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

  1. #521

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    Quote Originally Posted by madmax View Post
    Sabonis and Siska were big personalities?
    Well, maybe compared to a wet towel, they were...our main issue is like always the lack of talent, not lack of personalities (ego and self-confidence grows with a talent too). I'm also not sure why do you want to limit versatile forward like Sedekerskis to a PF position - that would be a waste of his talents and abilities. His natural position is SF and just let him roam all over the court defensively and offensively, where he's the most comfortable. I like Shengelia comparison however, as both have quite similar games and athletic bodies perfectly suited for today's game
    I tried to mark all 4 names. Shengelia is pure 4. Sedekerskis is also pure 4, IMO. Personality = elite player, game changer.
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  2. #522
    Senior Member Shawshank's Avatar
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    Jokubaitis up and down is normal for such young kid playing the hardest position.He has tools to be good pg,but he is 2-3 years away from being seriuos pg that we could throw to any playoofs games without no meltdowns .But sooner we put him on fire the sooner he will get tougher skin.

    Butkevicius was very solid,he knows what he can do and what he cant thats maturity.Argubly our best defender overall.For me he stock went even more higher.He playing style is perfect for bench players role.

    Dimsa i believe we can add one more player from 1992-1994 generation to seriuos candidate list.

    Sedekerskis after watching scrimmage i really liked his defence,but when games started he again returned to very passive offensively Sedekerskis version.

    Grigonis is Maciulis breed character wise,some fans gonna hate him,some gonna love him ,but that character will let him shine in tough moments for a team.

    In 4 querter when Maskoliunas tried to win game against Estonia we saw what players he consider main ones : Lukas,Grigonis,Ulanovas,Butkevicius+Big played almost all last querter + Kalnietis was playing couple minutes as SG too.
    Last edited by Shawshank; 07-26-2020 at 05:54 PM.

  3. #523
    Senior Member auris1's Avatar
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    true elite personalities and players were
    This is a bit mish and mash somehow.
    Being elite personality ? Not even sure what does it mean in terms how it relates to basketball ? Mind you , if you were to replace personality to leadership that would make much more sense to me .
    Next word that comes to my mind is authority . Someone like Jankunas for Zalgiris. Behind closed doors he must have been breaking rookie balls for generations in basketball years.
    I appreciate that description mentioned above does exist - the one and only Jasikevicius.
    I also presume that he could be the only ever
    Lithuanian to coach NBA team and become president of our country later on.
    Whatever.

  4. #524

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    Quote Originally Posted by auris1 View Post
    This is a bit mish and mash somehow.
    Being elite personality ? Not even sure what does it mean in terms how it relates to basketball ? Mind you , if you were to replace personality to leadership that would make much more sense to me .
    Next word that comes to my mind is authority . Someone like Jankunas for Zalgiris. Behind closed doors he must have been breaking rookie balls for generations in basketball years.
    I appreciate that description mentioned above does exist - the one and only Jasikevicius.
    I also presume that he could be the only ever
    Lithuanian to coach NBA team and become president of our country later on.
    Whatever.
    Yes, your insights are spot on. In your sense, I think we can actually add Sarunas Marciulionis and Karnisovas as "elite personalities". Marciulionis even became hall of famer as his activity off the court was so visible. Karnisovas reached absolute elite in NBA, becoming executive vice president of Bulls, previously general manager of Nuggets. It can't get much better than this. I would love that we would have such person as Karnisovas for a president of our basketball federation.

    However, foremost I meant elite personalities in sense that they are truly making the difference. JV and Sabonis are elite players, but I added that elite personality also because they don't make such difference (at least not yet in Sabonis case) as previously some Karnisovas, Saras, Macijauskas, Siskauskas or even prime Kleiza made. We surely lack such breed and Grigonis now is closest to that. Can he reach that level? I think he will be close in his prime, and he's stepping to his prime now, but probably that will be it. He won't be as legit as those names. Leadership is also tricky term. F.e. Maciulis always had leader's qualities, but he never made such difference as my mentioned names, except for 2015, one incredible tournament. Some guys are natural leaders, but not as talented. To me the best examples of elite personality and player are Sabas, Marciulionis, Jasikevicius. They were guys to go, glue guys and emotional leaders into one figure. Now we lack such players. Some lacks all around skills (JV and to much lesser extent, but still Sabonis), some are too introverted (Lekavicius), not mentally tough enough (Kuzminskas), some simply lacking talent (Ulanovas, Kalnietis) or physicality (Grigonis). Elite player/personality has all the package pretty much or very close to it. And you need such breed to snatch titles or big (Olympic foremost) medals.
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  5. #525
    Senior Member Shawshank's Avatar
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    That what allowed 1985 generation being really good with average talent.

