.
    Nice that you mentioned Serbia, second most talented team in WC after USA which completely screwed it's potential and identity exactly because played to beefy centers and kept Jokic at 4.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    So what the point to have world class frontcourt and dont use it? Attack where opponents are weak is logical way.Never heard that if opponents dont have good centers,its means we should go small and dont take advantage of that.But maybe basketball in 2010s is changing so fast and its not even ethical anymore to take advantage of your size.
    You can do it if your center is not black hole at D as Valanciunas is against mobile, good shooting teams. I never said we shouldn't do it with Sabonis and Gudaitis. Those can hurt you offensively and to play solid D. JV at this point is high risk, modest award old-school center in conteporary basketball. And, yeah, that's global tendency. Don't you have any ides why 27yo prime JV is not unleashed at trashy NBA team as Memphis? Because they are building around young mobile, trending type players who will make a winning team in the future. JV is not build for wins in contemporary basketball, that's a fact. That's reality, cruel one, but reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    btw Pacers deep playoofs run really?
    May go deep, yes. They have a good roster, even with Turner, Lamb, Dipo out they were grabbing wins. If all these parts will come into one, they can be a force and to get to second round, IMO.
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  4. #184

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    Where Shaw's comment gone? Did you changed your mind?
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  5. #185
    Senior Member madmax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    I knew you will come with exactly these contra-arguments Here we go.



    Weak cognitive action, man. We build around JV last 4-5 years, that's a fact. We failed, a fact. That's all. Only sour homers can see some JV antagonism here. I criticize idea to build around JV, not JV per se. Could we win with different tactics? I don't know. But I know we failed with these tactics. This I said a complete true, simply stated a fact. Is three tournaments enough to understand that it's not a good tactics? I believe so, unless jv himself would establish some sort of dominance and lead us to success in 2020, but I can't see this happening. My thesis, we bond to fail building around JV because that's against all systems of conteprorary basketball.



    JV's defensive flaws > JV's low post coring
    JV gives to little at offensive end that he could justify his horrific p'n'r defence. Even when there's Lumberjack as his opponent which is rarer and rarer these days, he can't switch he can step out, thus we receiving threes and all sort of defensive problems.
    Nice that you mentioned Serbia, second most talented team in WC after USA which completely screwed it's potential and identity exactly because played to beefy centers and kept Jokic at 4.



    You can do it if your center is not black hole at D as Valanciunas is against mobile, good shooting teams. I never said we shouldn't do it with Sabonis and Gudaitis. Those can hurt you offensively and to play solid D. JV at this point is high risk, modest award old-school center in conteporary basketball. And, yeah, that's global tendency. Don't you have any ides why 27yo prime JV is not unleashed at trashy NBA team as Memphis? Because they are building around young mobile, trending type players who will make a winning team in the future. JV is not build for wins in contemporary basketball, that's a fact. That's reality, cruel one, but reality.



    May go deep, yes. They have a good roster, even with Turner, Lamb, Dipo out they were grabbing wins. If all these parts will come into one, they can be a force and to get to second round, IMO.
    what do you mean exactly when you claim "we are building around JV and failing"? Do we have any other option really, since I haven't noticed a single player that we could build around in recent years - not even your beloved Domas could muster a single good international tournament so far...so it looks to me like we are out of options here, since we don't really have Doncic level talent in our country to build around for many years to come.
    As far as Jonas and Grizzlies go, Memphis is blatantly tanking, since they look much better with JV on the floor and whenever their young mobile talent takes the floor, the opponent lead skyrockets too I don't think that's a coincidence either, as neither Morant nor JJ are experienced enough to lead NBA team to wins yet. Jonas' minutes are also limited because of his foot injury earlier in the preseason

  6. #186
    Senior Member Shawshank's Avatar
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    I still don't understand why we should go againts Italy or turkey small teams go small ball.We should attack exactly there with our bigs.

    Serbia had one bad tournament in 5 years and lost to 2 finalist in 2019, their big team with 3-4 centers had fantastic results recently.And was killing such small teams inside like Italy .

    So now not only Sabonis ,but also Gudaitis is better this is getting ridiculous.Motiejunas also right?

