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Thread: 2023 World Cup Qualifiers

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    Senior Member Serbian_Layup's Avatar
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    Default 2023 World Cup Qualifiers

    I went through Latvia's roster and I'm surprised by the fact that lots of players are playing across Spanish, Turkish and Italian leagues. It will be a challenge. Good thing is that Teodosić will be there to lead this fairly young group of players. I was hoping to see big minutes for those young players, but now I'm not too optimistic about that. Smailagić will play big minutes for sure, but I'm not sure if Jović will get some playing time due to inexperience in such important game. Teodosić, Avramović and Smailagić should do the heavy lifting in this window. I also expect Radanov to get a good amount of minutes, Ilić proabbly too. Koprivica should get minutes as well because I see that Anžejs Pasečņiks (2.18) is in Latvia's roster so I expect Koprivica to match his size. Ristić has been shooting hot lately, so using him as a stretch big could be a good idea.

    Limited roster and short time to implement anything serious, but there are options. We have bigs who who can space the floor (Smailagić and Ristić), rim protector (Koprivica) and Smailagić will have opportunities for some of his rim running with Teodosić setting him up, as well as Koprivica as a lob threat. That's good for start. Avramović will be more as a slasher and scorer with Teodosić on the floor, as opposed to his role wuth Partizan. Radanov can provide playmaking and slashing from forward position, Novak could also help with playmaking and shooting. Ilić and Dangubić will bring athelticism, defense and rebounding, so it might be a well balanced team, such as it is in these circumstances.

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    Little surprised that Pesic decided to cut Ilic from final roster. It's not like we are bursting with talent at PF position (not counting Smailagic who is probably going to play a lot at C). All three of Dangubic, Zagorac and Trifunovic seems a bit too much, Ilic could bring athleticism, rebounding and better defense. Not a big deal, but I think we could have had better depth in the frontcourt with Ilic. Everything else is fine, Jovic will make a debut which is great to see at such young age, nice investment for future. I think it won't be too long before Djurisic gets to this level. Curious to see Smailagic, Radanov, Koprivica and of course Jovic if he gets any minutes. Nice to see Teo leading this group, might be crucial for this window.

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    Well, somehow we managed to win. Congrats to Pesic and all players, it's extremely tough to look like a basketball team in these circumstances, especially when you come across a team with that kind of shooting day. At one point at the end of first quarter Latvia had 11/12 FG made. Absurd shooting Luckily we also had players who stepped up when it mattered most. Experience from Teo and Jagodic-Kuridza was priceless. Avramovic with +22 in 32 minutes of playing time in a game that we barely won by one point is a little bit bizarre. Solid game from Avramovic like always with NT. Very good role from Smailagic prior his injury, had a ridiculous dunk in transition. He really is unstoppable if he gets any space to get past his defender. Dangubic also brought huge energy in the fourth quarter and couple really important shots. Now, hopefully, we'll be playing without too much pressure vs Belgium. They can't shoot quite good as Latvia, but they are much tougher and better in defense. However, I think they suit us better than Latvian team. I was hoping to see Jovic but this was definitely not the kind of game to throw him right into fire.

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    For me this Latvia team in this constellation is Top3 in this qualifiers. A lot of teams would have been beaten by them yesterday that's why I value this victory really high. Well oiled machine. With Porzingis, Strelnieks and Davis Bertans in addition this is a team that can definitely create some damage. What an old school point guard duo they have. Lomazs looks like Serbian PG from the 90's. Incredibly intelligent scorer. Reads defenses excellent.

    In some stretches we didn't even play bad defense, they were simply hitting incredible shots. All of them. From 1 to 5 On other hand it was really visible that they've spend this summer together in pre-qualifications, they looked more cohesive and organized. We simply won on talent.

    I am deeply impressed by Latvia's performance yesterday. A team to look at and a team that will have very good chances to end up in the World Cup. I am really happy that we will go to Riga with our best line-up.

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    Deserved win of Belgium against horrible Serbia in 2nd half. This qualifiers will be difficult to survive with this kind of teams we have constantly on disposal. Generally match against Belgium is some kind of must win already in Belgrade. Very negative reaction of team to a hard fought win on Thursday. The more critical is that they played bad, too, and won.

