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Thread: Lithuania to bounce back?

  1. #1

    Default Lithuania to bounce back?

    Here's the thing - 3 NBA bigs coming nearly at the same time (JV, D-mo, Sabonis). They might peak differently, but the fact is we never had 3 highly projected NBA players coming at the same time. 2 of them already contributing. I think it's pretty obvious already that Sabonis is NBA level material.

    Kuziminskas having a brake out season and seem finally to become a real player. Looks like a borderline NBA player.

    Grigonis shows promise at 2. He's still an enigma, but name 20yo Lith who scored 28 or 25 points at ACB level? I would say his upside is as high as an elite Euroleague's wing.

    Kalnietis filled 1 position and peaked as one of the best combos in Europe currently. Still relatively young.

    Can this core (and all the long and quality bench as usual) bring Lithuania to the level of 2000-2008 again next Olympic cycle?

    PS: Žalgiris youngsters this season also is the reason why the future looks bright now.
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    Moderator Mindozas's Avatar
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    No. 2000-2008 was much more talented. We might win smth, but it's cause overall level dropped too


  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mindozas View Post
    No. 2000-2008 was much more talented. We might win smth, but it's cause overall level dropped too
    It will be hard to reach the level of 2003/2004 again, but it's not impossible. We just need an upgrade of the backourt. We'll have much better frontline than we had. I still impressed of the basketball Šaras and Co. was playing at that time, but also surprised how badly that team could struggle offensively in some cuts. That generation lacked post up presence and too much depended on Šaras and other guards or wings. Amazing basketball when it goes (and with that talent it usually was the case), but probably because of not playing fundamental inside, outside basketball Lithuania still doesn't have Olympics gold or silver. What I'm saying - this upcoming generation might be more balanced and reliable than flashy and stormy 2004. But that's with condition that some guards, wings will peak. Current guards don't have any upside left, except maybe Kalnietis who can still get even better I think.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member auris1's Avatar
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    Lithuania to bounce back?
    Will steam trains make come back? Should we all go back to smoking pipe? Should we be bothered at all? No,no and no.And no.
    I feel like you had nothing better to do with your time, hence ...I have nothing else to do as well,apparently,hence the reply ...
    I just have to tell you the reason I came to this forum for and why nothing had changed ever since - I came here to argue that our basketball wasn't dead yet, and at this present time ,if ever,i maintain it is true...
    I just watched Motiejunas to have his best game ever in NBA , and yes,Jonas to have a mediocre game with 11 points and 7 rebounds or so.
    Zalgiris ,Neptunas,Lrytas and Siauliai are playing well in Europe. LKL is doing remarkably well,bar one or two teams.
    Kuzminskas and Grigonis are doing well in Spain,Sabonis is getting his numbers in USA, and so on...For me,the enjoyment of being a fan of Lithuanian basketball doesn't start or stop with NT team.There is always a new game and a new beer to crack