    You can have tallent, but if your main players don't have balls/ leadership in their character your team isn't going far in playoffs.

    Alot of people say our NT 2017-2019 played better than 2013-2016 basketball wise.But one team had group of players with balls in tough moments ,other was melting down under pressure in playoffs atmosphere games atleast to this moment in time.

    Kalnietis,Maciulis,Seibutis played better than their true level was simply because of fighters characters.

    I'm still waiting Lukas,Grigonis,Ulanovas to show such qualities in playoffs atmosphere games.If they will show that ltu will return to podium, they have more than enough help from bigs to achieve that.

    This trio of PG-SF achieve playing level of 85 trio,but from leadership,character standpoint they still have some ground to cover.
    Last edited by Shawshank; 08-02-2020 at 10:23 AM.

  6. #526

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    Will borrow Ludux style:

    France, Australia 2019 > Italy, Croatia 2013 and Georgia, Italy, Serbia 2015

    Ok, can't go with Ludux style:

    Even 2015 Serbia wasn't some almighty team that we really defeated in some great clash. None of Serbians played a good game, none. All Teodosic, Bogdanovic, Bjelica shot the ball like crap. Their best center was Raduljica. It was partially because of our good D, but Serbia really sucked at the same time (France swept them in small final). That wasn't the same Serbia of 2016 and later on. It was broken team. Serbia gets broken here and there, just as it happened in 2019 while they were treated as heavy favourite.

    We do know how our NT looked in 2012 and specially 2016. In my opinion we basically faced OG level opposition in 2019 WC and we had both tight games against elite teams. I'm starting to value this more and more in comparison with medals in Eurobaskets (2013, 2015) of super great DRAW for us and non elite barriers to final.
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  7. #527
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    Serbia 2015 played a great tournament till the semi final game but they really shot like shit against Lithuania. I said back then that it would be too dangerous to play high level from the start and I was right

  8. #528
    Senior Member Shawshank's Avatar
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    Most elite teams was missing 2-3 players from top 8 in 2019.In Olympics everybody plays .

    2014-2017 Serbia won 3 silver medals and lost only 4 playoffs games:

    2014 final USA
    2015 semifinal Lithuania
    2016 final USA
    2017 final Slovenia

    Serbians are not loosing semifinals games in djordjevic era, they can lose 3 group games in same tournament, but 1/4 and semifinal usually they brought their A game.

    That Serbian 2014-2017 was top 3 world team.

    At the end of the day nobody remembers that you got bad draw if our team wasn't even playing in playoffs...and team that played in final it's nothing to compare here.
    Last edited by Shawshank; 08-05-2020 at 06:53 PM.

  9. #529

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    Rytis Kazlauskas snatched an interview with Brazdeikis. The course to play for Lith NT is not changing and the citizenship applying things are very close to be done:

    https://www.lrt.lt/naujienos/sportas...s-marskinelius
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  10. #530

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    I found it interesting question, what will be NT starting five after five years in Urbonusas podcast, and Urbonas had Jokubaitis, Grigonis, Brazdeikis, Ulanovas (LOL), Sabonis and that other guy (I don't remember his name) had Jokubaitis, Grigonis, (Brazdeikis/Jogela/Sedekerskis), Tubelis, Sabonis.

    I would go like this:

    Marciulionis (at 23 I have him as the most dominant PG in the country, playing in NBA or elite EL club already)
    Grigonis (have to agree that 31yo Grigonis should still be the best nominal SG, yet I'm not sure he'll be the guard to make best duo, Jokubaitis, Velicka, Sirvydis may already be superior than Grigonis, but Grigonis is safest and most obvious choice at the moment)
    Brazdeikis (guys' offensive upside is tremendous, if only can pack all this to PRO he will be scoring at will)
    Murauskas (wild shot, but I can actually see him dominating at 21 already with his versatile and all around game, already playing in the NBA since 19 or 20)
    Tubelis (another bold projection in terms of pushing off Sabonis, but I believe Tubelis will be more dominant at FIBA with his face to face offense and ability to run and put the ball on the floor, besides he should grow into better defender)
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  11. #531
    Senior Member Svajunas's Avatar
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    The fact that in 5 years we may so many high level players is pleasant.