    Grizzlies is not trying to win but develop young guns.On that team everybody plays 20 min like 10 guys rotation,they simply aren't interested in winning.Thats why I didn't like Jonas desicion sign with them.They are in tanking/ rebuilding period now.

    JV in this 20 min puts double digits averages as always, what you want from him? When you shoot 6 shots per game average you can't do much more in 20 min.

    When JV played 35 min and was got feeded he average 20 pts in last 20 games last season.When Jonas is getting touches and minutes he has no problems scoring 20 pts it doesn't matter in fiba or NBA.

    I repeat every your comment on this nt section is JV biased related and trying to prove how because of JV we lost.That total bullshit and you know it.

    Jonas played around 23 min in NT so it was more than enough minutes without him and did our NT perform better in those minutes? Answer is NO.

    Do play alot by our by far most talented player in 2014-2019 was mistake? Answer is no.

    Jonas played well by far most eff our offensive players in last 5 years that's a fact.

    Without 3 Jonas combination there would be no silver medals in 2015 that's a fact.

    We just don't have enough on perimeter compared to elite teams and it's hard to win in today era medal with such limitations on perimeter.

    JV had nothing to do with that.And doesn't matter how much you will repeat over and over again same fairy tale here, we lost not because JV ,we lost because on perimeter we have seriuos problems.

    In 2020 we still will have Mantas brain, but after that it can be even worse.With all respect to Lukas he is scorer and 16-17 min player on highest level,but he is not playmaker and it's seems he won't become such.He gets alot shit from Sharas because of that.

    Zalgiris also loosing because of very poor guard play.Grigonis is only bright star on perimeter in last 5 years in ltu basketball.

    I'm talking why we deservedly can't make semifinal anymore in NT competion.But to make top 8 we have enough.

    But it's getting not fun from Marcela,Kurtinaitis,Chomicius to Sharas,Siskauskas,Macijauskas to Kalnietis,Seibutis,Pocius to Grigonis, Lekavicius it's getting worse and worse in perimeter.
    Last edited by Shawshank; 11-24-2019 at 03:57 AM.

  7. #187

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    Grizzlies are rebuilding not tanking. They are looking for wins and their best options for a long term success. And when JV was scoring his 18-20pts was he doing that for a PO winning team? No. Why he at his prime was traded from the winning team? Do you guys ever answered these questions to yourself or keep pretending that it never happen? I can only quote this portion:


    Jonas has proven he can be a 20 points per game scorer, but it would require slowing the tempo down more than Jenkins likely wants to and would take away so many quick assists opportunities away from Ja Morant. I understand Ja seems to be ecstatic publicly about the idea of starting alongside Jonas, the 7'1 265lbs bruiser is also not a prime candidate for the Alley Oops finisher badge & although he's capable, he hasn't done much of it in the past.

    Defensively Jonas is a solid post defender, who is surprisingly active & a proven banger, but has no business switching onto wing players or the perimeter. Problem is that's almost required in today's NBA of position-less basketball. The best way to maximize value is obviously slowing the game down into half court sets & feeding the post to Jonas or hoping he gets to the offensive rebound fast enough for put backs.

    Brandon Clarke is the total opposite of Jonas in theory. As a smaller, faster big man, Clarke like Jaren and Ja will look to run the break as much as possible to utilize his elite potential as an athletic rim runner & fast break scorer.

    What's most impressive about Clarke is his intensity and intelligence. Clarke is almost always reliable for cutting to the basket to bail out the ball handler when things go south during a play. That is just a small glimpse of not only his intellect but his thirst for being productive. His mind works like a computer in a sense, always searching for ways to contribute on the court in any situation, which usually leads to high level production. He's actually a natural with that, which is a talent in itself.

    I project Brandon Clarke to of course develop behind Jonas and Jaren for the first part of the season, but as time goes on & I say around all star break give or take, Brandon will have proven to be a mainstay in the lineup. The team wont be competing for a playoff spot anyway - as a result, the demand for playing Jonas just won’t be as high. Jaren will need to get more minutes at center anyway if that's possibly his long-term position. I certainly see Clarke's floor being an important Swiss army role player, but I can also see Brandon becoming the star he was at Gonzaga in the NBA. He has that dog in him along with the physical gifts & hoops IQ to match.