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by auris1 View Post
    I feel like you had nothing better to do with your time, hence ...I have nothing else to do as well,apparently,hence the reply ...
    LOL, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by auris1 View Post
    I just have to tell you the reason I came to this forum for and why nothing had changed ever since - I came here to argue that our basketball wasn't dead yet, and at this present time ,if ever,i maintain it is true...
    Got it. It never was dead. The picture was rather gloomy in 2012 Olympics, but now it's way different, IMO. We still lacking players who can give big time offensive energy, stream from the perimeter (and I hope that current shinning of guard prospects is not a fluke), but for Lithuania it will be huge fact to have those 3 bigs coming. Domantas Sabonis is instantly making the name for him self in NCAA. Everybody already talk about him as an NBA player and I wouldn't be surprised that he will be drafted higher than Motiejunas. I think we currently underrate how big this thing might be. For example, Songaila was 50th pick in the NBA and yet he was probably the best big of NT till Kleiza peaked (27th pick) and became a leader of the NT. So it's very statistical, but potentially it's a huge thing to have 5th pick (JV), 20th pick (D-Mo) and Sabonis around 20th pick playing at the same time. We never had that much upside in the frontline and it will be interesting to see how it will turn out for Lithuania. That's why I think next Olympic cycle might be very strong again, while I have little doubt Lithuania will have at least a little improvement of the perimeter as well.
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  6. #6
    Moderator Mindozas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    It will be hard to reach the level of 2003/2004 again, but it's not impossible. We just need an upgrade of the backourt. We'll have much better frontline than we had. I still impressed of the basketball Šaras and Co. was playing at that time, but also surprised how badly that team could struggle offensively in some cuts. That generation lacked post up presence and too much depended on Šaras and other guards or wings. Amazing basketball when it goes (and with that talent it usually was the case), but probably because of not playing fundamental inside, outside basketball Lithuania still doesn't have Olympics gold or silver. What I'm saying - this upcoming generation might be more balanced and reliable than flashy and stormy 2004. But that's with condition that some guards, wings will peak. Current guards don't have any upside left, except maybe Kalnietis who can still get even better I think.
    I think you are underating our froncourt of that time It was surely better than let's say our backcourt of nowadays. E.Zukauskas wasn't Sabas or Ilgauskas level of course, but he was trustwothy player, amazing in defense, good at p'n'r. His stats in 2003 Eurobasket: 10.5ppg, 5.5rpg, 2bpg with 66% shooting in 24mins. Really decent numbers in such offensivelly gifted team, especially baring in mind 18pts/7rebs in final against Spain. Then we had Songaila with 8pts/3.3rebs in just 16mins, also with 10pts in 12mins in final. Then Ksystof, great defender like M.Zukauskas, Praskevicius who played for Top16 team Ulker at that time and wasn't just a role guy there. Very versatile offense, with players who can contribute offensivelly, also good lock-down defenders. Of course when you have such star backcourt with Saras, Macas, Siska, Stomba, it simply overshadows frontline huge time and it makes look it average at best, but it wasn't so.
    Also I always said, that decent backcourt players like Saras can make even tree play. He made even Cemal Nalga look good While no matter how good frontcourt will be, it must have good backcourt players to play efficiently, get the ball at right time and etc. We saw this year how tough it was for Valanciunas to play, how lost was Motiejunas, especially Jonas needs good PG besides. Meanwhile Kalnietis left alone to carry the team there. Moreover these Olympics might be his last, he will be 34yo in 2020. It's good that you are optimistic about our future, but I'm a bit more realistic here Until I won't see any backcourt player who will already contribute at good level, I won't be that hyped about our hopes as I don't believe that frontcourt alone can carry us far, no matter their high draft picks. On international stage everything is a bit diferent


  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mindozas View Post
    I think you are underating our froncourt of that time It was surely better than let's say our backcourt of nowadays. E.Zukauskas wasn't Sabas or Ilgauskas level of course, but he was trustwothy player, amazing in defense, good at p'n'r. His stats in 2003 Eurobasket: 10.5ppg, 5.5rpg, 2bpg with 66% shooting in 24mins. Really decent numbers in such offensivelly gifted team, especially baring in mind 18pts/7rebs in final against Spain. Then we had Songaila with 8pts/3.3rebs in just 16mins, also with 10pts in 12mins in final. Then Ksystof, great defender like M.Zukauskas, Praskevicius who played for Top16 team Ulker at that time and wasn't just a role guy there. Very versatile offense, with players who can contribute offensivelly, also good lock-down defenders. Of course when you have such star backcourt with Saras, Macas, Siska, Stomba, it simply overshadows frontline huge time and it makes look it average at best, but it wasn't so.
    True it was a good frontline and Eurelijus actually was the main big in 2003/2004. He was very important, specially for defensive reasons. But again, arguably 22yo Jonas already showed more impact this summer than Eurelijus ever did (14,5pts, 8,5 rebounds with 70%).. Eurelijus' problem was physicality - he wasn't much good at boxing out and controlling the space inside. That's probably the reason why he never entered NBA. But overall, knowing Songaila's impact of all the tournaments I would treat him as the best big in that generation. Obviously his club career individually was strongest as well. Overall, it was a very solid, good unit, but again it will be different case when 3 highly ranked players would be in the same team and each of them potentially might have higher upside than any big of 00's. Lith surely will try to utilize that, no matter how capable our guards will be to do that.