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    Well, that game against Latvia we probably deserved to lose but somehow won, now it seemed like we have this game against Belgium under control for 30 minutes but the fourth quarter was the worst I've ever seen from our team. Teo can still play, but definitely he is not at the point of his career where he can play 30 minutes, it gets harder to hide him defensively. He did what he could offensively with Petrusev and Avramovic, but this team such as it is sorely lacks one another scorer who can create or hit open shots. The biggest problem definitely remains lack of practice, and that won't be solved in this format of competition. On the other hand, most of Belgium players are playing together under same coach, and those teams like Belgium that are decent and play together for a long time will always have their chance in this kind of competition. Don't think this loss a big deal, but an early sense of urgency might be welcome.

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    Our federation simply hasn't done homework. Just 3 solid EL players would have been enough today. But it is like it is. Second phase of this qualifiers will bring some negative events for some teams. Wouldn't be surprised if we, Greece or Turkey or 2 of 3 hang out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Katastroika View Post
    Our federation simply hasn't done homework. Just 3 solid EL players would have been enough today. But it is like it is. Second phase of this qualifiers will bring some negative events for some teams. Wouldn't be surprised if we, Greece or Turkey or 2 of 3 hang out.
    How many teams can qualify after second phase?

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    Three. There will be millions of tie breakers as there are 5 teams which can beat each other. I am not angry of the loss but because of semi professional attitude of federation. This win today would have really had big impact on final result of qualifiers in my opinion.

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    Greetings from Levice. Didn't expect that many Serbs here. Thought we 3 are the only crazy ones for this trip.

    Tomorrow more, a win is a win. My greetings to great Slovak people.

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    It was good trip and interesting game.

    Slovakia reminds a lot on Switzerland and this spreading causes trouble when they hit from outside especially when they go complete small ball with Brodziansky playing fake center in 2nd half. They hit "just" 10 threes but in solid percentage of 36%. Reason for our win was despite giving away 9 offensive boards to Slovakia control of boards (40-35) and just 9 TOs. Very disciplined game play of Serbia. We had several stretches were we could break them (up 16 and twice up 12) but we missed really easy buckets and they fought hard and came back into interesting end of the game.

    Overall positive outtakes for me is Avramovic who really dominated and was clearly best player on the court with Brodziansky. Jovic is refreshing, he will be very good player, it was interesting to see him in an organized setting without run and gun like in Mega. He played a good game. Ristic played excellent first half, he really looked dominating and could have done even better but it was good decision from Pesic to react on Slovakia taking out it's C and putting MJK on Brodziansky. It could have ended ugly with conventional center setup. Refs let really hard game, didn't call intentional fouls on both sides and let game flow which was iritating first but very fun to watch overall.

    Everything else will be forgotten soon. This two victories with this roster are really well appreciated. In next window we will have a significantly better line up and a crucial game in Riga vs. Latvia that could put us in excellent position for next round with a win.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Katastroika View Post
    It was good trip and interesting game.

    Slovakia reminds a lot on Switzerland and this spreading causes trouble when they hit from outside especially when they go complete small ball with Brodziansky playing fake center in 2nd half. They hit "just" 10 threes but in solid percentage of 36%. Reason for our win was despite giving away 9 offensive boards to Slovakia control of boards (40-35) and just 9 TOs. Very disciplined game play of Serbia. We had several stretches were we could break them (up 16 and twice up 12) but we missed really easy buckets and they fought hard and came back into interesting end of the game.

    Overall positive outtakes for me is Avramovic who really dominated and was clearly best player on the court with Brodziansky. Jovic is refreshing, he will be very good player, it was interesting to see him in an organized setting without run and gun like in Mega. He played a good game. Ristic played excellent first half, he really looked dominating and could have done even better but it was good decision from Pesic to react on Slovakia taking out it's C and putting MJK on Brodziansky. It could have ended ugly with conventional center setup. Refs let really hard game, didn't call intentional fouls on both sides and let game flow which was iritating first but very fun to watch overall.

    Everything else will be forgotten soon. This two victories with this roster are really well appreciated. In next window we will have a significantly better line up and a crucial game in Riga vs. Latvia that could put us in excellent position for next round with a win.
    Glad you had good time there. I saw some Serbian flags there and bigger support than I expected.

