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

  1. #1261
    Senior Member Shawshank's Avatar
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    my 2 cents after two games:

    Valanciunas and Sabonis very dominant inside.

    I feel starting 5 should be with Domas and Mantas from strategical stand point.

    From bench let Rokas to Jonas connection come together that works so far nicely + Lukas offensive energy of the bench.

    after 20min look which center that day play better and act accordingly.

    Whats up with Giedraitis again? If he gonna be so passive and so unsure about himself he will end up as 10-12th player like 2019.

    Kuzminskas 2021 reminds himself again compared to his 2019 version when he came after half season sitting out on armani bench.

    Sabonis+Valanciunas together it wasnt pretty for eye test ,but +- says we won game in that strech. Obviuosly we cant use them alot because of defence problems,but for 7-8min every game is must to try.

    Grigonis is the one when pressure moments will come and let him cook 1 vs 1.

  2. #1262

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    To me the biggest concern is R. Giedraitis. There's no single doubt, Grigonis and Giedraitis today are 2 best guards we have. And it's vitally important that Giedraitis would get it going and would find his spot in the NT. Seems like Maskoliunas understands that and won't be quick to give on him as Adomaitis did (off course, now it's way different context as well after 2 dominant season in EL by Giedraitis). Another concern is Kalnietis' shape and we may miss 100% ready Kalnietis. But nevertheless Giedraitis' reserve is the key here. With his athletic strides, dominant scoring stretches he can bring us another dimension which will be vital in some stretches. If he won't, this NT will still be a bit too thin at perimeter as Jokubaitis will need few more years to truly explode offensively, Lekavicius a bit inconsistent this season and Kalnietis is banged up (Disma to me is meh and he's there only because there's no Ulanobas, Brazdeikis and I don't treat him as serious piece).

    This team won't be good defensive team, but the D will be better with optimal rotation. Most importantly to utilize our offensive upside and really deep bench, size, athleticism. We should rundown and beat up other NTs as one of our key advantages, starting with Poland and Slovenia.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    Marciulionis son will be bust like first Sabonis son

  3. #1263
    Senior Member Shawshank's Avatar
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    I know that Bendzius and Giedraitis are our 2 best shooters but from their body language i dont trust they gonna make those shots especially in important moments.

    I trust Kuzminskas,Grigonis alot more that they gonna make those same half open shots.

    As Kleiza said recently when you wear LTU jersey and entire nation watches you is totaly diffrent pressure on players no clubs competion equalls that.Not every player handles that well.

    Our teams similiar to 2019 3point shooting in these 2 friendly games was not looking convincing at all.

    Kalnietis will not be 100% in qualification tournament it obviuos by this point from what he said about his leg yesterday .Mantas shape will better in main Olympics if we manage to qualife there.
    Last edited by Shawshank; 06-23-2021 at 03:01 PM.

  4. #1264

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    I think Grigonis today is our best shooter. He can shoot of the dribble, he can step back and so on. Giedraitis doesn't shoot all that much of the dribble, needs more of creation of others. But Giedraitis can give a lot to this team athleticism wise, he can kill it in transition, he can penetrate inside with huge strides. He should be more aggressive.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    Marciulionis son will be bust like first Sabonis son

  5. #1265
    Senior Member Shawshank's Avatar
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    Gm3 Sabonis,Grigonis DNP

    I dont get it. NT have just 3 games and in last game usually cuts isnt playing,not main players.

    5 days before first game our coach not trying to put our main players on the floor as much as possible,but he still playing game who will be 11 and 12th players.

    Thats strange its time to play 8 best players and let them get chemistry. Not play 20min 14th,13th or 12th player in last friendly game as some kind decider.

    One friendly game isnt making diffrence after week of practises coach should know which is better suited being that 11/12th limited role player.


    By DNPs gm1 Masiulis was out,gm2 Miniotas,Butkevicius was out so guess coach gonna cut 2 of them.
    Last edited by Shawshank; 06-24-2021 at 03:33 PM.

  6. #1266
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    Gm3 Sabonis,Grigonis DNP

    I dont get it. NT have just 3 games and in last game usually cuts isnt playing,not main players.