    Quote Originally Posted by Mindozas View Post
    Meanwhile Kalnietis left alone to carry the team there. Moreover these Olympics might be his last, he will be 34yo in 2020. It's good that you are optimistic about our future, but I'm a bit more realistic here Until I won't see any backcourt player who will already contribute at good level, I won't be that hyped about our hopes as I don't believe that frontcourt alone can carry us far, no matter their high draft picks. On international stage everything is a bit diferent
    I thought about it. Kalnietis at 34 will probably still be high class player because he never had serious injuries that would slow down his athleticism. Now he had that injury which shouldn't harm his athleticism. Kalnietis is athletic and lately adding a lot of skills to his game. So I'm optimistic here because I feel he might be more of Prigioni, Manu type of players - playing at high level like...forever? Also, if NBA happens for him this summer he wouldn't play too much there and could stay fresh for more years. Just saying that with Kalnietis athleticism and size he might stay longer at high level than Jasikevičius, Papaloukas could for example...If healthy he is locked for 2020 Olympics in my perspective.
    Last edited by Straight forward; 11-29-2014 at 04:00 PM.
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  8. #8
    Moderator Mindozas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    True it was a good frontline and Eurelijus actually was the main big in 2003/2004. He was very important, specially for defensive reasons. But again, arguably 22yo Jonas already showed more impact this summer than Eurelijus ever did (14,5pts, 8,5 rebounds with 70%)..
    Don't get me wrong, I wasn't comparing Eurelijus with Jonas Just sayin' that we had really good frontcourt back then too, which people tends to underestimate, cause all the attention was grabbed by this phenomenal backcourt players. While Jonas is obviously more talented than Zukis was. Sad for the latter that he was discovered too late, only 16yo or so and had no conditions that players has nowadays. I believe Zukis with his great attitude could've make it way far than he did, with NBA as option too

    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    it will be different case when 3 highly ranked players would be in the same team and each of them potentially might have higher upside than any big of 00's. Lith surely will try to utilize that, no matter how capable our guards will be to do that.
    Yes, that's most probable scenario, but the worst thing that we will be forced do this cause we'll have no other options, that's what I'm afraid of. At the same time, we won't be able to use these 3 talented guys properly and the best way we could with some good PG. I would trade one or even two of them for 10 years younger Saras


  9. #9
    Senior Member auris1's Avatar
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    Some people...
    Let me just get to the bottom of this "bouncing back" thing-
    Regarding results -
    WC 2014 - 4th : best result - third in 2010.
    Euro 2013 - second : best result - first in 2003.
    Olympics 2012 - top 8 : best result - third in 2000.
    Not that much of the bounce we can make,do we?

    Regarding players - we had players who ,like Sabas and Marciulionis were ahead of their time.
    After that,players like Saras and Siska,who were way better than others ,and a few more players way above the average like Macijauskas,Songaila etc.
    And nowadays - nowadays margins are tight.We have players who play in NBA (and so the other teams have them),but they are not that special.We have decent players at European teams - so the other teams do.
    And..We should accept the fact that some other countries might have better talent or stronger players.
    Or..and we should hope for that we have better team than others,just because it is a team sport.We need to work on it, being a team ,not a random bunch of NBA players.
    No matter how trivial it sounds,but all we need to win is to have better team overall,not the best front line, etc on the paper.
    And Kazlas wont be here forever. And that would be more urgent topic than this one is.

  10. #10

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    Exactly - Olympics 8. And that's all you have to know. We didn't beat any serious team in that tournament.

    2 things: second rate tournaments (2013, 2014), dropped overall level.

    You can watch first 5 minutes to remember that it was whole other level in terms of skill, decision making, offensive upside:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNgjm...cNgjmt2bJFgJFg
    Last edited by Straight forward; 11-29-2014 at 08:07 PM.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member auris1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    Exactly - Olympics 8. And that's all you have to know. We didn't beat any serious team in that tournament.

    2 things: second rate tournaments (2013, 2014), dropped overall level.