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  8. #188

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    That Shaw almost never listen and keep putting words into my mouth I already used to, but will give quick analytical carcass anyway. Was building around JV in 2014-2019 stretch a mistake theoretically? At 2014-2015 absolutely not. At 2016 there were already strong small ball, and the decline of tranditional bruisers tendencies all over NBA/EL/FIBA, but let's say theoretically we went with what we got and that's OK. Did that turned out a failure? Yes. We badly lost our last three tournaments being kicked out of top 8 spots in last 2 tournaments. Is there anyone to blame? No. Is there something to learn from this? Yes, and that's - building around JV not bringing wins, it's not working. Even when we got extremely good stretch in the games against France (against Austalia JV sucked, deal with the fact) and there was great chemistry between JV who was setting tough screens and scoring due Grigonis/Lekavicius, we still lost the game exactly because of JV's p'n'r defence. JV's presence is not build for wins in conteporary basketball, deal with that, you risking more than you realistically aiming for wins, our D with JV will always be virtually naked in crunch time. You can fantasize how this can be overcome, but in reality it's fatal flaw. That's why Casey never played JV in 4th quarters, and sour homers (including myself back then) were blaming Casey all the time.

    Now, 2019 and specially 2020 is completely different story than 2014-2017 stretch. We have new best player Sabonis. Gudaitis is a beast if he's healthy. Grigonis and Lekavicius are ready to be the best guards of ours. Kuzminskas and Ulanovas are ready for some real action. We have much more tools than we had in some 2015. Thus, I'm saying we have to change our strategy, to build around mobile, all around Sabonis at 5 who is also our best player, to bring more vital ball movement and perimeter action instead of pounding the ball inside all the time. If that won't be done, we surely will stay on the losing path, IMO.

    Now about 2015 miracle. At the knock out stage, Maciulis went with 70pts, 26rbd, 8as, Kalnietis with 50pts, 33as, 12rbds, Valanciunas 56pts, 27rbds, 2as. Even in 2015, under the system where everything was set around him, he managed to be only a third dog statistically, which is still very good, but the narrative how JV was dominant force and by far the best player of ours is a myth. Even by averages which he usually stat pad against teams without centers (as Belgium and Italy in 2015) he could never scored more than 16pts per game in FIBA even if the system was all set and oiled for him. And he never ever generated most points in the NT, never was the best player in other words (find me the best player who doesn't generate most points, let alone never did).

    JV used to be top three material in the NT, but never managed to perform as true best player and to lead NT to success. Those are facts.
    Last edited by Straight forward; 11-24-2019 at 12:13 PM.
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  9. #189

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    Judging from latest Maskoliunas' interview, he wants as many Zalgiris players as possible, so I guess Milaknis if he's healthy pretty much in and I wouldn't even be sure Jankunas surely out even if I think he shouldn't be in. According to coach the NT system won't be identical to Zalgiris, but pretty much similar. Few cents, I hope we'll see more of the 'three p'n'r per possession" and "guards, wings ripping the defence from perimeter" side of that system, than "looking for shooters of the screens" and "throwing the ball inside" side. 60/40 balance would be my choice. Meaning less pounding the ball inside for centers, allowing even more freedom to Grigonis, Lekavicius, and specially more to Kuzminskas (compared to what he had in 2019). I believe what Kuz lacking is tons of playing time in the first place and have a feeling Loko is a perfect place for him now. We need to use him at SF as well and to give him freedom to play face to face offence and to dominate in transition. If Kuz would somehow rehabilitate his EB 2017 self when he was basically feasting at offensive end, I would be much more optimistic about our chances and upside this summer.

