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

  1. #341

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    Short reflections of recent:

    - Amazing to see Domas becoming an ALL STAR. It's super hard to reach that. He's among absolute elite this season. Way to go.
    - Nice to see Lekavicius providing. He exceeding my expectations.
    - Nice to see Jokubaitis warming his feet in EL and even having a heck of a game against ALBA. Also Sirvydis lately provides in second phase of Eurocup.
    - Eager to hear how A.Marciulionis will do in prestigious BWB camp. Surprised they leaved Tubelis aside. Maybe they becoming even more selective.
    - And last, but not the least, somehow Kobe's death touched me, even if I never was a huge fan of him.
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  2. #342

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    What's your take on Brazdeikis? Would you invite him to the NT camp in Kaunas?

    My take, he's ain't ready at all. Sure, he can score when he's a focal point in a wild environment as G league, sure he has a bright future as a scorer at PROs, but at the moment he simply isn't even close to NT level. Some of our 19yo as Jokubaitis, Sirvydis, or the same D.Giedraitis are much more familiar with real PRO BB and much more ready for NT than Brazdeikis. But...I still think we should invite him to the camp. It would get awkward if we give him citizenship, but would leave him aside. I would be liberal enough to invite him and looking to secure his spot at 12th position if possible. That would be an investment. But people as Rutenis Paulauskas should quit their joking saying Brazdeikis is better than Butkevicius. Butkevicius is a real established PRO, he would bring what he brought in 2019. It's not much, but it's real and reliable. Iggy would be lost as chicket in most cases, specially at D end, and even at O where he goes ISO and doesn't really know yet other ways of contribution.

    Let's face it, if today we would have to bet who would be the most gifted pure scorer in the 20's, I would bet Brazdeikis. Also he likely to fill that need of players who can put the ball on the floor and to score. So I would be willing to at least have him in the camp, like teaching him and taking him to quallies and Olympics at the best case scenario. If Maskoliunas would call him and say "we're high on you, but just wait one season" I'm also fine with that. Generally speaking, I really don't think there will be the big difference after these 4 at the backourt players in Lukas, Mantas, Marius, Milas (to me Giedraitis is SF and has nothing to do at 2). Iggy could grab that formal 5th guard spot and would face some limited playing time here and there.

    But seriously...Paulauskas has no idea what he's taking about, and I bet he didn't see a single game of Iggy, but he's first to speculate
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  3. #343
    Senior Member Shawshank's Avatar
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    He would be one of few 2-3 youngster i would invite in this year camp if president will give him citizenship.Unless he can play shooting guard,he has no chance making our strongest sf lineup in years.

    Prep will be very short this summer and no time for experiments.Main players have to play from the start and built the team chemistry as fast as possible.

    I wouldnt mind if Nauseda would give Brazdeikis passport after olympics,because it obviuos he will need time to adapt to european basketball and its unrelistic to do that in one month .So in order not to get some bad feelings it could be even better if Ignas gets citizenship after Olympics.

    After 2020 Olympics 2-3 players will retire from nt and places will open for Brazdeikis,Masiulis,Jokubaitis type younsgters starting from new olympic circle in 2021.

    Hopefully his mindset is not like 95% of american players there is Olympic games and thats it in international basketball.

  4. #344
    Moderator Mindozas's Avatar
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    So you keep listening to these amateurish podcasts and keep being pissed about it? Why, what for? It looks like some BDSM stuff, man