    You can watch first 5 minutes to remember that it was whole other level in terms of skill, decision making, offensive upside:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNgjm...cNgjmt2bJFgJFg
    Can you just please stop with this "dropped the level" shit .
    Different times,different opponents,different everything..
    The thing that remains constant is that you have to win the game.
    And this is what you want from your team.
    I want for LT national team to win games .And you undervalue our achievements just because

  12. #12

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    Sure, but you have to win it I don't understand why you're acting like the Olympic cycle 2009-2012 wasn't the weakest since 1992. I think it's more than obvious. If we will get to Olympics and will make it to the semis again - it still will be a bounce back because we failed in 2012 Olympics. I don't understand how you having a problem with this simple fact

    Here's the numbers:

    1992: 3rd place
    1996: 3rd place
    2000: 3rd place
    2004: 4th place
    2008: 4th place
    2012: 8th place and horrible performance overall

    And you still asking were to bounce back?
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  13. #13
    Moderator Mindozas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    Sure, but you have to win it I don't understand why you're acting like the Olympic cycle 2009-2012 wasn't the weakest since 1992. I think it's more than obvious. If we will get to Olympics and will make it to the semis again - it still will be a bounce back because we failed in 2012 Olympics. I don't understand how you having a problem with this simple fact

    Here's the numbers:

    1992: 3rd place
    1996: 3rd place
    2000: 3rd place
    2004: 4th place
    2008: 4th place
    2012: 8th place and horrible performance overall

    And you still asking were to bounce back?
    Exactly. The last time we did good in 1st class tournament was 2008, when we finished 4th. Not great, but good. I don't get it how some people are blinded by those 2nd string tournaments achievements, especialy since we already had an example how it all changed when all top players played for all top teams. 2010 - 3rd in rather weak WC, hype before Eurobasket in LT from those grey masses of fans, without even thinking that level of tourmanent will be so damn higher than in 2010. We were at best 4th team back then in Europe, so finishing 5th and make it to Olympic qualies they called a failure.... cause, well, we were 3rd a year back in the whole world... I mean wtf. Is it really that hard to get it, to measure the level/difference. From top players nobody gives too much fuck about WC and eurobasket before it, no wonder FIBA changed the Olympic cycle format, cause interest in world cup drops heavily. Now again, if all top European stars will be back in 2015, it'll be so much fucking harder to reach even semi than it was in world cup. Simple as that. But I guess again lot of fans didn't learn the lesson and if we'll fail to make, will crusify players, coaches and etc... The same people who praised them just a year ago...
    Moreover we are not good we were in 2008, so we have very hard task to bounce back and get the medal in first string tournament. Now that would be success I would really love and admire, but most important is to qualify to Olympics. This task for this kinda new generation (without veterans) will be first big test, hope they will make it, I'd even call it as bounce back with some small credit for the future


  14. #14
    Senior Member Shawshank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    Sure, but you have to win it I don't understand why you're acting like the Olympic cycle 2009-2012 wasn't the weakest since 1992. I think it's more than obvious. If we will get to Olympics and will make it to the semis again - it still will be a bounce back because we failed in 2012 Olympics. I don't understand how you having a problem with this simple fact

    Here's the numbers:

    1992: 3rd place
    1996: 3rd place
    2000: 3rd place
    2004: 4th place
    2008: 4th place
    2012: 8th place and horrible performance overall

    And you still asking were to bounce back?
    Some people thinks that basketball is played only in Usa and Lithuania 15 years ago there were 5-6 teams that could play high quality basketball,right now there are like 10-12 world class teams.In 2012 Olympics our teams roster wasnt in top 3-4 by all means.For me its wasnt a failure it was reality.It was singn we are still good top8 world class team,but no more a top4 elite team..And still we give good fight to russia in 1/4 with healthy Javtokas in defence my feeling was we could have made it, because they were destroing us inside Valanciunas was too young,songaila too small to defend them,but overall Russia played better basketball in 2011-2012 and was better team than we were.In 2012 olympics we lost to usa,russia,france, and argentina basically top4 teams +Spain the 5th from big 5 of 2012.It was painfull because our tradition to making semifinal was broken,but my feeling was in future it will be hard to make olympics.And My feeling didnt change right now in 2015 i dont see us winning medal when everybody gonna play.Not because we dont have tallent,because other bigger countries put way more money and got way more deeper in tallent that it used to be.France used to have 2-3 nba players,right now they have 7-8 that is big difference and so on.
    I see our team being strong and always fighting for medals because they gonna compete as unit together,but not as good as in 2003-2004 when were just gold medal contenders.Valanciunas,Motiejunas are good in nba,but look closely and you gonna see that in nba there like 9-10 other bigs that isnt worse than them from other europe countries,some of them even better.Back in the day there werent center that is better than SAbonis in europe or better pointguard that Jasikevicius or better SG than Marciulionis.Nowadays our biggest star Valanciunas, but i can name like 3-4 centers from europe that is better than him.I dont even talk about other our positions,there arent player that is in top5 in his position in europe anymore.We have tallent but we dont have superstars anymore and plus other teams are way more tallented that they used to be i mean those average teams.In 2004-2008 for me wasnt a quuestion do we make olympic games or not,right now i have doubts about making 2016 olympic games.THats wont be easy,remember how hard it was in eurobasket2013 and we were lucky and that was hapenning in weak champ,eurobasket2015 will be stronger.I feel some elite team lost some tallent by years going,but all those7-14th teams by level are couple times more dangerous than it used to be.