    5 days before first game our coach not trying to put our main players on the floor as much as possible,but he still playing game who will be 11 and 12th players.

    Thats strange its time to play 8 best players and let them get chemistry. Not play 20min 14th,13th or 12th player in last friendly game as some kind decider.

    One friendly game isnt making diffrence after week of practises coach should know which is better suited being that 11/12th limited role player.
    I disagree. There's only been a week of practice and just two friendlies have been played. I don't blame Coach Maskoliūnas for thinking he's not had enough data to decide who he has to cut. That's why he wants to see all the borderline players in action today.

    What I think the LKF should do is try to arrange at least one more friendly against a competitive team that's close geographically, e.g. Germany or the Czech Republic. Or if the LKF can induce one of the Latin American teams slated to play in Belgrade or Split to make a quick trip to Vilnius or Kaunas, so much the better.


  7. #1267

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    Sabonis screwed his hip a little bit against Russia, and I'm sure that's the reason just to keep him healthy and 100% ready for 28. Grigonis also a bit washed out and banged up and knowing his ability to screw up his condition one or other way, it's a good decision, besides I think Maskoliunas wants to leave more room for Giedraitis, Grigonis knows his role well anyway and delivered in both games.

    What I don't like that Dimsa seems to be in Maskoliunas plans. Why do we need him I have no idea. IMO, Masiulis and Dimsa should be gonners. Miniotas looks good as undersized mobile center. Butkevicius needs to chase down Doncic. What the hell will Dimsa be doing when we have deep rotation of guards I have no idea - couple of silly decision of the bench? That he can do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    Marciulionis son will be bust like first Sabonis son

  8. #1268

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    OK, time for criticism. OK, first game, second game, we try to utilize out bigs, but when I see third game and all we do for 7 minutes is feeding JV...(BTW, he traditionally was horrid at D and we were outscored). That's too much. I understand that's our best players, 2 centers, but, Jeez, have some balance, have some in and out action. Zero flow, zero plays, Giedraitis for 6 minutes didn't get a single touch. I really fed up with this shit. We never ever will win anything playing this crap of basketball. When we have smaller unit I see tempo, I see ball movement, I see drives, I see spacing, I see open looks, I see rotation at defensive end. Really, this JV/Domas (or JV/D-Mo previously) madness should stop. It's complete illusion we can we anything just feeding traditional lumberjack and playing suspect defence, At some point this madness will have to stop and we will start to play basketball if we want to win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    Marciulionis son will be bust like first Sabonis son

  9. #1269
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    I think the Dominican Republic players were suffering from jet lag in the first game and we're getting a better indication today of the quality of the team.


  10. #1270
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    OK, time for criticism. OK, first game, second game, we try to utilize out bigs, but when I see third game and all we do for 7 minutes is feeding JV...(BTW, he traditionally was horrid at D and we were outscored). That's too much. I understand that's our best players, 2 centers, but, Jeez, have some balance, have some in and out action. Zero flow, zero plays, Giedraitis for 6 minutes didn't get a single touch. I really fed up with this shit. We never ever will win anything playing this crap of basketball. When we have smaller unit I see tempo, I see ball movement, I see drives, I see spacing, I see open looks, I see rotation at defensive end. Really, this JV/Domas (or JV/D-Mo previously) madness should stop. It's complete illusion we can we anything just feeding traditional lumberjack and playing suspect defence, At some point this madness will have to stop and we will start to play basketball if we want to win.
    I disagree. This game is a friendly. It's being played precisely so that the teams can practice and experiment with sets and schemes. And one of those schemes for Team Lietuva is feeding the big man below the basket when there's a mismatch in Lithuania's favour. And you yourself noted that Team Lietuva is capable of playing a more uptempo game with greater movement when the situation on the floor changes.

    Any team must be flexible and capable of adapting to different opponents. And just because you find watching bigs battle down low aesthetically displeasing doesn't mean that it can't be winning basketball and shouldn't be part of a team's repertoire. You have to take what the opponent gives you, and if Team Lietuva's opponents are willing to concede the paint to our bigs, we have to be ready to take the gift.