    My 5 would be :

    Marciulionis
    Grigonis
    Brazdeikis
    Sedekerkis
    Sabonis

    Second five:

    Jokubaitis/Velicka
    D. Giedraitis
    Jogela
    Kulboka
    Tubelis

    We trully do have bigger pool in last years.

  12. #532

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    Really odd story with Rokas Giedraitis. He dropped ~20pts in both exhibition games, I watched the one against Bilbao a bit. He's aggressive, draws plenty of fouls, scores. In EL last season he was 14ppg kinda player which is huge, specially now that we lack shooting and scoring touch from wings. And yet it's almost a certainty that he will make from little to none impact in the NT...really odd story...

    Sedekerskis doesn't play much, but at least he's playing a little bit. IMO, this season will be another obstacle to his development, will be glued to the bench too often. Solid game by Kulboka. His shooting goes up and down in exhibition though, most likely he will need couple of more years to reach the consistency. Would want to see more of face to the basket drives. He is being used as merely a stretch 4 bunny.
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  13. #533
    Moderator Mindozas's Avatar
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    If Giedraitis will be able to bring this scoring into real games, that means he is ready for bigger role in NT too. I was sceptical about him in Alba days, cause game style was simply perfect for him, fast game, short possessions and scoring was hiding his poor defensive efforts, but this is another chapter, where he can prove himself as being ready for bigger things, both psychologically, physically. Friednlies means little, but I hope he really improved that much. Tbh I didn't expect him to be even double digits scorer in EL after he moved to Baskonia and Dusko. Time to prove me wrong


  14. #534

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mindozas View Post
    If Giedraitis will be able to bring this scoring into real games, that means he is ready for bigger role in NT too. I was sceptical about him in Alba days, cause game style was simply perfect for him, fast game, short possessions and scoring was hiding his poor defensive efforts, but this is another chapter, where he can prove himself as being ready for bigger things, both psychologically, physically. Friednlies means little, but I hope he really improved that much. Tbh I didn't expect him to be even double digits scorer in EL after he moved to Baskonia and Dusko. Time to prove me wrong
    To me it's also a surprise a little bit. I didn't see him coming and cold blooded nailing 20pt in those first games. Seems like he's ready to snatch some 10ppg in EL for Baskonia. I don't exclude the possibility that he will make a impact in NT, but look at this this way, he's 28yo, never yet snatched any role in the NT previously, in 2021 OG he'll be 29, in 2022 OB he'll be thirty. Then probably a brake of FIBA tournaments and he's coming back as some 32? Most likely his time is now in 2021 and 2022. And his contribution is in really high need particularly now. We have enough of talent growing, we need buckets now. If he will show such maturity that he can adjust to any style then it's very likely that will contribute, but Baskonia's BB is still very favourable for him, pretty much up tempo, a lot of quick, improvised passes and drivings. IN the NT we have Maskoliunas who is trying to be Saras (and I think it's a good way, because Maskoliunas trying to be Saras is probably better than Maskoliunas trying to be Maskoliunas), so we won't run most likely. To me it's fifty/fifty whenever Giedraitis ever becomes relevant contributor in the NT.
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  15. #535

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    Finally, Dmo raises a right question, LOL Yes, Dmo you're not on the level of the NT, that's absolute true. I've seen the worst D at C for a long time in Windows. I think he's jut trying to boost attention, to make that "SEL" wibe around him, that thugs would sympathize with his infamous NT campaigns, conflicts and so on. You know that pseudo misjudged, pseudo rebellious charackter...very attractive for the downs and naive middles of society. I'm not even sure if he's promoting himself like this (he established his fashion line or something and obviously working on his off court stuff and it's understandable for a semi retired player, talking everywhere he can in the media) because at the same time he's a hothead and he is truly bitter while he just missed the chance to remain silenced, Maskoliunas just wanted to test Blazevic. And why Maskoliunas had to invite Dmo instead of Birutis? Birutis was better in Windows, fact.

