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Thread: Eurobasket 2009 random news/articles

  1. #21
    Senior Member Slam's Avatar
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    Default Israel

    I think Israel could surprise alot of people at the Eurobasket 2009. They have a young core and Halperin and Eliyahu could really make a name for themselves here. Look for them to advance to at least the next round.

  2. #22
    Senior Member pohani komarac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slam View Post
    I think Israel could surprise alot of people at the Eurobasket 2009. They have a young core and Halperin and Eliyahu could really make a name for themselves here. Look for them to advance to at least the next round.
    well the should do that because individualy they are stronger then macedonia
    Jordi Bertomeu sucks!

  3. #23
    Administrator rikhardur's Avatar
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    Nilsen: Every Tournament Has One

    Skipping Group B until the last spot in Gdansk is filled, we now focus on action in the Polish capital and the so-called 'Group of Death'. It certainly always seems trendy for journalists to stamp this cliche on any tournament and in the case of Eurobasket 2009, it is Group C that has this particular badge of honour.

    However with one team (Spain) strong favourites and with another (Great Britain) having failed to get their NBA stars to Poland, the relevance of this Group Of Death moniker is rapidly dwindling.

    In part one of our preview, we take a look at the tournament favourites Spain and the youngest team in the tournament Serbia.

    Spain

    Going for Eurobasket gold wont quite become an obsession for this nation although they are still haunted by having lost in agonising fashion during 2007 thanks to J.R. Holden.

    Pre-tournament favourites, they are very much a team on a mission with few expecting them to fail in their quest to finish top of the 2009 pile.

    They say there is little worse than a woman scorned, but perhaps Spain scorned could be even worse. They are a team stacked with world class talent, looking for atonement and having learned a tough lesson in being bitten by the EuroBasket underdog. I am not so sure you cant see Spain making the same mistake again and missing out again..

    The added bonus for this group of Spanish players is that in the wake of the Olympic final, they know the mentality of being an underdog themselves. This time the shoe will be back on the other foot once again and they will be the ones looking to utilise their superior talent and experience to edge out any challengers.

    Much of the build-up has centered around the Pau Gasol will he wont he saga and the injury to Jose Calderon. With Gasol choosing to commit, this has cemented their status as EuroBasket champions elect.

    As with Team USA in Beijing, you sense their destiny will be very much in their own hands from the moment they step out onto the floor in Warsaw and if they get it right, it wont, matter too much what other teams do.

    You can spend significantly more time trying to think of reasons and scenarios as to why Spain wouldnt win gold than thinking about alternative winners of Eurobasket 2009.

    There is of course a worthy note of caution in everything I have written so far. I know this. History has taught us that being tournament favourites does not guarantee success and anything can happen something Spain know only too well of course.

    Nevertheless, while there are numerous contenders, it is seriously difficult not to come to the conclusion that this is the team the rest will have to beat to land gold.

    Key Man: The irrepressible Pau Gasol. He has already made history for Spanish basketball this year with the Lakers and now he aims to etch another line in the history books with a EuroBasket winners medal. Everything has been focused on the center in the build-up and that wont change when Spain tip-off. Potentially unstoppable if he still has the energy after such a draining NBA campaign and the biggest star of the tournament bar none.

    Sleeper: It is pretty much impossible to fulfil such a category for the reigning World Champions but I guess Victor Claver is as close as you can get and even he has just been drafted! Still, after a serious injury, he could use Poland to show why he was chosen by Portland and to get his International career back on track.

    X Factor: Juan Carlos Navarro because if La Bomba is on fire from outside and maximises his outrageous shooting ability throughout the tournament then it will definitely be an uphill struggle for other contenders. Chasing the elusive Navarro around the court is a thankless task for opposing defences and with some good ball movement and savvy screen makers on the floor, he could be the man to deliver the knockout blows and particularly in the likely medal games.

    Weak Points: Very few but even Coach Scariolo has openly admitted that Spain hardly have the same embarrassment of riches and depth in the 3 spot as they have in their frontcourt. In the point guard position they have lost Jose Calderon and that could be a major omission in tournament crunch time when the colour of the medal is hanging in the balance. Injury to experienced Rodriguez maybe a minor blow as is the notion that maybe a new coach weakens them slightly from a continuity standpoint.

    Strong Points: A multitude of match winners with potential tournament MVPs in the likes of Navarro and Fernandez. An accepted togetherness and chemistry, not always easy in a team packed with talented superstars. They have an all star front-court with Pau and Marc Gasol and the ACB Player of the year, Felipe Reyes. They are also favourites but rather than that piling on the pressure, they have a real hunger and determination to make up for failing in 2007 and added to world class talent that could be an unstoppable recipe for success.