  11. #1271

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hepcat View Post
    I disagree. This game is a friendly. It's being played precisely so that the teams can practice and experiment with sets and schemes. And one of those schemes for Team Lietuva is feeding the big man below the basket when there's a mismatch in Lithuania's favour down low. And you yourself noted that Team Lietuva is capable of playing a more uptempo game with greater movement when the situation on the floor changes.
    I hope you right, but running the same and only play for 7 minutes is a little too much even if you want to polish one of your main guns. IMO, even when we will try to utilize JV we still have to play more versatile BB. My biggest worry that we will go too primitive once again, will try to rely on centers too much, will lose natural flow and with each minute the tension will only grow and we'll just keep on going with "most reliable" options feeding the bigs which will only limit our range of arsenal.

    Summa summarum, I am slightly disappointment after the end of exhibition stage. FOA, it's obvious Kalnietis is not ready. It's a huge question if he can be useful rotation player at this very given moment. Maybe he can get in shape eventually if we will qualify, but now he can barely move. Second, I expected more energy and aggressiveness from Giedraitis, but it's not really there. Then Bendzius misses his shots and we don't know if anybody from bigs can stretch the floor. Seems more like NO. JV and Domas can dominate offensively to some extent, but the D with both (specially JV) is crap and it's a huge problem. I still don't know how JV will even be usable against full time small ball Slovenia. Generally, this team badly needs defensive big who can stretch the floor (the addition of Tubelis will be priceless, the sooner the better) and we still need more creation and aggression at the perimeter (hopefully with fully unleashed Grigonis and Lekavicius it will be less obvious). This roster is surely better than 2016, but I would have a hard time deciding if this team exceeds 2012 roster. Lekšas is delusional thinking this is the best roster since 2004. We are improving, but we are still not an elite team ATM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    Marciulionis son will be bust like first Sabonis son

  12. #1272
    Senior Member madmax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hepcat View Post
    I disagree. This game is a friendly. It's being played precisely so that the teams can practice and experiment with sets and schemes. And one of those schemes for Team Lietuva is feeding the big man below the basket when there's a mismatch in Lithuania's favour. And you yourself noted that Team Lietuva is capable of playing a more uptempo game with greater movement when the situation on the floor changes.

    Any team must be flexible and capable of adapting to different opponents. And just because you find watching bigs battle down low aesthetically displeasing doesn't mean that it can't be winning basketball and shouldn't be part of a team's repertoire. You have to take what the opponent gives you, and if Team Lietuva's opponents are willing to concede the paint to our bigs, we have to be ready to take the gift.

    at this point it's pointless to prove anything to this poster regarding JV - the guy can finish with 30 and 20 statline by totally controlling the tempo of the game to our favor and he will still sing the same "lumberjack" tune...we have to concede that he's just another delusional hater at this point and simply ignore him. How is he not understanding a simple fact that no one, literally one one, can stop JV one on one and in p'n'r action? He's by FAR our best and most efficient player - everything comes easy to him at this point of his career. Now, regarding this game, I finally saw our little defensive demon Sedekerskis on court and he's truly everywhere defensively and has his hands on almost every single opponent play...never seen another lithuanian player so dedicated to playing stellar defense than this fellow, it's truly mesmerizing to watch him disrupt opponents play

  13. #1273
    Senior Member Hepcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    What I don't like that Dimsa seems to be in Maskoliunas plans. Why do we need him I have no idea. IMO, Masiulis and Dimsa should be gonners. Miniotas looks good as undersized mobile center. Butkevicius needs to chase down Doncic. What the hell will Dimsa be doing when we have deep rotation of guards I have no idea - couple of silly decision of the bench? That he can do.
    You've been running down Tomas Dimša relentlessly for months yet I see that he's certainly not been the worst guard on the Team Lietuva roster in the friendlies:

    Team Lietuva Friendly Game Stats

    He did in fact draw praise from Coach Maskoliūnas for his versatility not only in various game situations but his ability to play at either the 1 or the 2. A guard tandem of Grigonis and Dimša played effectively against Russia.

    And with Mantas Kalnietis not fully recovered from his ankle strain, Team Lietuva may need more depth at guard.