    I always thought its better to have average bigs and superb guards,than super bigs and average guards.At the end of the day guards have ball in their hands and controls almost everything...So im not so omtimistics about our future and dont see us as strong as jasikevicius,siskauskas,macijauskas,stombergas,kau kenas times...2013-2014 watching our team was feeling that our guys worked very hard to achieve what they achieve,back in 2003-2004 feeling was they can win without even coaching just with tallent...
    Last edited by Shawshank; 12-01-2014 at 10:03 AM.

  15. #15

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    Well, Shawshank, you basically agreed that NT is one or two steps behind than it used to be. With some reasons I agree with some - no. I agree - we are lacking guards/wings and the game is very depended on those, more than on bigs probably. Disagree - these days are more world class teams and we don't have superstars. First, I think more teams stepped up a little bit in Europe to play a decent basketball, but there still only few powerhouses like Spain, France, Lithuania and so...I would even say the middle of 00's was far more competitive and deep because such teams as Germany or Italy could beat almighty full packed Spain or the same Lithuania. These days there are a lot of solid, average NTs, but it's not a world class teams. Actually, for those real world class standards currently I see only USA, Spain, France as a sure case while other teams having transition or problems. Look at Eurobasket 2003, 2004 Olympics and you would see USA, Argentina, Lithuania, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Germany playing at the level only France and Spain currently playing. Highest quality basketball is rarer these days.

    Not having a super stars? Currently maybe so - but again since Sabas or Marčiulionis no-one could make an impact as JV did while being 22yo. Besides, for the Lith NT standards JV had super stars' stats in WC. No-one was scoring 18-20 ppg in the NT in 00's. We just had Euroleague's stars and they shared the ball and played great basketball. Individually JV will surpass Šaras and all the players of 00's. It's not a superstar argument against Lithuania - it's the lack of guards, creative player who brings energy from perimeter. Again, I really feel like you guys underrating JVs, Dmo's and Sabas' upside. First two already playing as the key players for the NT. Most of best 00's guys were just deep bench players at best at that age. There's no centers in Europe at JVs age category better than him, and the same goes with Dmo and Domantas. So I don't see which arguments deny them as a huge upcoming force, specially that JV is already the leader of NT.
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    Lithuania is the Uruguay of basketball. Not Brazil, not Germany, France, Italy or even Netherlands. URUGUAY. Meaning, it's a very small country with a passion for the sport. Keyword being though, a SMALL COUNTRY. A population of 2.5M... Expecting it to maintain a top3-4 position in the world for extended periods of time will only lead you to disappointment. Lithuania can finish in top4 once in a while due to circumstances (good teamwork, opponents not being at full strength etc.), but you simply can't expect much more than that.

    In terms of new talent, I think Motiejunas and Valanciunas will need a couple more years to put it all together. Sabonis might not need that much time to start contributing, since he's already a skilled high IQ player with great motor (and these qualities translate very well into men's basketball). Grigonis could be the answer at SG (possibly at PG for short periods of time) in a few years. Gudaitis is a nice backup C for Val. Zalgiris' young PGs are promising. All in all, I think there might be enough talent to compete for that "bounce back" in these coming Olympics. Still, a lot will depend on other things (player development, coaching, competition level etc.).