    Wish You Were Here: Jose Calderon, Carlos Jiminez, Berni Rodriguez

    What fans should pack in their suitcase: A bottle of the finest champagne in anticipation of those gold medal celebrations

    Movies and Movie Titles for Spain: Far too many to mention. The Untouchables, The Incredibles, Out of Sight, The Gold Rush, Atonement (for EuroBasket 2007) but my favourites have to be dedicated to Ricky Rubio. What about Golden Child or anything by Harry Potter perhaps. Am I the only person that could see young Ricky with a pair of those famous small round glasses on his face and playing the Spanish version of Potter?

    Key To Success: Maintaining focus and avoiding injuries in the backcourt. They dont have Calderon while Cabezas has had a real run of injuries in the past year. His durability will be tested to the limit and if he did succumb again down the stretch then Lopez and Rubio might not have enough in their collective locker to help land gold.

    Tournament Prediction: 1-4

    In just five words: Eurobasket favourites for good reason

    Serbia

    In spite of a lengthy list of NBA absentees, a slot in the Group of Death, the loss of their captain and also Euroleague star Igor Rakocevic opting out, Serbia still have enough in their locker to survive a tough first three days in Warsaw.

    With a core of European high fliers and an experienced coach driving them, they are slowly but surely heading in the right direction again and progressing beyond the Group stages would definitely signal success.

    Still haunted by their dismal performance on home soil in 2005 and a similarly disappointing display in EuroBasket 2007 costing them any chance of an Olympic berth, Serbia are slowly emerging from their crisis and showing green shoots of recovery.

    The masterplan may have the 2012 Olympic Games in London as its main destination point in the proposed four year reign of Coach Dusan Ivkovic, but nevertheless, Eurobasket 2009 is an important major landmark for this young team.

    There was hope that in comparison to the failure in 2007, there might be a better mix of youth and experience in place this time with Ivkovic having made a big effort to draft in some much needed maturity with the likes of Rakocevic and Avdalovic. However neither have made it to leave the average age of Serbia, (at least in the shot term) worryingly low yet again.

    On the other hand, with players like Krstic, Velickovic (the man who will help spearhead the Real Madrid revolution under Ettore Messina) and guards such as Tepic and Tripkovic both full of confidence after big summer moves, Serbia definitely have big weapons capable of winning big games.

    One thing is for sure. When you read the list of players going to Poland combined with those who arent, you are left with your jaw hanging on the floor in amazement at the sheer depth continually emerging from this astonishing conveyor belt of basketball talent.

    A gold medal in the Under 18 European Championships further evidence this conveyor belt shows no sign of breaking down.

    Sadly for a great basketball nation like Serbia, you are also left with the worrying thought of what they could be missing out on by not having their full quota of players in Poland maybe a medal.

    Key Man: Nenad Krstic is a big player for Serbia in more ways than one. His wealth of NBA experience should help Serbia emerge from this tough group as there are some big centers with real quality that need to be guarded.

    Sleeper: At 2.09 in height, Nemanja Bjelica is a wing player and shooter who if selected, could be a surprise package. Was given huge responsibility by Svetislav Pesic in what has been a breakthrough season at Red Star Belgrade. Really lit it up in EuroCup, played a big role in the Serbian play-offs and averaged 7 points per game in the World University Games. Could fill the troubled 2/3 spot off the bench and be an impact.

    X Factor: Novica Velickovic has been snapped up by Messina in Madrid and this is a young player who can do it all while leading this team through some difficult waters in this group. If he uses all of his smarts and versatility on the floor to good effect he can be the difference. Just makes any team better.

    Weak Points: Quite simply that this tournament could mean a repeat of 2007 when without big experience and some significant absences, the team didnt have what it takes to progress at this level. Look a little short of quality and experience in the small forward slot.

    Strong Points: This team of young players are now entering their second EuroBasket together and know each other well, many from club level. That familiarity should mean good chemistry. They also have plenty of talent pretty much all over the court despite absences. They look strong in the frontcourt in particular.

    Wish You Were Here: The longest list anywhere reads: Darko Milicic, Igor Rakocevic, Pedja Stojakovic, Marko Jaric, Milan Gurovic, Vule Avdalovic, Milos Vujanic, Vladimir Radmanovic, Aleksandar Pavlovic

    What fans should pack in their suitcase: The telephone number of a travel agent / details of some good Turkish hotels since a good performance and bit of luck at this tournament could mean Serbia sneaking a place at next years FIBA World Championships.

    Movies and Movie Titles for Serbia: How about The Lost Boys to represent the staggering array of talent who wont be representing their country? Their youthful feel could be highlighted by the movie No Country For Old Men.

    Key To Success: The key for this young team will be whether players can suppress the folly and exuberance of youth and find some composure and maturity on the court. That means keeping their cool under pressure and making good decisions not always an easy task when placed on young shoulders, even if many players are Euroleague veterans while still in their early twenties.