    Even if Dmo would tune up, would come to the NT in his 100 percent current abilities, he's surely below Domas, JV, Gudas, surely. Then I have huge doubts whenever he's on the level of Echodas, Birutis, Geben. Echodas might already be better at both ends, while Birutis and Geben are surely better defenders. So, yes, IMO, Dmo is done as a NT team player. Not to mention that absolute beast as Tubelis growing and will push out some Gudaitis soon as third best center (I think he'll need only 2 years for that), as well as Blazevic's upside is intriguing.
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  16. #536
    Senior Member Shawshank's Avatar
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    when is getting less less chances to see our 2 best players Valanciunas and Sabonis in June in qualification tournament our bigs position never was so much in doubt who to choose.


    Center position surely Gudaitis is nr.1 option, but after surgery he still not even close what he was before injury. Hopefully he will get his health right and comeback to shape in this season.

    After that its very hard to rank C-PF players. There is washed up Motiejunas. Jankunas on his last legs. And the others who havent even played on euroleague level tournaments.

    Birutis is rocking in acb, Geben is little role player for Zalgiris.Echodas i dont know still play on same level like last 2 seasons.

    PF position:


    Bendzius started season strongly in Italy. Maciulis showed that he still can play in Greece.

    Masiulis,Sedekerskis,Kulboka have their up and down over and over again.

    right now to say who is the clear favorite for starting PF position in NT 2021 is tottaly up for somebody to grab.

    Kuzminskas said million times he dont wanna play PF,but SF we have to manny high quality players,somebody from them most likely gonna put there too from some minutes.Also basketball is going for mobile and small ways.

    It alot will depend on their seasons.



    Right now my starting 5 for qualification would look:


    Kalnietis,Grigonis,Kuzminskas,Ulanovas,Gudaitis

    Lukas would be our 6th men that instant offence from bench.

    R.Giedraitis and Birutis play this season so far put them in seriuos conversation too being in top 9 NT rotation players.
    Last edited by Shawshank; 09-29-2020 at 10:45 AM.

  17. #537

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    I think there's a need to reconsider Rokas Giedraitis current relevance (I'm forced to do that). FOA, he run into BAKONIA system like a knife into a butter. Fluently, seemingly effortlessly. Thus he's not the same R. Giedraitis who came to the NT after Eurocup's season with ALBA in 2019 summer. He revealed impressive EL season (14ppg, 54.8/39.8/84.4) under his sleeve and seems to be poised to do the same with Baskonia. His extensive usage suggests that he can be one of Baskonia's leaders. In three ACB games thus far he has been scoring 16,3ppg with elite 50/40/90, shooting almost 7 threes per game. That's not some Tenerife, Manresa , that's Baskonia. He dropped 31pts against Pau Orthez and had been filling preseasons stat sheets with impressive fashion. SOF, I watched couple of games recently and he seems to be evolved even to another level. That's the most athletic, physical, confident and aggressive Giedraitis I ever seen. I noticed one very nice drive. He drove to the boundary line, got trapped, leaped into an air and his teammate in the corner (direct passing lain) got covered by defender so he hung in an an air and with a wide gesture find an open man at middle of three point line. He made an instant and impressively executed elite move. His D also looks better, he seems to be more eager ball hawk now, his hands are active, his positioning is decent, even if he will never be a good defender. He got there, he's an elite EL wing now, and I think if his current usage is yet to remain, he is posed to go after 14ppg for Baskonia in EL this season. He has the package to do that. So obviously now we should ask the question, that happens with him in the NT? At one hand, despite his impressive leaps of progression, he's still the guy with somewhat shaky confidence and needs a bit of uptempo environment to truly thrive and he needs rather high usage to be effective (and he has little true NT experience) , on other hand, if we rank our best baller in the country now, I think it goes like this objectively (having club and NT perspective, not only NT perspective): Sabonis, JV, Grigonis, Giedraitis and the rest...I'm sorry, but role player, like truly role player Ulanovas is not where Giedraitis stands as a key, leader role Baslonia's player. Objectively, we should have Grigonis at 2, Giedraitis at 3 as nominal best players PER POSITION. That alone is a real deal reason to reconsider whenever we should build an environment for Giedraitis to thrive in the NT as well. It's tricky, because he may fail in the NT to deliver, it's still different level and you have to deliver with less shots and usage and to diliver impressive abilities to adjust, but on other hand we have and elite EL wing who has tools to bring shooting and buckets. Rokas Giedraitis is the biggest mystery, enigma and elite intrigue for the 2021 NT campaign. There's an absolutely balling wing in his prime at the time we lack scoring and shooting and yet the guy never made a relevant bucket for the NT thus far. I'm willing to think, he deserved a chance at very least.
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  18. #538