  17. #17
    Senior Member Shawshank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straight forward View Post
    Well, Shawshank, you basically agreed that NT is one or two steps behind than it used to be. With some reasons I agree with some - no. I agree - we are lacking guards/wings and the game is very depended on those, more than on bigs probably. Disagree - these days are more world class teams and we don't have superstars. First, I think more teams stepped up a little bit in Europe to play a decent basketball, but there still only few powerhouses like Spain, France, Lithuania and so...I would even say the middle of 00's was far more competitive and deep because such teams as Germany or Italy could beat almighty full packed Spain or the same Lithuania. These days there are a lot of solid, average NTs, but it's not a world class teams. Actually, for those real world class standards currently I see only USA, Spain, France as a sure case while other teams having transition or problems. Look at Eurobasket 2003, 2004 Olympics and you would see USA, Argentina, Lithuania, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Germany playing at the level only France and Spain currently playing. Highest quality basketball is rarer these days.

    Not having a super stars? Currently maybe so - but again since Sabas or Marčiulionis no-one could make an impact as JV did while being 22yo. Besides, for the Lith NT standards JV had super stars' stats in WC. No-one was scoring 18-20 ppg in the NT in 00's. We just had Euroleague's stars and they shared the ball and played great basketball. Individually JV will surpass Šaras and all the players of 00's. It's not a superstar argument against Lithuania - it's the lack of guards, creative player who brings energy from perimeter. Again, I really feel like you guys underrating JVs, Dmo's and Sabas' upside. First two already playing as the key players for the NT. Most of best 00's guys were just deep bench players at best at that age. There's no centers in Europe at JVs age category better than him, and the same goes with Dmo and Domantas. So I don't see which arguments deny them as a huge upcoming force, specially that JV is already the leader of NT.
    Really and What you will do play 3 centers together? First of all Valanciunas finally had break through champ after 3 average champs and he wasnt scoring 18-20 points like you trying to show.D-Mo didnt have yet good champ,What will become from Sabonis nobody knows.Our main team right now is around 1985 generation.Most likely biggest part of them gonna retire from national team after 2016 Olympics.Imagine No Kleiza,Maciulis,Seibutis,Jankunas + Kalnietis and Pocius are both 1986 so they will 31 in 2017 champ,im not even talking about veterans like brothers,jasaitis,javtokas.Buth basically from 2017 national team gonna have other main players except valanciunas,motiejunas,kuzminskas and all of them are bigs and no high quality guards.Yeah Valanciunas and Motiejunas will be better in 2017-2020 circle ,but compare them to 2003-2004 is ridiculuos not even close.I doubt those 2017-2020 teams will be better than 1985 generation leadeaded teams from 2010-2016.Because in 2017 our team gonna lose like 5-6 players that played for Lithuania from 2010.That big hole to cover and you saying that suddenly our future team will be almost as good as our all time best team in 2004 ? really? nobodys knows that,but atleast signs that i see i dont see that.GUARDS are CREATORS OR CONTROLERS,you can have 5 nba centers but if you will put them with 5 lkl guards you will go nowhere 2017 team Valanciunas,Motiejunas,Kuzminskas,Sabonis and plus Gecevicius and Juskevicius +Lekavicius,Karinauskas,Gudaitis similair team to this i woundt call one step behind 2004,its like 5 high quality players behind 2004 team

    Yes maybe the elite teams are less,but thats my point those average team on good day can beat Lithuania or France or what ever.I doubt in middle 00s that macedonia or bosnia could beat us even in good day.Germany never played seriuos basketball,they were one men teams that won 2 medals in weak champs,in main champs olympic ir pre olympics eurobasketball Nowtizky coundnt do nothing alone.You look at results 2003-2004 2007-2008 2011-2012 that was real champs.Germany do nott belong to that list.

    I am sure now competion become way more deeper than it used to be.Spain,France,Lithuania,Greece,Serbia,Croatia,Sl ovenia,Italy,Turkey that is world class teams,that can beat us in playoofs and wouldnt be a shock or something.Obvously Spain and France are in lead,who right now is the 3rd best team from europe very hard to say.Lithuania/Serbia/Greece will have their arguments.Croatia tallent wise is scary and have even more overall tallent that our youngsters do.

    Eurobasket 2015 will have 1/8 and 1/4 2 playoofs stages before medal rounds,and those 2 rounds you can easilly lose close games to any of those teams .
    Last edited by Shawshank; 12-01-2014 at 12:54 PM.