    Tournament Prediction: 5-8

    In just five words: Building for a golden future
    http://www.eurobasket2009.org/en/coi...leMode_on.html
    Die Liebe wird eine Krankheit, wenn man sie als eine Heilung sieht
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  4. #24
    Administrator rikhardur's Avatar
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    Nilsen: Group Of Death No More?

    For the action in Warsaw to truly live up to its ‘Group of Death' status, it means that Great Britain would have to be at full NBA strength and Slovenia would have to finally convert eternal promise into tangible results and more specifically, a medal.

    We already know the first scenario definitely won't happen, while for Slovenia, so often teased by opposing fans as being ‘tournament chokers', could this finally be the year when this talented nation finally bury the memory of previous failures and leave Poland with bronze, silver or maybe even gold?

    Slovenia

    On paper Slovenia look like the only team that have the talent to truly match up with tournament favourites Spain. Interestingly it certainly won't be long before that theory will be put to the test with both teams being drawn in the same group.

    There has been talk of a ‘Slovenian Dream Team' over the last 12 months although that is of course within a Slovenian context, rather than the same kind of lofty tag given to our friends who play on the other side of the Atlantic.

    Unfortunately it looks as if the ‘Dream Team' won't happen as there will be a couple of key absences with Nesterovic and Becirovic both missing out. Despite this and rather ominously for the other teams in Group C, and for those rivals with eyes fixed on medals, Slovenia will still have one the most talented teams in this competition.

    However once again this is about Slovenia delivering and not choking. Slovenian fans are still haunted by their last outing in Eurobasket when they pressed the self-destruct button and snatched a defeat from the jaws of victory against Greece in the quarter-finals.

    Stellar names of world basketball adorn the Slovenian roster. From NBA to Euroleague they have potential game winners all over the court. Sasha Vujajic has just won the NBA play-offs with LA Lakers although he is struggling with injury and there are worrying rumours he could possibly miss out while Beno Udrih will step out onto the floor to help run the show. Defensive specialist Goran Dragic can really lock down opponents and that will be pivotal if Slovenia make it to the last eight again.

    Coach Zdovc can also call on those European based talents and not least highly decorated CSKA Moscow stars Matjaz Smodis and Erazem Lorbek.. Both will be major threats and when you throw former NBA man Bostjan Nachbar into the mix you are already six players into the roster underlining the depth.

    There is a real sense of purpose about Slovenia this year and that could mean they are ready to show the rest of Europe that their time has arrived.

    Key Man: Matjaz Smodis seems to have been around for ever and yet he is not even thirty yet. After many injury problems he can still be the most influential player in Poland. His versatility on offence including his ability to step out of the paint to the wing spot and still make plays is hugely important. His leadership and experience on and off the court will be priceless.

    Sleeper: Jaka Klobucar who turns 22 next week is not necessarily a name commonly known around Europe yet Zdovc could throw a lot of trust in the guard off the bench because of his defensive qualities and ability to shoot the ball. Has had a mediocre year in Euroleague with Olimpia Ljubljana numbers-wise but could be ready to take a big stride forward.

    X Factor: In a team predominantly full of offensive minded players but coached by a man whose principles are based around defence you get the sense that Goran Dragic will be pivotal to the success (or otherwise) of Slovenia. If he can use his defensive prowess to really set the tone when he is on court and lock down any opposing danger men then you feel that his offensive weaknesses won't matter in a team packed with scorers. The performance of Dragic is critical.

    Weak Points: A new coach always has little time with his players to establish his philosophy and Zdovc will be no different. The weak points are very much around this side of the game, things such as chemistry, defence and the mentality of the players. Can they excel as a team and who will take the clutch shots? They also lack some continuity that teams like Croatia, (maybe at a similar level) also possess.

    Strong Points: Personnel. It is harder to break down Slovenia than almost any other team as they have big weapons all over the court and also on the bench. Their strong point is definitely talent and on this alone, they stand up as genuine gold medal contenders. The list of NBA and European quality is endless and that means they can genuinely go into any game truly believing and capable of winning. The backcourt and wings look particularly good. They are also a team packed with finishers and guys happy to take big shots.

    Wish You Were Here: Rasho Nesterovic, Sani Becirovic,

    What fans should pack in their suitcase: Instructions on the ‘Heimlich Manoeuvre', a technique for dealing with choking - something that could prove useful if they choke down the tournament stretch.

    Movies and Movie Titles for Slovenia: For those rival fans who revel in the failure of Slovenia, the animated movie Chicken Run might apply. However for Slovenian fans, there is only one movie that will sum up their expectations, classic film noir starring Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster titled ‘The Sweet Smell Of Success'.

    Key To Success: Quite simply the level of team defence since scoring should never be a problem. The key is whether a defensive driven coach like Zdovc can gel the players together on defence. If he does then a podium finish and even the final is a real possibility.

