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Thread: Serbia at OQT 2021

  1. #41
    Senior Member Serbian_Layup's Avatar
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    Just two point guards for Acropolis cup. In fact, just one - Jović, because Avramović is more of a SG or combo guard. Nevertheless, a big opportunity for Avramović to make his case and a good test for Jović after months without any games.

    There is a good news, Milutinov started to practice so there is a hope he will be available for Olympics if we qualify (doubtful for OQT). There is no Jokić, but froncourt rotation of Milutinov-Petrušev-Marjanović is quite good. It provides you everything you need from a center in traditional and modern sense - defense, rebounding, lob threat (Milutinov), rolling, spacing, ability to play all 5 out (Petrušev), paint dominance (Mrajanović). So, that's quite good and diverse skill sets Kokoškov has to work with which will help him adjust to opposing game plans or make other teams adjust to his game plan. Of course, Jokić and everything he does on the court offensively is just extra, extra bonus, but this frontcourt should be good. It's so important that with guards like Teo, Bogdan and Micić we have different centers who can compliment their skills and make their life easier. Micić and Bogdan, especially with Petrušev, will have space to drive and slash, while Teo with both Petrušev and Milutinov will be able to play his game and show his p&r craftiness.

    As for Acropolis cup, I hope Avramović, Dobrić and Marinković will get big minutes and a chance to show how they can help this team at OQT. Who knows, we might get an important piece for future campaigns. Anđušić is also interesting, need to take advantage of his hot shooting. All eyes on Petrušev...It will be interesting, still a lot of curiosities and possible good stories even without Jokić. We'll see, Dobrić and Marinković might have advantage over Nedović and Gudurić if we want to build our game plan on Micić/Teo/Bogdan and surround them with 3&D players. Nedović may be valuable as a scorer off the bench. It's not a bad idea to have an ISO player who can shake things up and change rhythm of the game. I feel like we need one more scorer off the bench behind Micić and Bogdan.

  2. #42
    Senior Member Serbian_Layup's Avatar
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    A good first half against Puerto Rico, especially second quarter on both ends of the floor. Players that we hope will step up didn't disappoint. Petrusev, Dobric, Avramovic, all of them had good games. Avramovic didn't score a lot, but his playmaking was very good, nice drives and dishes to Petrusev. Dobric is definitely for strong consideration not only for OQT but Olympics also. Scoring, energy, defense, athleticism...he is good. Now, Petrusev...He is so good and efficient finisher in the paint and around the rim. He is going to have a great time with Micic and Teo feeding him in various situations. His weakness right now is lack of strength (that series vs Nnoko and Zvezda exposed him a little bit physically and chased him out of the paint), and he probably has to work on refining his post game, tends to just shoot those right hooks most of the time. With good PG setting him up he is going to be dangerous and a good weapon for us.

    Jovic is not ready which is not surprising considering his long absence. Avramovic actually looked much better handling playmaking duties. Andjusic very good in the first half. Marinkovic totally out of shape, but had one nice transition. Some things are already becoming clear about who can help at OQT from this roster. Defense was really good, you can see they are ready to grind from day one.

  3. #43
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    My biggest impression of the game is Browne. What a poor man's Iverson.

    Bravo for Ogi. He could really make it to the team. My heart would be so full of happiness.

  4. #44
    Senior Member Serbian_Layup's Avatar
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    There is a lot to like about how this roster performed at Acropolis cup. My main takes:

    - Kokoškov is a good coach. I like how he mentioned Đorđević after the game vs Greece and said that he will be insisting on the same things that were our trademarks during Đorđević's tenure: defense, energy, and above all unselfishness, moving the ball and always looking for good decisions and open shots. I think in each of three games we had 20+ assists. Even though some opponents had questionable quality, and except for turnovers which were expected, it felt to me like this roster played many games together, even though its basically their first time in this roster. That tells me about seriousness, quality and professional approach that we have in coaching staff.