    Thinking further about the needs of Team Lietuva and thus its final roster, it's very clear that Jonas Valančiūnas and Domantas Sabonis are head-and-shoulders the best players on the team. In the big games each should therefore play 32 minutes or more. That doesn't leave much court time for their backups. Team Lietuva therefore doesn't need a bench that's deep in bigs.

    I'd therefore be inclined to cut Regimantas Miniotas and Eimantas Bendžius loose from the team and keep only Gytis Masiulis. Quite simply Masiulis has been the best of the three in the friendlies. Moreover in comparison with Bendžius specifically Masiulis played reasonably well in the critical last game of the Qualifiers against Denmark while Bendžius was dreadful.

    My final roster would therefore be this one:

    Mantas Kalnietis - PG
    Rokas Jokubaitis PG
    Lukas Lekavičius - PG/SG
    Marius Grigonis SG/PG
    Tomas Dimša SG/PG
    Rokas Giedraitis SG
    Arnas Butkevičius SF
    Mindaugas Kuzminskas SF
    Tadas Sedekerskis SF/PF
    Gytis Masiulis PF/C
    Domantas Sabonis C/PF
    Jonas Valančiūnas C

    Last edited by Hepcat; 06-25-2021 at 05:00 PM.

  14. #1274

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    Hepcat, you right, with Kalnietis being far from ready Dimša will be in. And he played quite well. My problem with Dimša is that he's not a good decision maker. It's not that he can't make a good play, he had some nice p'n'r situations, facilitated JV nicely and so on. But at the same time he struggles to pass the ball all camp long, very often struggles to make a simple entry pass. When he's trying to be active with the ball it's complete gamble, you never know whenever he'll get away with that or will get himself into the traffic. The best quality of Dimša is that he can shoot. He's a streaky volume scorer, always was. He's like Juškevičius with a bit worse ballhandling and decision making, but slightly better and tougher defender. In the perfect world I wouldn't want to see any of these Eurocup level players in the NT, specially Olympic season, but under these circumstances I have to give credit to Dimša and hope he'll deliver.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    Marciulionis son will be bust like first Sabonis son

  15. #1275

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    Sedekerskis out...OK, this comes at the time when I was about to regain slight belief in Maskoliunas...and now this...

    The guy is nutcase. Period.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    Marciulionis son will be bust like first Sabonis son

  16. #1276
    Senior Member edvinas9's Avatar
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    Rage starts in 1,2,3.

  17. #1277
    Senior Member Svajunas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edvinas9 View Post
    Rage starts in 1,2,3.
    Fuck Maskoliunas. He's an idiot. How can you cut the only person capable of defending doncic?

    Jesus fucking christ Masiulis? Realy?

    This is the most disappointing coach ever. No maciulis and no Sedekerskis. Omfg fuck him

  18. #1278

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    So he cuts most athletic player of the team who is at the same time most universal defender in the country, he doesn't invite Maciulis, he cuts Miniotas and takes softy Masiulis (and I tried to defend his partiality here and stay away from possible nepotism case, but it's more than obvious now that it's exactly the case). If one of the most talented upcoming EL defenders don't fit your system...then your system is crap. This is zenith of this federation...hiring absolute nutcase who already made a joke out of NT in one year. Hooray, great times! I knew Maskoliunas can't not to screw up, he just has to...Now let's wait for some amazing pre-game speeches like "I'm not gonna pretend I know this Venezuela team". Jeez...what have you done Arvydas Sabonis, what have you done
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    Marciulionis son will be bust like first Sabonis son

  19. #1279
    Senior Member Svajunas's Avatar
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    The fuck is he thinking. I bet Masiulis won't play a single min against Slovenia... But he lets go a possible game changer defender. Fuck him. He won't get any mercy from. I will boo when they will announce his name in arena.

  20. #1280

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    I'm shocked. I'm sure no-body ever will exceed this clown in the history of Lihuanian BB. No-one. Forget Butautas...Maskoliunas already exceeded him by miles...The biggest clown in the history of Lithuanian basketball. "We will run faster and jump higher" BLET
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    Marciulionis son will be bust like first Sabonis son

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