    Tournament Prediction: 5-8 (...but probably should be 1-4)

    In just five words: Time to realise eternal promise

    Great Britain

    Great Britain are entering virgin territory after their spectacular rise to prominence from Division B under the watchful eye of the wily Chris Finch. Once touted as dark horses with their expected NBA talent, the crushing double whammy of the losing the talismanic Luol Deng to injury and Ben Gordon failing to commit means a fundamental shift in expectation.

    From the confidence they could sneak out of the toughest group, they will now be left merely treading water and hoping to stay competitive in their three group games.

    To say that Great Britain have come a long way in a short space of time is definitely a contender for understatement of the year. Less than three years ago, British basketball was perennially in turmoil, lacking in direction and heading nowhere fast.

    Major international tournaments were a pipe dream with Great Britain pitched into Division B and with a mammoth journey ahead of them - everyone thought I would be a marathon and not a sprint. Staggeringly they would subsequently sprint the entire distance, gaining promotion from the wilderness of Division B to immediate qualification for a first ever EuroBasket tournament.

    Proving that truth is often stranger than fiction, Great Britain have not only booked their place at the first attempt but to their immense credit, have importantly got their house in order off the court too which is significant in a country where the popularity of the game is still growing.

    The biggest killer in this ‘Group Of Death' is the loss of Deng. With their star man healthy, they could definitely compete, maybe sneak past the group stages. Without him it will obviously be tough and three games in three days will certainly expose the influence of their star man and their lack of depth although at last experienced Euroleague duo Robert Archibald and Andy Betts are back.

    In the backcourt meanwhile, Reinking is a veteran who can turn a game with his shooting but in truth, Great Britain are maybe short of a top class point guard.

    With Finch and these committed players, anything is possible. They can now only really dream of squeezing their way out of the group. Whatever happens, it is no exaggeration to describe the emergence of this national team as a basketball fairytale and who really knows at this stage what the next riveting chapter both now and beyond will reveal.

    Key Man: Nate Reinking is a veteran player who is critical. He has terrific shooting percentages all over the floor at this level and has the closest relationship with Coach Finch who is also his club coach. If the guard can find form and get some regular open looks, the impact of losing Ben Gordon could be reduced and even nullified.

    Sleeper: At this major tournament level, pretty much all of the Great Britain team are EuroBasket sleepers!

    X Factor: Pops Mensah-Bonsu is a prodigious athletic talent who will love the big stage and his mood when the going gets tough will determine the mood of the team. If he keeps his head in the game and shows leadership and maturity to go with his explosive energy, shot blocking and finishing, Great Britain could find themselves with a fighting chance.

    Weak Points: As Eurobasket rookies, no players have experience o playing in a tournament at National team level while the psychological blow of losing the heartbeat of the team in Deng will weigh heavy. There is a serious lack of depth in the backcourt which is proficient but not prolific and it is very undersized. They look better in the paint but lack any big bodies who can step outside and consistently make shots.

    Strong Points: Coach Finch does have options in the five spot with three top level and very solid European players in Robert Archibald, Joel Freeland and Andy Betts. Mensah-Bonsu can be the most explosive player in the tournament while Great Britain are used to doing things the hard way having come on a long journey. A few more kilometres in difficult circumstances won't faze them and they will show the same spirit that got them to their first ever EuroBasket.

    Wish You Were Here: Luol Deng, Ben Gordon, Kelenna Azubuike

    What fans should pack in their suitcase: Apart from a healthy Luol Deng, some tissues and an alarm clock. Make no mistake, there will be tears in the eyes when Great Britain step out onto a EuroBasket court for the first time. An alarm clock going off in the Arena meanwhile will prove for those who were in Spain two years ago and would never have believed this could happen that it is not a dream but very much reality.

    Movies and Movie Titles for Great Britain: With or without Luol Deng, the movie ‘Lone Star' might just sum up things. For most Great Britain fans, win or lose, just being in Poland translates into ‘It's a Wonderful Life', even if the movie ‘Blowout' might end up with a familiar feel.

    Key To Success: Keeping the faith as a team. There is little doubt that logic dictates they could suffer some big losses without their NBA stars on court but Coach Finch is a clam and pragmatic coach. If they play tenacious defence they can find be competitive and take some lessons home or next time.

    Tournament Prediction: 13+

    In just five words: Tough Eurobasket initiation without Deng
    http://www.eurobasket2009.org/en/coi...leMode_on.html
    Die Liebe wird eine Krankheit, wenn man sie als eine Heilung sieht
    Artificial Nature

  5. #25
    Wu-Tang
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    It appears that Nowitzky will miss EB. Cuban restricts him from playing this year.