    Lekavicius
    Grigonis, Milaknis
    Ulanovas
    Jankunas
    Last edited by Straight forward; 11-25-2019 at 01:57 PM.
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  10. #190

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    With these words Kuz drops 19pts! It's great that he's playing around 30 minutes in these 2 games with Loko. That's what he needs, to get his rhythm and confidence back. Think about it, the last complete season with the expressed consistent offensive role he had in 2015-2016 with Unicaja. After than inconsistent campaign with Knicks and spending half of the year without basketball. Than so so season with Armani, than another horribly inconsistent season with the same Italian club and complete misfit in OLY at the start of the season. So realistically only now he's to get consistent role with LOKO after 4 years basically. Let him run for 30 minutes each night and give him his shots and he may resemble of the best European forwards in the making again.

    I see three players that I think should be the keys of 2020. It's Sabonis, Grigonis and Kuzminskas. Those three are good fit for modern, contemporary basketball and have all around skills to lead the NT offensively. First 2 doing great (hopefully Grigonis' injury won't throw him out for long) and now there's sparkles of Kuz as well. Others should be deputies with JV, Kalnietis, Lekavicius, Ulanovas in the first places.
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  11. #191
    Moderator Mindozas's Avatar
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    Well, let's wait and see what will happen with Kuz. Loko has too much foreigners now, Dekker who plays in his position, was the one who was sitting out the game, who knows what will happen later. Might be some rotation which won't go in favour of Kuz and Kalnietis. I just hope that Kuban will qualify to next round of Eurocup, for both our guys to stay in competition for longer time and play more bball. VTB alone won't be enough + already mentioned foreigners limit.
    Regarding Grigonis, it's not really an injury, more like consequences of longterm discomfort. As much as I'm familiar with such cases, surgery will be needed. Problem shouldn't get worse, he can play with painkillers, but he needs to practice, as his shape is obviously getting worse, but to do that he would have to have injections everyday. I don't think its wise thing to do. The same like just play and don't practice. It can't last long. With Rivers aboard and adjusting, Grigonis should undergo surgery, I'm sure he doesn't want to now, when club is having hard time in EL, but decision must be made


  12. #192

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    Man, Dekker is a borderline NBA players as well. He's not worse than Kuz. I really would love to see him running for thirty minutes, I feel that would benefit him even at lower level than LOKO is playing.

    Listened to Maskoliunas TV3 interview and there were some hits that I liked and disliked. I disliked his sentence "I surely will invite D-MO". Really? I just hope he meant EB quallies, just to see him and ect. Because what he's going to do with 4 centers, as the hierarchy goes like that - Sabonis, JV, Gudaitis, D-Mo. I liked that he thinks some veterans already gave enough for Lithuania and sees some new players who can come to NT (again, personally I think Maciulis must be out, because there's nothing what Ulanovas can't do what Maciulis does, and Maciulis knocked out Kuz from SF rotation which, IMO, was one of Adomaitis minor mistakes, and lastly he's old and suck). He is about to integrate young blood at PG in Euro quallies.

    I like most of things Maskoliunas is talking about, but still have that sense that he may be a bit too losse in terms of BB understanding, controlling the rotation and making game ending decisions. Will be extremely interesting to see how he will handle the team.
    Last edited by Straight forward; 11-25-2019 at 08:14 PM.
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  13. #193
    Moderator Mindozas's Avatar
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    Have a little bit patience, you are catching every word of him and trying to analyse, but you didn't hear the most important thing he says in every interview - I'm a new guy, so it's still a bit too early to make any lists, any decisions. OQT is too far away, and only for the first time this week, he will meet with Matkevicius to have some conversation how puzzle will look in February. More intense work will start and etc. Of course he has some ideas as he is following NT too. But it might change here and there. Give him some time to adjust, to see everything from inside. The same goes with D-Mo. Of course he will answer YES now, it would be strange if he would say - NO, I won't invite him. He has no reasons to. I'm more than sure that D-Mo will be called for February window. No doubt. Then Maskoliunas will see if he D-Mo needed for OQT, has a place at least in preliminary roster. Who will come at all. He didn't say that D-Mo has a guaranteed place in final roster He'll have to prove his worth, the same way his behaviour will be important and how other members will embrace his presence. You know very well how it works in Zalgiris - if you are a cancer in team: either you change, either you not there.
    Regarding Maciulis, heh, will you ever forgive him that he screamed on Lekavicius?