  18. #18
    Moderator Mindozas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawshank View Post
    Yes maybe the elite teams are less,but thats my point those average team on good day can beat Lithuania or France or what ever.I doubt in middle 00s that macedonia or bosnia could beat us even in good day.Germany never played seriuos basketball,they were one men teams that won 2 medals in weak champs,in main champs olympic ir pre olympics eurobasketball Nowtizky coundnt do nothing alone.You look at results 2003-2004 2007-2008 2011-2012 that was real champs.Germany do nott belong to that list.
    No man, back in the 00s WC still did matter for top players, let's say 2002 and 2006 were really deep tournaments what comes to stars presence in their NTs. The same goes for pre-WC Eurobaskets in early 2000s. One or few players could miss it, but majority was there, not like it's now, when few are there and most are missing. The same Germany was really good team, of course Nowitzki was top gun, but they had players like Okulaja, who was one of the key guys in Barca with Saras, Karnisovas, Navarro and etc. they also had good center in Femerling, who played for European top teams, the same Barca if I remember correctly. In 2001 they even had Shawn Bradley Ok, that's more of the joke. F.e. I remember that Germany in 2003 were rated as favorites against Lithuania to win the group we were together in. So they were really respectable team in early 00s. Overall, I do agree with you about everything you said about our NT, wrote more or less the same myself, but international basketball level in 00s was so much higher and really competitive, probably the best ever. Now it dropped big time, that 00s generation is goin' off the stage and new one is nowhere near to fill the shoes, overall top teams level dropped, so some smaller ones can catch up


  19. #19
    Senior Member Miškinis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by omgsomuchpotential View Post
    Lithuania is the Uruguay of basketball. Not Brazil, not Germany, France, Italy or even Netherlands. URUGUAY. Meaning, it's a very small country with a passion for the sport. Keyword being though, a SMALL COUNTRY. A population of 2.5M... Expecting it to maintain a top3-4 position in the world for extended periods of time will only lead you to disappointment. Lithuania can finish in top4 once in a while due to circumstances (good teamwork, opponents not being at full strength etc.), but you simply can't expect much more than that.
    Lietuva is big (when it comes to basketball) starting from 1937 year. Our expectations were and still remains high. Population was never an issue for us. Foreigners tend to say words similar to yours. Yet we are still on top. With some ups and downs. But in general on top. So please...
    Girdėjau gandą - ateina lietūs

  20. #20
    Moderator Mindozas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by omgsomuchpotential View Post
    Lithuania is the Uruguay of basketball. Not Brazil, not Germany, France, Italy or even Netherlands. URUGUAY. Meaning, it's a very small country with a passion for the sport. Keyword being though, a SMALL COUNTRY. A population of 2.5M... Expecting it to maintain a top3-4 position in the world for extended periods of time will only lead you to disappointment. Lithuania can finish in top4 once in a while due to circumstances (good teamwork, opponents not being at full strength etc.), but you simply can't expect much more than that.
    Well, what comes to population Uruguay suits us the best, but that's all I'm afraid Uruguay in football was great in 1st half of century, dominating a lot, won Olympics twice, World Cup twice and could do it more if not withdrawals in 1934-1938 and WWII. But after 1950-1954 they showed not much, weren't really favorites even in 2010 when finished 4th. Lithuanian bball is different. I'd say we are more like Netherlands are in last 50 years, after Cruyff generation stepped in. They has more population, but are even smaller country than we are. They are crazy about football, they has footbal league in European terms close to our LKL in bball, producing talent for bigger leagues, having few good teams like Ajax, PSV in top international competitions, used to win smth like Zalgiris did, but nowadays they almost never goin' past some top16. Also in terms on they NT status. They also always not top1 candidate, but among teams, which can win a medal, also they had lot of bad luck like our NT had, losing some important games, bein' close to titles, but got it just once in last 50 years. Also now they undergoes generation changes, this summer was top4 team in the world like we were. Btw, Dutch side always prefered to play offensive football like LT in bball, just last summer we both played little bit more cautious cause of that change of generations. Their bball is somewhere where our football is. Maybe I could think of smth more, but to me we are Netherlands of bball


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