  6. #26

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    all posts on the use of Macedonian name moved to UN sub-forum http://forums.interbasket.net/f10/gr...e-2099/p6.html

  7. #27
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    Very good article, I like it very much. Maybe some of my countryman should read it and stop fooling themselves about some sudden success for our team. We need to be real, this team is in it's beginning.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Freaknick's Avatar
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    Well what do you know, a thread designed specifically for random articles. Right up my alley. Here's my first installment about the scrappy Finnish team's triumph over big, bad France. Happy reading.

    http://euroleagueadventures.com/finn...d-meaningless/

  9. #29
    Administrator rikhardur's Avatar
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    Nilsen: Turkey, Poland Hope To Impress

    There are two teams with more reason than most to want to shine when EuroBasket 2009 gets underway next month and ironically they find themselves both pitched in the same group.

    As we continue the countdown to tournament tip-off, we move to Wroclaw and Group D. In part one, we feature this years EuroBasket home country Poland and also Turkey, the hosts of the next major tournament, namely the 2010 World Championships as both nations look to deliver against the expectation and pressure that hosting such events inevitably brings.

    Poland

    Poland is a nation that has largely remained off the radar of most European fans. Even qualification for EuroBasket 2007 did little to raise their profile or standing. It is difficult to pinpoint why this is, but that has become irrelevant after being thrown into the middle of the ring as hosts of Eurobasket 2009.

    As is the case with any host nation, much will come down to whether Poland thrive on this pressure or crack under the strain. The expectation is not just about the team on the floor but also maximising this opportunity to get basketball back near the top of the Polish sporting agenda.

    The first mission is of course simply to win a game - something that they couldn't achieve in Spain. The second objective is to emerge from the group stages and into the second round. Anything after this would have to be viewed as a bonus and indeed probably a dream.

    When they step onto the floor in Wroclaw, they will face Lithuania, Turkey and pivotally Bulgaria - the team they simply have to beat. Turkey could also be within their sights although perhaps Lithuania (even without several key players) could prove a step too far.

    The scheduling seems to have been kind to Poland. Or has it? They can get some real momentum with a win first time out against Bulgaria but if they get ‘opening night nerves' and freeze, they could miss the boat completely which would be an unmitigated disaster.

    Critically, it looks as if the quality of the Polish roster has really been enhanced since 2007 and that means that they could have the players to at least fulfil the first two parts of their mission.

    On Spanish soli it was Andrzej Pluta, Filip Dylewicz and veteran Adam Wojcik leading the way. This time there is a new play-caller at the helm in Muli Katzurin and he has put together a roster with more talent and significantly more familiar faces.

    None more so than Orlando Magic back up big man Marcin Gortat and new Maccabi signing Maciej Lampe who played in a talented Khimki team last year. Both of these players will give Poland a terrific dynamism in and around the basket and perhaps add immeasurable strength to a team that was far too soft-centered in 2007.

    Having also added passport player David Logan into the mix, the Poland team now have a backcourt player capable of going off for 20 points on any given night and with that in mind - anything is possible.

    Key Man: Incredibly Adam Wojcik will turn 40 next year and has pretty much seen it all. In over 20 years as a pro, Wojcik has turned himself into a Polish basketball legend with a glittering array of titles and personal accolades. This tournament will be his swansong and he is a pivotal influence both on and off the court. The veteran forward can pass his wisdom to the younger guys and if he does, and can also show he still can do it on the court himself, he could just end his International career on a real high.

    Sleeper: At this level Krzysztof Szubarga remains a sleeper but his passing skills and particularly his defensive quality could surprise a few people when he is asked to lock down opponents.

    X Factor: David Logan might be from Chicago but he is also the Polish league MVP and the man that can fire his adopted country to Eurobasket prominence - well, at least the second round. If he can deliver, Poland have enough firepower to progress. If Logan doesn't shoot the ball well and meet the perhaps unfair expectation, mushrooming daily then Poland could be in trouble.

    Weak Points: The back-court is far from impressive albeit capable. Apart from the prolific Logan, it is hard to see where the real quality required for this top European level is going to come from. Handling the expectation and pressure of being the home country could also prove to be a weak point.

    Strong Points: In the paint Poland have some muscle, hustle and enough to contend with what they will face in their group. Gortat, the first Polish player to reach an NBA Finals will operate with Maciej Lampe who could be a star in Euroleague next season with Maccabi. Both have power and scoring ability while Wojcik has the experience to make good decisions and is reliable.

    Wish You Were Here: Relatively injury free

    What fans should pack in their suitcase: The locals don't need a suitcase - do they?

    Movies and Movie Titles for Poland: Everybody will be hoping for a ‘Local Hero' but perhaps just for Wojcik, the classic ‘Last Waltz'.

    Key To Success: It has to be beating Bulgaria and getting off to a great start and finding momentum but specifically, the guys from 2007 fitting in and around the likes of Lampe, Gortat and Logan effectively. They are every bit as important if not more so. Perhaps the crucial aspect will be how they handle the ball and particularly under pressure. Can they be competent enough to find the big men in the paint and shooters like Logan?