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    Seems like we won't have NBA players in OG if it will take place in 2021. IMO, we barely suffer any at C. Position will be weaker, but still very solid with Gudaitis/Birutis/Geben/Echodas. Most problematic position in this case would be PF. Domas ws covering PF position, not brilliantly, but it was very serious card. Aside him, we don't have really reliable options now. Jankunas and Maciulis declining and I would be surely saying thanks to them. Kulboka, Kuzminskas, Bendzius are all a bit inconsistent offensively and unreliable defenders (even though I would favour Kulboka as the best defender out of the bench). Masiulis still somewhat struggling to truly brake out, and to me he's more of C in a long run, but since there won't be no Domas, we might need really tall (207cm) PF in the roster. And there's Sedekerskis who looks pretty nicely in ACB and looked pretty good in NT camp. So I guess this position is open to how the season will develop, but to me Sedekerskis should be absolute lock cause his D is really solid and consistent. Solid D, athleticism and hustling is something what Sedekerskis is providing every single game and that alone makes him the most consistent and most valuable piece at PF today. Besides he is able to knock down open threes with great percentage (LKL 45 last season). Then I hope Masiulis will make a step further because he is projected as important part of Lietkabelis and should get plenty of action. His size might be important against bigger PFs like Landale, Mirotic and such. And lastly, I hope Kulboka will prove that he's better than Bendzius. This would make young, athletic and diverse PF position.

    So I hope we'll go with Sedekerskis, Masiulis, Kulboka, cause Jankunas is surely done and Maciulis can't bring much either (I see Sedekerskis as more athletic, versatile and better defender overall already). Maybe Bendzius will be instead of Kulboka. Young, promising, yet obviously the weakest position at the moment. We will need couple of years till these players truly ripe and potential star players in Tubelis (and later Murauskas) will show up to have really strong PF position.
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  19. #539
    Senior Member Shawshank's Avatar
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    From all PF Sedekerskis clearly is best defender clearly how he can fly all over the floor and are really strong to defend his position inside.But something happens with him in games mentall blocks or something that he becomes super passive and not sure of himself.But for 10min defensive all around role player he can be usefull .

    I see similiarities with A.Butkevicius,they have fantastic bodies and very good defenders on any level and does all around job,but lacking offensive power.Looking on theory they are perfect as role players,helpers. If i want my team to be good defensively i need players that can defend 2-3 position players in today game.

    Bendzius and Kulboka all they do is shoot 3s, defensively just holes at highest level at PF.

    The safest option for PF position that would be ready for everything: would be take one experience veteran between Jankunas/Maciulis.

    Take one streach four choose between Bendzius/ Kulboka.

    I choose one from Masiulis/Sedekerskis.

    in bold would be my picks today,but it can change depending on seasons they will have.If Maskoliunas sees Kuzminskas or Ulanovas at PF then we need only 2 of those 6 players.

    But either way when NT losses not just 2 best bigs,but 2 best players that will hurt alot and no unproven players can cover that when the lights becomes brighter.
    Last edited by Shawshank; 10-04-2020 at 10:51 AM.

  20. #540

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    Yeah, Maciulis, Bendzius, Sedekerskis PF section is also very possible. The fact is it would be really the weakest position if there won't be NBA players. But other teams would have more serious damage. F.e. I think for Serbia losing Bogdanovic, Jokic, Bjelica is three times more damaging than for us to lose Domas and JV. Bigdanovic is the guy who can alone win the game in the 4 quarter. Domas and JV can be highly impactful, but they are not game changers as Bogdanovic. At the moment we don't have such game changer as Bogdanovic (IMO, Grigonis on a good day is our best shot now). Or France, is in very similar ituation with Fournier, their guy to go, plus defensive monster Gobert. Imagine Australia without NBA players...So I think we would still be in rather comfortable situation and I say that Lithuania's chances to win medals in Olympics would be much higher if there's no NBA players in all teams than wise versa.
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