    P.S. Maskoliunas beat CSKA with Saras being disqualified and Zalgiris trailing Sure, that's just fun fact, but the last thing I'd start questioning is his bball IQ. He was smart as a player, and is smart as a coach. Otherwise he wouldn't be there for years with Kazlas in NT and now Saras in Zalgiris


  14. #194

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mindozas View Post
    Have a little bit patience, you are catching every word of him and trying to analyse, but you didn't hear the most important thing he says in every interview - I'm a new guy, so it's still a bit too early to make any lists, any decisions. OQT is too far away, and only for the first time this week, he will meet with Matkevicius to have some conversation how puzzle will look in February. More intense work will start and etc. Of course he has some ideas as he is following NT too. But it might change here and there. Give him some time to adjust, to see everything from inside. The same goes with D-Mo. Of course he will answer YES now, it would be strange if he would say - NO, I won't invite him. He has no reasons to. I'm more than sure that D-Mo will be called for February window. No doubt. Then Maskoliunas will see if he D-Mo needed for OQT, has a place at least in preliminary roster. Who will come at all. He didn't say that D-Mo has a guaranteed place in final roster He'll have to prove his worth, the same way his behaviour will be important and how other members will embrace his presence. You know very well how it works in Zalgiris - if you are a cancer in team: either you change, either you not there.
    Regarding Maciulis, heh, will you ever forgive him that he screamed on Lekavicius?

    P.S. Maskoliunas beat CSKA with Saras being disqualified and Zalgiris trailing Sure, that's just fun fact, but the last thing I'd start questioning is his bball IQ. He was smart as a player, and is smart as a coach. Otherwise he wouldn't be there for years with Kazlas in NT and now Saras in Zalgiris
    Agreed about D-Mo case. I also hope that's the case.

    As for Maciulis, it has nothing to do with him being a bit of a redneck. I think he already pretty much wasted a spot in 2019 and I don't think he should be in 2020. Disagree?
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  15. #195
    Moderator Mindozas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    Agreed about D-Mo case. I also hope that's the case.

    As for Maciulis, it has nothing to do with him being a bit of a redneck. I think he already pretty much wasted a spot in 2019 and I don't think he should be in 2020. Disagree?
    I have no idea tbh. For now, cause simply I didn't see him in action thus far this season. Only stats, which are ok in BCL and that he plays a lot of PF judging by it. But stats are stats, won't show you a full picture, so I won't make any statement now. Sure in WC he was more of a waste than did anything good, but we know that he came after long term injury. Might sound as excuse, but we don't know how much of an impact it had on his performance. The energy was there, but actual help was missed, so might be that he is done for this level, might be that shape didn't allow to show his best, might be both. If we would have some locks at PF position, I wouldn't care much, but now I'll have to see him in action to decide. Maybe coaching stuff will do that for me when time comes, will be interesting to see if he'll be there in window


  16. #196

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    Wise position, but I stand on a little bit different soil. I've seen Maciulis in WC quallies and it was obvious (before his injury) that he already lost a good piece of his athleticism. Not as tough, agile, mobile and physically intimidating as he used to. And that's basically what's Maciulis is all about. He has very little skills, just that BULL presence which he united with cheeky, fighters attitude. WC it self showed it again, he wasn't tough enough to deal with guys defensively at 4, his rebounding rate declined, his defensive presence overall declined. The thing is, I don't think that athleticism is coming back. When Songaila in 2012 was far from his good old days athleticism, he still had that crafty skills in him, as well as brothers Lavrinovic, Darius was very effective offensively in 2012 OG, but he had terrific jumper, skilled post game, natural system BB reflexes. Maciulis without athleticism can't bully his opponents in the paint as he used to, his three shot is the only tool which left for him at such level basically. We don't have much ready young reserves if any at 4, but, IMO, Maciulis is just done at this level thus it's pointless to still invite him. However, since he is eager to play, why not to give him a shot at Euro windows to prove doubters wrong.
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    hot take about giedraitis. last player to have similar stats to him in the euroleague was kuzminskas before whatever happend to him and he looked great in the nt. giedraitis has to have a role on the team, too much potential to keep him on the bench. maybe even a starter? xD i know it might sound dumb at first, but he can provide what this team lacked the most this year. i definitely dont see ulanovas being a starter (he is most likely to be tho. even though he cant offer anything this team needs, but from what maskoliunas said its pretty obvious) especially if he keeps playing as bad he is now. kuzminskas is most likely to be a starting pf because maskoliunas said he doesnt see jv and sabonis playing together.