    Tournament Prediction: 9-12

    In just five words: EuroBasket needs Poland to excel

    Turkey

    It has been eight long years since Turkey put in the kind of performance at a EuroBasket event that their talent demands. Their podium finish in 2001 has been followed by a string of disappointing finishes with only a creditable sixth place in the 2006 World Championship punctuating their barren run.

    The pressure to perform is always high but just 12 months before hosting next years FIBA World Championships, Turkey find themselves firmly under the spotlight and nobody more so than Coach Bogdan Tanjevic who has been handed the reins of preparing this team, primarily, for 2010.

    Turkey were in blistering form during qualification with an unbeaten 6-0 campaign but EuroBasket 2009 will provide a step up in class and Turkey have to respond. To bridge the gap in that step up in quality, they have a real jewel in the crown to add to those players that did so well during qualification last summer.

    NBA star Hedo Turkoglu will lead the team off the back of his stellar performance in the play-offs and will offer Turkey a big bonus on the floor. His leadership and quality could mean the difference between the quarter finals and a shot at a medal or another mediocre finish.

    The core of the team is one with an extensive collective experience in European club competition. Even the younger players such as Fenerbahce forward Oguz Savas have had a good grounding in Euroleague. However the real key is that Turkey have some players that know how to get it done at the highest level. Ersan Ilyasova could be one of the stars of the tournament while Kerem Tunceri has the vision and basketball brain to effectively direct operations in the backcourt.

    The downside of Turkey is quite simple. You just never know what to expect. As I have stated previously, you had might as well flip a coin rather than try to correctly predict their potential performance in Poland.

    They are always one step away from success but often closer to self destruction and mediocrity. Certainly the very public spat between Tanjevic and NBA man Mehmet Okur summarises the kind of distraction that could prove to be their downfall. Even this weekend, the influential Kerem Gonlum has been withdrawn from the squad - a massive blow.

    Having said that, you wouldn't be surprised if they suddenly came up with the kind of performance they showed in 2006 in Japan either. I guess that guessing is all we can realistically do with this National team.

    Key Man: Hedo Turkoglu provides the leadership, direction and steady hand that this National team has been crying out for. He also brings the attitude with him that whether he has the ball in his hands or not, he will still work hard. He does not demand to be the star (even if he is) and is happy to drive the team forward when needed but also allow others to take the glory and find just as much pleasure. Has had such a great year that the added bonus of him being a potential tournament MVP on talent alone possibly catapults Turkey into the quarter-finals.

    Sleeper: Not really - maybe Savaz at best!

    X Factor: Ersan Ilyasova has had a super year with Barcelona and showed during qualification his value to the team as the stand-out player during the unbeaten 6-0 run. Has a nice touch both inside and out, can drain some big triples, get Turkey out and running effectively in transition and that means success with Ilyasova. However he has not always shined in the biggest games of all for Barca and the ‘X Factor' element is because of this. If he stamps his authority on games and gets fired up, Turkey are seriously in business.

    Weak Points: Totally unpredictable, Turkey is not known for a reliable, balanced approach always remaining volatile and liable to implode mentally. They also look pretty short of high quality shooters and that could mean having to play against a little bit of zone which places more emphasis on the likes of Ilyasova and Turkoglu on the wings and even more pressure isn't what they exactly need. Shooters like Erdogan have gone and players who had been viewed as natural replacements such as Akyol have failed to shine leaving them short on the perimeter. They also have to deal with expectation with 2010 around the corner and such an impressive qualifying campaign.

    Strong Points: The frontcourt and wing spots although the loss of Gonlum who could have averaged a near double-double is a bitter blow. They have a lot of versatile players who know each others game inside out due to the fact that they play together or against each with the big clubs domestically. Players like young Savas don't have the athleticism of some opponents but their efficiency and output is outstanding. Ilyasova and Turkoglu meanwhile provide a huge dual threat that will take some serious guarding.

    Wish You Were Here: Mehmet Okur, Kerem Gonlum, Cevher Ozer

    What fans should pack in their suitcase:
    A coin of course to flip it and see whether their team will be glorious or disastrous.

    Movies and Movie Titles for Turkey: I am tempted to say ‘One Flew OverThe Cuckoos Nest' to represent the multiple personalities of the Turkey team that we have seen over the years but maybe ‘X-Men' is the best title. They certainly have an ‘X Factor' as a team.

    Key To Success: Mentality and specifically, the consistency and chemistry both on and off the court. If Turkey can quietly go about their business this time with no bust-ups but show the kind of togetherness that has not always been present they can really excel. They undoubtedly have the talent and if they apply themselves, then they can definitely go far. One final key is whether now that Gonlum is out, Okur and Tanjevic could bury the hatchet at the last minute?