    I didn't see a single Brazdeikis game in that G-League wilderness too, but I wouldn't judge even if I would have seen anything. There were various cases when some G-League guy made good or bad in EL, Eurocup and etc. Some with better stats failed, some with worse delivered. Brazdeikis is exactly a case which you must test to know his real capabilities in Euro, international bball, cause his playing for Canada youth team was a bit too long ago, but, well, he did really good there, so he is not complete newbie. Brazdeikis can prove his readiness only by being here. Who knows, maybe he will surprise us like some Songaila once. Maybe will need time to adjust. I surely wouldn't bet now who is more ready for NT - Lith youngsters or Brazdeikis. Butkevicius has only one obvious advantage - experience in Euro bball. So it's a bit like a coin toss, too little facts, too many question-marks. But if any young guy needs to be tested this summer - it's Brazdeikis. Not cause it'd be awkward not to, but cause in this case we really need to know what he can bring on the table, with the rest we know it all more or less. Still, I'm not sure what coaches will think about it, Matkevicius, who's opinion is valuable here, unlike some Rutenis, was talking today about NT a bit, so I udnerstood that Brazdeikis is not among sure options as of yet. Not for OQT. Btw, it seems Jankunas can be an option, it probably will cause a heart-attack for some here


  5. #345

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    Agreed with both of you. You made interesting point, Mindozas. Ignas really played in Youth FIBA level and at least offensively did it well. Those tournaments are really intense physically wise. However, Butkevicius has more than experience as advantage. He's nearly elite defender while Ignas really struggles defensively, like really I think he'll always remain rather poor defender, but at the moment there's open holes literally. Hopefully he'll fix some of that with time.

    Another thought. How he would deal with Lithuanian NT culture? I mean, he's pure Lithuanian by blood, but pure American by culture. How he would handle Maciulis screaming? It's very unfamiliar in USA. Coaches rarely screams at players, let alone teammates. But I guess he has to go through sh...if he's serious about playing for the Lith NT. One day Jasikevicius will be NT coach, IMO Not to mention how Girgonis was abusing Kuzminskas for his defensive mistakes in exhibition game against Russia this summer. There's a reasons why Lithuanians are called sharp-toothed, we're surely rougher than Americans.
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  6. #346
    Senior Member LuDux's Avatar
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    I'd love to see U-24 or similar team with Brazdeikiai and Dimšos play few friendly games against say Holland level teams

  7. #347
    Senior Member Shawshank's Avatar
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    Maskoliunas will say Jankunas (35,5) and Milaknis (34) knows the system... + Kalnietis(34) and Maciulis (35) thats too manny veterans even for my taste I dont care who you after turning 33 biggest part of players are not the same. Max 3 of those 4, i would take only 2 Kalnietis and Maciulis.

    Kalnietis,Lekavicius,Grigonis,Ulanovas,Kuzminskas, Sabonis,Gudaitis,Valanciunas they are locks .

    last 4 spots most likely will be choosen from remaining players:

    Giedraitis,Maciulis,Butkevicius,Milaknis,Juskevici us,Jankunas,Motiejunas,Masiulis,Brazdeikis.

  8. #348
    Senior Member Svajunas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    Maskoliunas will say Jankunas (35,5) and Milaknis (34) knows the system... + Kalnietis(34) and Maciulis (35) thats too manny veterans even for my taste I dont care who you after turning 33 biggest part of players are not the same. Max 3 of those 4, i would take only 2 Kalnietis and Maciulis.

    Kalnietis,Lekavicius,Grigonis,Ulanovas,Kuzminskas, Sabonis,Gudaitis,Valanciunas they are locks .

    last 4 spots most likely will be choosen from remaining players:

    Giedraitis,Maciulis,Butkevicius,Milaknis,Juskevici us,Jankunas,Motiejunas,Masiulis,Brazdeikis.
    Let's be real Sabonis will be the focal point on offense in this team. If you watch him play , all his kick outs and being point forward on the floor, you want to surround him with shooters. Therefore we have to think about Milaknis, who have been tremendous this year, not only shooting threes but mixing up a bit with drives to the basket. Also his defense seems to be much better lately. He is a perfect fit for catch and shoot on this team.

    Giedraitis for the same reason as Milaknis. He has been showing that he is EL player now. I would choose him above Brazdeikis, Juskevicius and Butkevicius.