    - Avramović, Dobrić and Petrušev impressed. We were hoping for that. Avramović surprised me. I always thought while watching him that his main threat is slashing/scoring, but these three games his playmaking was really great. Kokoškov obviously asked from him to focus on playmaking more than scoring due to lack of point guards in this roster and he really delivered in great fashion. He used his slashing ability to carve defenses up and had great timing for kickouts to open shooters or easy passes to centers (excellent connection with Petrušev). He was skipping some good shots to get his teammates even better looks showing offensive awareness and adding another dimension in his game. He should be safe for OQT and serious candidate for Olympics if we qualify. Considering that Nedović and Gudurić are shaken up a bit, that might be reality.

    Dobrić is growing into dangerous 3&D player who can put the ball on the floor and is just unstoppable in transition or straight line driving with his athleticism. He's got the size he uses pretty well to finish some tough short shots or layups at the rim. And he is a sniper when spotting up. Nice two way player, could be very helpful off the bench for us.

    Petrušev is doing what he did all season. Extremely efficient from the inside, great at setting screens and rolling to the basket. He is always in the position to do some damage near the basket, really great at positioning in the paint allowing to be easy target for his teammates. Didn't shoot a lot from the outside, that was probably the game plan vs opposition that was inferior in the paint. I would like to see more of pick&pop game with him. Something to improve for Petrušev: focus on defense, boxing out, be tougher. Anyway, I know Jokić will be missing, maybe even Bogdanović, but it feels like we might get 2-3 serious players from this campaign for future, and I think it's more than good consolidation prize.

    - Jović, Avramović, Dobrić, Bjelica, Petrušev, Marjanović are pretty much locks for OQT. Getting Milutinov and Bogdanović healthy for Olympics if we get there is crucial. With them being healthy and ready I still like our chances very much even without Jokić. In case Bogdan is also out, I can see us being hard to beat but contending for medal will be much harder. In either way I think this will be a team with some good offensive awareness and ability to play hard defense. It's all you can ask for in the end.

  5. #45
    Senior Member Serbian_Layup's Avatar
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    A hard pill to swallow. Hard to single out a cause for this debacle, I think it's a mix of really bad circumstances for us. Objective thinking implies that all those injuries (not only players who couldn't come but also the ones that were there far from being fit and ready to play) combined with the fact that Kokoskov didn't have a single practice with a complete roster, we just couldn't get it together. However, what troubles me the most is a complete lack of hustle, energy, motivation to somehow overcome all adversities. When you leave open Italian shooters for five straight possessions I think there is more than just being tired and unprepared.

    We need fresh blood. It's becoming obvious. And we also need a serious analysis to do in order to avoid any further crisis. In that regard, 2022 Eurobasket is going to be absolutely crucial for our future. There are some important questions to answer about commitment, motivation and energy from some of our veterans and honest reply whether they still want to win with NT. We can't put ourselves in a position to revert to those sad years from 2003-2009 when nothing worked and the cult for playing with NT was completely lost. I understand that times are different, Bodiroga, Djordjevic, Danilovic etc. for them NT was the place to prove yourself and become a real player, they were hungry and mad as dogs when playing for NT. Now, players get that satisfaction playing for their clubs, industry of sports has reached enormous heights and they are heavily exposed in the media, there is a lot of talk about them, their game and it's probably normal that they feel complete satisfaction playing for their teams like there is nothing more to prove in NT. That's how I feel this trend is going and I think there will be less and less hunger and motivation to play for NT. Too many excuses happened in the last couple if years to think otherwise. It also doesn't help that agents will look only at money and NBA contracts, they are really not good role models for those young players when it comes to encouragement and excitement to play for NT.

    I think Kokoskov should stay, but he has to step up and recognize the situation when tactics and drawing plays don't help when you need to just shake your team up. He deserves a chance to practice with a full roster (hopefully not injury riddled) and see his signature before we say anything about his coaching. Definitely tough for him to make something out of nothing in this campaign.

    I'm not going to go down on certain players but it was clear that our game plan was built on some players that can't carry that burden anymore or some of them never really proved that they can.

    Eurobasket 2022 is going to be important for us in so many ways.
    Last edited by Serbian_Layup; 07-10-2021 at 04:25 PM.

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