    Tournament Prediction: 4-8

    In just five words: Talented but can be fragile
    http://www.fibaeurope.com/coid_U5wl0...frontpage.html
    Die Liebe wird eine Krankheit, wenn man sie als eine Heilung sieht
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    Hi Guys

    Thanks for the support. Not easy to do, or at least not as easy as a basic interview or game report

    Glad some of you are enjoying the previews. If this is genuinely the case, as a freelancer, any feedback to

    media@
    fibaeurope.com

    gladly appreciated



    I think I got bad reviews in GB because of my assessment of my own nation - but you have to be honest

  11. #31
    Senior Member Freaknick's Avatar
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    Default Eurobasket Uncensored

    This is a little 4-part preview i'll be doing with Paul Nilsen of FIBAEurope. He wrote the Group previews for Eurobasket2009.org, but I asked some questions to loosen him up a bit. For instance, what's more likely: Mario Kasun leaves Eurobasket with another tattoo? Or FYR of Macedonia leaves Eurobasket with a win? Here's the Group A preview, and I'll be releasing the other ones throughout the week.

    Don't know if this warrants its own thread, but I thought it might be a nice break from thew news/rumors/debates. Even the most die-hard fans need a little laughter in our lives, right?

    As always, thanks yawl.

  12. #32
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    Default Eurobasket videos

    Since there are so many good NBA players participating in EuroBasket I decided to put together a little video compilation of the best NBA players playing in Poland. Check it out here.

  13. #33
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    Nilsen: Lithuania, Bulgaria Both Missing Something

    There are two teams heading for Wroclaw with expectations at opposite ends of the spectrum, but who will both be without key players when they set off for Poland.

    To complete our preview of Group D, we look at how Lithuania can cope without their ‘megastars' and still try to challenge for a medal, while also figuring out whether surprise package Bulgaria can win their first Eurobasket game in two decades without their talismanic guard Ibrahim Jaaber.

    Lithuania

    Six months ago Lithuania were one of the leading frontrunners for EuroBasket 2009 gold. Since that time, their status has dwindled perhaps not dramatically, but enough to cause a little concern after a string of high profile withdrawals from the squad.

    It now looks like ambitions might have to be re-aligned slightly but only to be expected without the stunning array of talent that is Kaukenas, Siskaukas, Jasikevicius and Macijauskas.

    Despite their depleted roster, Lithuania will probably still remain as one of the main chasers in the pack behind Spain. Even if the anticipated colour of any medal might have changed, they will be confident they can get both feet on the podium in Katowice.

    Coach Ramunas Butautas certainly has plenty to ponder to make that happen. Instead of having players naturally fulfilling positions and having to decide which of his talented superstars he needs to sit down and for how long, the tables have turned a little.

    Now, without any true natural successor to the likes of Jasikevicius, he has to think about which new players he can trust in games and that possibly means a new mentality for the head of the Lithuanian team.

    Fortunately he has little to think about in terms of discipline, smarts, hustle and an unrelenting commitment to his team ethic which his players almost always deliver for him.

    With their star men on board, Lithuania would have been pretty much ‘no brainers' for the podium. Without those names, they will have to fight to make it to the last four. However as everyone in European and indeed World basketball knows - when the going gets tough, this tough nation gets going.

    Even with a strong of major absences, their depth and resilience should ensure they are in the shake-up at the business end of this tournament.

    Key Man: Linas Kleiza is a player who epitomises the hard-nosed edge to Lithuanian basketball. The former NBA man has recently made the switch to Europe at club level with Olympiakos and is going to prove pivotal in Poland. He is better in a national team vest than his numbers suggest but he will be well shackled. Teams will key in on his scoring threat and if he can find a solution to this problem, Kleiza could be the key. If he can't break the chains imposed on him by opponents, a medal could be out of reach.

    Sleeper: At this level and at 22 years old, Mantas Kalnietis is a sleeper of sorts and also a possible ‘X Factor' for his team in Poland

    X Factor: Kalnietis looks (at this stage, but it could still change) the probable favourite to be given the nod for the troubled point guard spot. How he copes with this if the responsibility comes his way, especially in crunch time, could make or break the tournament for Lithuania. In fact for any of the players given that role if not Kalnietis, they too become the ‘X Factor'.

    Weak Points: The lack of a proven playmaker at the point guard position. With Jasikevicius no longer available to direct operations, it is a void that could prove difficult to fill and particularly in the latter stages of the tournament. Delininkaitis is more of a two guard but is being piloted at the point, while Mazutis and Kalnietis have not yet proved they have the class to compete at the very highest national team level. The perimeter shooting and particularly in crunch time when someone needs to pull out a big triple also looks to be a concern.

    Strong Points: Depth, team ethic and toughness, particularly in the frontcourt and the wing spots. In the paint, Lithuania have some nice depth. They have an embarrassment of riches to choose from including Marijonas Petravicius a real monster in EuroCup last year, Robertas Javotkas, Paulius Jankunas and finally not just one Lavrinovic, but both twins! While on the wings, Linas Kleiza provides a potent threat.