    These two, together with Lekavicius, Grigonis and Ule as of late should be enough firing power to play inside out.

  9. #349
    Senior Member madmax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Svajunas View Post
    Let's be real Sabonis will be the focal point on offense in this team. If you watch him play , all his kick outs and being point forward on the floor, you want to surround him with shooters. Therefore we have to think about Milaknis, who have been tremendous this year, not only shooting threes but mixing up a bit with drives to the basket. Also his defense seems to be much better lately. He is a perfect fit for catch and shoot on this team.

    Giedraitis for the same reason as Milaknis. He has been showing that he is EL player now. I would choose him above Brazdeikis, Juskevicius and Butkevicius.

    These two, together with Lekavicius, Grigonis and Ule as of late should be enough firing power to play inside out.
    Sabonis needs to prove first that he can be focal point on offense in FIBA, because so far he failed on that matter...

  10. #350
    Senior Member Svajunas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madmax View Post
    Sabonis needs to prove first that he can be focal point on offense in FIBA, because so far he failed on that matter...
    He doesn't need to prove anything at this point. He needs coach that will put him in that position.

    Obviously who starts would depend on match ups, but having JV come of the bench would be great as well. He would dominate against those scrubs.

  11. #351
    Moderator Mindozas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    Agreed with both of you. You made interesting point, Mindozas. Ignas really played in Youth FIBA level and at least offensively did it well. Those tournaments are really intense physically wise. However, Butkevicius has more than experience as advantage. He's nearly elite defender while Ignas really struggles defensively, like really I think he'll always remain rather poor defender, but at the moment there's open holes literally. Hopefully he'll fix some of that with time.
    Yeah, defensivelly Butkevicius is better, but offensivelly Brazdeikis has the edge. So I didn't write it on purpose, cause these two are too different players and a lot would depend on coach, on rival and etc. So so far only obvious advantage is experience in Euro basketball, then it's all open.

    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    Another thought. How he would deal with Lithuanian NT culture? I mean, he's pure Lithuanian by blood, but pure American by culture. How he would handle Maciulis screaming? It's very unfamiliar in USA. Coaches rarely screams at players, let alone teammates. But I guess he has to go through sh...if he's serious about playing for the Lith NT. One day Jasikevicius will be NT coach, IMO Not to mention how Girgonis was abusing Kuzminskas for his defensive mistakes in exhibition game against Russia this summer. There's a reasons why Lithuanians are called sharp-toothed, we're surely rougher than Americans.
    He is not a softy, and screaming at someone in bball game... well, it's part of the sport, it was happening for ages. It's nothing personal, it's emotions, it comes and goes, after the game none from players really remember it, except for some reporters who has nothing to write about or some of these so called influencers, who can't see a difference between some bashing, abusing, harassment in society, everyday life and some moment in bball game. It's just laughable to read some articles how coaches are humiliating players i.e. but that's one of the sad faces of nowadays society, people pretend to be so sensitive about everything and it lot of times goes over the top. If you can't deal with some screaming on court, maybe this game is not for you? Well, at least here I'm calm that Brazdeikis is not from such cases, but he might have some hard time to adjust to different bball culture overall, but it's very individual, we won't know it until we won't try him


  12. #352

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mindozas View Post
    He is not a softy, and screaming at someone in bball game... well, it's part of the sport, it was happening for ages. It's nothing personal, it's emotions, it comes and goes, after the game none from players really remember it, except for some reporters who has nothing to write about or some of these so called influencers, who can't see a difference between some bashing, abusing, harassment in society, everyday life and some moment in bball game. It's just laughable to read some articles how coaches are humiliating players i.e. but that's one of the sad faces of nowadays society, people pretend to be so sensitive about everything and it lot of times goes over the top. If you can't deal with some screaming on court, maybe this game is not for you? Well, at least here I'm calm that Brazdeikis is not from such cases, but he might have some hard time to adjust to different bball culture overall, but it's very individual, we won't know it until we won't try him
    Well, hopefully. I kinda feel 2021 would be better fit for Brazdeikis to start. Now to come for some 1 or 2 weeks camp, to meat entirely different BB culture, to be schooled all around by veterans, sometimes roughly and to gather so much information in short time...But we'll just have to wait and see. Hopefully, we'll get to see him playing a bit more in NBA it self at the end of regular season to judge whenever he improved compared to the start of the season.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    last 4 spots most likely will be choosen from remaining players:

    Giedraitis,Maciulis,Butkevicius,Milaknis,Juskevici us,Jankunas,Motiejunas,Masiulis,Brazdeikis.
    I also think Kulboka should be legitimate candidate. Mentioning Masiulis in front of him is not fair. Sure, he's on a slump at the moment, but the guy was scoring 10pts with 40% threes for one of better ACB teams. None, is standing higher than him. Some Champions league is not comparable to ACB, different speed, quality, toughness. Let's face it, Kulboka has been playing at he highest level this season from all out youngsters in the country and provided rather impressively for a rookie in ACB. That's not even a G league or Eurocup. Kulboka would mess in some Champions League or even Eurocup with some ridiculous scoring games and surely would outscore Masiulis with his 11pts in CL. Not to mention that Kulboka was averaging 11pts in Champions league 2 years ago already. Very underrated prospect, hopefully will show off a little bit in windows. IMO, people should be surprised how much ready he is.
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  13. #353
    Moderator Mindozas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    Well, hopefully. I kinda feel 2021 would be better fit for Brazdeikis to start. Now to come for some 1 or 2 weeks camp, to meat entirely different BB culture, to be schooled all around by veterans, sometimes roughly and to gather so much information in short time...But we'll just have to wait and see. Hopefully, we'll get to see him playing a bit more in NBA it self at the end of regular season to judge whenever he improved compared to the start of the season.
    Sure, I mean camps too. Just to get feet wet and see how it goes. Btw, it would be good thing to gather together that B squad, like LuDux wrote, we used to have it back in the days, played in Stankovic Cup, maybe Universiade or just some friendlies


  14. #354

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mindozas View Post
    Sure, I mean camps too. Just to get feet wet and see how it goes. Btw, it would be good thing to gather together that B squad, like LuDux wrote, we used to have it back in the days, played in Stankovic Cup, maybe Universiade or just some friendlies
    Yeah, these days it would be very relevant. We had those early in 10's, now it would make sense again. Call me optimist, but we could field so much more talented roster. To me, the talent pool of 2010 reserve team and 2020 is much deeper. Here's 2010 reserve NT and the one that could be on 2020:

    2010 Renaldas Seibutis, Adas Juškevičius, Aidas Viskontas, Arvydas Eitutavičius, Deivydas Gailius, Arvydas Šikšnius, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Valdas Dabkus, Valdas Vasylius, Vytautas Šarakauskas ir Martynas Andriuškevičius (D-Mo out because of injury and 18yo JV still overlooked, so only 2-4 long term studs)

    2020 Jokubaitis, Velicka, Sirvydis, D.Giedraitis, Beliauskas/Valinskas (IMO, rather similar upside players, borderliners as Juskevcius, Gailius), Jogela, Brazdeikis, Sedekerskis, Masiulis, Kulboka, Echodas, Birutis (there's barely any players who wouldn't have a shot to become long term options, and I think we should have Marciulionis and Tubelis on a deep sight already)
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  15. #355
    Senior Member Shawshank's Avatar
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    Bendzius also had similar stats in acb couple years ago like Kulboka.Acb is good league for shooters where teams scoring bunch of points and fast basketball.

    All those Bendzius,Kulboka even Giedraitis coach by acb veteran coach looks really good in such basketball, but damm all 3 are very soft defensively.They can play only one way.If playing style is not so free they usually struggle.