    Limited roster but nothing to take away from those wins. And more than that and for which this window will be remembered is debuts form Jovic and Djurisic. I think Pesic handled them in a great way. He gave many minutes to Djurisic in the first game and he returned it with a very nice game, while in the second game Jovic got more minutes and absolutely delivered. Great management from Pesic because it would probably be too much to give two rookies that many minutes in both games. I agree what you said about Jovic, this pattern of play is much more beneficial for him at this age than what he has been playing at Mega in a rather not disciplined system and a lack of responsibility. He played within system last night and was very efficient using his chances and not forcing tough shots like he does at Mega. The kind of game last night is much more meaningful for him at this age because it teaches him discipline, responsibility and fundamentals. If those people at Mega wish him well, they will have to get him to play more in a way he played last night under Pesic.

    All in all, great window, not just because of the wins, but because we got to watch two of our most talented players making impact in their debut for NT.

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    Pesic and Tarlac released press information after their 10 day US tour to visit our potential NBA national team candidates. All players are willing to participate in the summer activities of the national team but it will be seen if everyone will be included in all windows. Especially important is that that they pointed out very good relations with coaches and GM's and that they've spent a couple of days in Denver with Jokic family and Nuggets organization.

    I think this is a huge step forward to completing a picture of a potential Serbian team in June windows and for window in August including Eurobasket.
    If healthy we will have a pretty good team that can play competitive basketball against all favourites in my opinion (at least theoretically of course).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Katastroika View Post
    Pesic and Tarlac released press information after their 10 day US tour to visit our potential NBA national team candidates. All players are willing to participate in the summer activities of the national team but it will be seen if everyone will be included in all windows. Especially important is that that they pointed out very good relations with coaches and GM's and that they've spent a couple of days in Denver with Jokic family and Nuggets organization.

    I think this is a huge step forward to completing a picture of a potential Serbian team in June windows and for window in August including Eurobasket.
    If healthy we will have a pretty good team that can play competitive basketball against all favourites in my opinion (at least theoretically of course).
    Nice effort from Pesic and Tarlac. Pesic is somewhat known as a coach who doesn't care too much about NBA basketball, as most old school coaches, but he knows very well what he has in Jokic and Bogdanovic, so he will try to make a good connection with them. These kind of press releases are formal and never really tell you the whole story in a direct way, there is always something between the lines. I guess it's encouraging that he told that ALL players expressed their desire to play for NT, so I guess it also includes Jokic. Now, I doubt we can see any of our NBA players in June, which is fine, I wouldn't even like to see Jokic and Bogdan balling in June as they will definitely need a rest if they are willing to play at EuroBasket. But that August window is interesting and important as it could serve as preparation for EuroBasket. We know we need time to get those players like Bogdan, Micic and Jokic to feel comfortable together, so that window might be chance to have an extended preparation period which could be beneficial once EuroBasket gets going.

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    This game in Latvia is pretty important and they will be stacked I suppose, we shouldn't gamble but yeah also without Bogdanovic and Jokic it is somewhat managable to go there with an All EL roster and try to beat them.

    For August window I disagree and think it will be the exact same team like the one playing in Czech Republic - I am sure we will go with our strongest team into this two games (btw there are rumours that this window will include three games - but the more the better at least in our case).

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    I forgot we have Latvia in June, but nevertheless it's unrealistic to see Bogdan and Jokic in that window, especially if they get past first round of NBA playoffs. But it would be great to see them if they will feel physically well enough to play. I wouldn't like to bring them for that competitive game if they are mentally checked out and already on vacation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Serbian_Layup View Post
    I forgot we have Latvia in June, but nevertheless it's unrealistic to see Bogdan and Jokic in that window, especially if they get past first round of NBA playoffs. But it would be great to see them if they will feel physically well enough to play. I wouldn't like to bring them for that competitive game if they are mentally checked out and already on vacation.
    I agree about last sentence. Bogdan would be heavy upgrade nevertheless.

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    Andjusic will be a good weapon in upcoming windows, as he has been so far. Shooting 43% for three this season, shooters like him are very welcome. Not sure about his chances for EuroBasket if we get everyone there, but he is emerging as one of premier options in case of some notable absences at guard position.