  18. #198
    Moderator Mindozas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zalias View Post
    hot take about giedraitis. last player to have similar stats to him in the euroleague was kuzminskas before whatever happend to him and he looked great in the nt. giedraitis has to have a role on the team, too much potential to keep him on the bench. maybe even a starter? xD i know it might sound dumb at first, but he can provide what this team lacked the most this year. i definitely dont see ulanovas being a starter (he is most likely to be tho. even though he cant offer anything this team needs, but from what maskoliunas said its pretty obvious) especially if he keeps playing as bad he is now. kuzminskas is most likely to be a starting pf because maskoliunas said he doesnt see jv and sabonis playing together.
    Unicaja with Kuzminskas and Plaza was absolutely different team to current Alba with Reneses. That's first thing. This Alba is pure run'n'gun team, which generates the most possessions, shoots a lot and is one black hole in defense. I don't remember when the last time I saw team in EL conceding over 90ppg, maybe never. Unicaja with Kuz had wide rotation, typical to Plaza, none played close to 30mins like Giedraitis is, and was much more defensive oriented, maybe they lacked simple quality to do that efficient all he time, but at least they tried. There was a lot harder to gain points, ranking/efficiency number, good stats overall. Alba tries to overrun everyone. If you want to see such stats lines from Giedraitis in NT, then NT must play the same way like Alba. Giedraitis feels like fish in the water is such schemes - he can't defend, but can run and shoot. Can you imagine NT playing so? I don't. It's not times of Jasikevicius, Macijauskas, Siskauskas and co anymore, when offense alone could bring us results, creativity was at top level and we could allow ourselves to be a bit sleepy at defense at times, cause we still could outscore opponents. Anyway we still had few guys who were great at defense if needed like Zukauskas duo. Current NT can't allow itself to play so. No wonder Kazlauskas changed the way we played to that kinda ugly game in his last campaign. But it brought the results. Problem is that the same Giedraitis is struggling in half court offense. Another bad thing with him is that he is having troubles to come off the bench successfully when he doesn't have key role in offense like he has in Alba. It's pretty much Gecevicius situation. I don't know, maybe Maskoliunas will find some ways to use Giedraitis and get the best out of him at some stretches, maybe Giedraitis after EL season will have more selfconfidence wearing NT jersey, but I'm a bit sceptical about it


  19. #199

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    I totally agree with Mindozas regarding Giedraitis. On other hand, Maskoliunas might experiment with fast, scoring roster as Lekavicius, (whoever), Giedraitis, Kuzminskas, Sabonis. Adomaitis sort of tried to use those 2 lineups, one slow and big, other smaller and faster, but the thing is that from that second faster lineup only Sabonis and Lekavicius delivered. Kuz was lost and Giedraitis didn't play at all. Again, the problem is that this line-up struggling at set half court offence, and if you want to run in transition you should play solid D which is not the case in such unit. So, no, it's unlikely that Giedraitis would see bigger than 10-15min role under Maskoliunas, and he's not good short stretches role player whch indicates he sort of bond to waste a spot if you're not intending to make him one of the keys and play him tons of minutes. If there was Sireika I could expect much more run'n'gun offence, but not with Maskoliunas.
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  20. #200
    Member ZaliaBalta's Avatar
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    KAUNAS (LITHUANIA)

    Group A: Lithuania, Korea, Venezuela

    Group B: Poland, Slovenia, Angola

    I guess the dream is alive, haha. We should be able to work Dončič's magic out and stop Slovenia. I mean we have to, we are by far the most talented team of our tournament. Obviously talking about individual skills, Dončič is the best player of the tournament, Ponitka is also somewhere around there, but talking about a team as a unit, Lithuania is definitely the most talented team of Kaunas tournament.

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