    Masiulis is more true pf,when others 3 is true SF by playing style.Our NT don't need more SF types.I see Masiulis him more seriuos candidate to be in camp just because of position.

    We will have Kuz and Giedraitis as those slim soft types enough.
    Last edited by Shawshank; 02-07-2020 at 03:25 PM.

  16. #356

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    Bendzius also had similar stats in acb couple years ago like Kulboka.Acb is good league for shooters where teams scoring bunch of points and fast basketball.

    All those Bendzius,Kulboka even Giedraitis coach by acb veteran coach looks really good in such basketball, but damm all 3 are very soft defensively.They can play only one way.If playing style is not so free they usually struggle.

    Masiulis is more true pf,when others 3 is true SF by playing style.Our NT don't need more SF types.I see Masiulis him more seriuos candidate to be in camp just because of position.
    Dude, so you're saying you watched zero games of Kulboka thus far, right? Seriously, some guys here have such a clumsy fingers to push few links and actually observe a player if that is not dished in LKL or EL broadcasting Kulboka is 2 kilos bigger than Masiulis. Both are at pretty much similar level regarding toughness, maybe with a slight edge by Masiulis. However, Kulboka is much more flexible at switching, he's stepping out impressively, adjusts in help D impressively. And don't even put Bendzius into conversation, dude never ever reached the level of decent defender. Always was huge liability at D, huge, and still is. If Bendzius had D side of the game, he would be a flat out NT member with his elite ability to stretch the flour at 4. And no, current Kulboka is not SF, neither ever was Musiulis Even Bendzius can't move his feed at SF while being rather light 95kg. He's too clumsy and not agile enough. He's soft, but slow and lanky. His elite touch makes a career for him, that's all.
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  17. #357
    Senior Member Shawshank's Avatar
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    Dude I'm not saying Masiulis is making the team, I'm saying he have better shot because of how he plays .

    Look at 2016 Olympics versus Australia game they pushed us around,wrestler us and eventually broke us after 2,5 querters bullying us.Same as euroleague as Sharas always says .You can't win at that level with lots of long and slim soft players.

    You need men strength to answer bullying or you going nowhere at level . Sorry but some slim dudes are just not ready for that type of basketball and Kulboka right now is one of them.

    Kuz and Giedraitis is enough of those slim and soft players for me.

    I rather have more Butkevicius and Maciulis and Ulanovas type that gonna answer and hold their ground and won't let push them around.

    Those Kuz,Bendzius,Kulboka,Giedraitis,Same Masiulis they can't play as Sharas would say "luptis" basketball

  18. #358

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    That's correct, but we have to see what we have. If Maciulis proves his worth still I'm OK with him. If both Maciulis and Jankunas are done, we'll have to take one in Kulboka/Masiulis/Bendzius and that would be my priority today. To bang inside is OK and a MUST, but you also need to move your feet today So let's not make jokes with D-Mo at 4, that would be horrific. Even Jankunas is too big liability at 4 today, specially when you go against elite NT's with few star guards.
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  19. #359
    Senior Member Shawshank's Avatar
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    Masiulis have better shot playing pf on that level right now than Kulboka that's why I put him higher in NT.

    And there will be no time max 16 players will be invited, so I choosen one from Masiulis/Bendzius/Kulboka trio as possible candidate thats it.

    Both Maciulis and Jankunas lately showing some good signs, that's bad news for that trio.But still I believe coach have choose one between Maciulis/Jankunas at this point of their careers.

    I would go with Maciulis because he have chances guarding PF, I don't believe Paulius can anymore.

  20. #360

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    Masiulis have better shot playing pf on that level right now than Kulboka that's why I put him higher in NT.
    Well, I'm not sure about it. Kulboka delivered at way higher level this season. Mid section LKL team and Champions League? Meh...Another thing, Masiulis got some slumps because of injuries this season and didn't provide as expected. We'll see who looks more convincing in windows, hope to see them both making the team.
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