    There is a possibility that Pokusevski will play this summer. That's what he said after talk with Pesic, just don't know if that's upcoming windows or maybe even EuroBasket. Still doubt that, but would love to see him on FIBA court, I think his shooting, rim protection from the weak side would be even more on display in FIBA game with that kind of size.

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    What a game vs Greece and what a crowd. Such a high pressure game and incredibly important win from many angles.

    It wasn't a perfect game for Serbia, and no one was really expecting that at this moment, but you can tell we are on the way to become a good team. With each game like this, it's making all players closer and the most important thing for making that cohesion is that all players feel like they are important parts of the team. Not only Jokić and Micić, but to have players like Jaramaz and Marinković step up and say to themselves something like 'hey, I'm important for this team too, it's not just Jokić and Micić'. That's exactly what happened with Jaramaz stepping up big time and playing a huge game on both ends of the court. To be clear, he can't replace Micić in the role we need Micić, but to have him off the bench and bring that energy and defense, while being able to use the space to slash and shoot couple of open shots, he is good enough for that role and will mean a lot to us (if everything will be OK with Micić). He can take a lot of confidence from this game, and also his ability to shoot off the dribble is nice to have, people will pay more attention, closing out on him more aggressively which will give him chance to drive and pass. Marinković with a big first half..that's what we need besides Jokić and Micić, to have a couple of players between Gudurić, Jaramaz, Marinković, Dobrić and Nedović (will probably recover form injury in time) stepping up each game. It's also clear that we need to cut on those sloppy turnovers out of nowhere, get better on transition defense. One of the problems, especially after Micić went out, was that our guards couldn't make an entry pass in the post to Jokić and were slow with their reaction in these situations. It's better with Micić, but work needs to be done here. Also, they have to make faster decisions when Jokić passes the ball out of the post, it's like they are confused when they have a good looking shot but not sure if they should take it, pass it or make a move. Everything is better than just stopping the play if we want to use Jokić's gravity.

    You could tell how much this game meant to Jokić. I have never seen him missing 4 straight free throws, I'm sure that's the consequence of huge expectations from himself and the crowd which really showed a lot of respect to him. I think he has another 20% left in his game and that is mainly about improving communication with teammates and getting to know where he likes the ball and what other players should do when he gets the ball.

    Pešić seems to have no plans of trying out Jokić and Milutinov, which I think is a mistake. I'm pretty sure they can work together. By the way, Milutinov has benn fantastic. Jokić ''only'' played 30 minutes because we have a luxury to bring Milutinov off the bench and give Jokić an extended rest, compared to Giannis who had to play 40 minutes.

    Milutinov was +10 in this game and the thing about him is that he doesn't really have post move or fancy footwork, but he will totally dominate smaller players and most of those centers coming off the bench. Jaramaz was +19 in such tight game. Really great game for him.

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    Gotta give credit to Pešić and the whole team. The energy against Turkey was something we were missing the last couple of years. We were 1-3 at one moment with slim chances to qualify, but reaction afterwards has been great. We had to beat fully stacked teams such as Greece and Turkey and both of those games were do or die for us. Then, another tough game against Turkey. Energy, mentality and toughness in those games were really at full display. The bitter taste after Eurobasket is definitely easier to handle after wins in basically knockout games in 2 last windows.

    38 players have played for Serbia in these qualification windows...Absurd number, no way we can have any kind of consistency if it continues in this organizational form.

    I have to mention Ristić, kudos to him, kept us afloat with his shooting in difficult moments. Phenomenal last defensive possession from Lučić on Wilbekin and help defense from Radanov. I like Radanov defensively very much, he shut down Wilbekin in the first half, then got into foul trouble but came back strong for the last two minutes. If he could shoot just a little bit, he would be a top 3&D player with high IQ.

    Gudurić finally showed what he can do in NT. He played the same way he plays at Fenerbahce under Itoudis. I think he is mentally ready to take the next step and be consistently good while doing a bit of everything. I think his role in NT would be the leader of second unit, having freedom to handle the ball and make decisions. He's been excellent this season.
    Last edited by Serbian_Layup; 11-16-2022 at 01:33 PM.

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