    Wish You Were Here: Ramunas Siskauskas, Rimantas Kaukenas, Sarunas Jasikevicius and Arvydas Macijauskas

    What fans should pack in their suitcase: A notepad and a pen to take notes on how to improve the tournament even more for when Lithuania host EuroBasket in 2011. Maybe also some address cards to distribute to we can all have the potential use of a sofa in case we have trouble booking those precious hotel rooms when the time arrives!

    Movies and Movie Titles for Lithuania: I think that ‘Deep Cover or ‘Deep Impact' pretty much reflects the depth and strength in reserve of this nation who have lost their megastars but can still challenge/.

    Key To Success: You have to think that much will depend on who is trusted to run the point position. Absolutely critical with no one outstanding candidate and that decision will be pivotal to how Lithuania proceed. Teams will work on denying the big men the ball inside and disrupting the usually slick passing style of Lithuania and so the backcourt has to really shoot the ball well or penetrate effectively. It will be intriguing to watch. Coach Butautas has some real decisions to make in this area of his team.

    Tournament Prediction: 1-4

    In just five words: Teamwork will get them through


    Bulgaria

    Written off by bookmakers across Europe as tournament no-hopers, without talismanic star Ibby Jaaber, without a single win in Eurobasket since 1989 and pitched in a tough group with Lithuania, Turkey and Poland - it doesn't look too good on paper.

    In fact it poses a serious challenge for legendary coach Pini Gershon and perhaps one of the biggest he has ever faced meaning he will have to muster every last drop of his experience and ability to motivate players.

    However when Gershon samples his first taste of Eurobasket action, he will know that his team are only forty minutes away from having the last laugh and achieving their goal - namely winning a group game and probable progression.

    Bulgaria proved during qualification they won't be overawed by anybody with Gershon instilling self-belief and confidence in his players which helped to dispense a major nation like Italy.

    However, the big difference this time is that Bulgaria won't have the talent of Ibby Jaaber at their disposal. While much of the pre-tournament talk has been about the crushing loss of Nowitzki for Germany and Deng for Great Britain, make no mistake that the loss of Jaaber is an absolute hammer blow for Bulgaria.

    A strict follower of his Islamic faith, Jaaber can't attend due to religious commitments leaving a hole, or perhaps more accurately, a giant crater to fill. For Jaaber was a near forty minute man during qualifying, top scoring, dishing up assists galore and a trademark beast defensively.

    It now looks like Gershon has to make a straight choice between EJ Rowland and Andre Owens as to which naturalized player will somehow try to fill the boots of Jaaber and bring the same impact to the team - not a task to be relished.

    Bulgaria do have a decent sprinkling of both talent and role players that Gershon can harness to good effect. Todor Stoykov is a veteran player who can get it done while Filip Videnov plays in the ACB and is a great shooter. The Ivanov twins can be hit and miss but if their heads are right, they too could show their qualities. Notably their volatility and passion have already caused some turbulence during preparations.

    That shouldn't worry Gershon too much though. He wants his guys fired up and if that particular spark lights a fire under his team which can then be fanned in the right direction, then the underdogs might just find some real bite.

    Key Man: Filip Videnov is hugely important to Bulgaria as it is often his perimeter shooting that gets Bulgaria through tough games. This was none more evident than in the dramatic narrow win against Italy in qualifying. He had some injury problems last season but is back firing on all cylinders and his potentially devastating contribution from the arc will be pivotal.

    Sleeper: Chavdar Kostov is just 21 years old but a talented and versatile guard who Gershon trusts. He has just enjoyed a super World University games and played almost double digits per game during qualifying for the senior team. Without Jaaber on board, his role could expand slightly and he might surprise a few people.

    X Factor: Basically whichever American player is chosen in the naturalized spot. That decision and their subsequent contribution could be the difference between expected failure or alternatively, making everyone (including me) eat their words.

    Weak Points: Where do I start? Well perhaps it is unfair battering Bulgaria too much but suffice to say that no in depth breakdown of the team is required. An overall lack of proven quality and depth at this level sums things up (particularly in the frontcourt.)

    Strong Points: Bulgaria can at least call on a hugely experienced coach in Gershon while the players will certainly work hard. They have a few streaky scorers in the guard and small forward spots who could make games interesting if they combine being aggressive on offence with good decision making and maintain their discipline.

    Wish You Were Here: Ibrahim Jaaber

    What fans should pack in their suitcase: Some laughing gas. Let's face it, if you don't laugh, you only cry and without the gas, there might be tears for supporters of the so called ‘no hopers'.

    Movies and Movie Titles for Bulgaria: At risk of being labelled as a doom merchant and making out like Bulgaria will definitely get a hiding in every game - something that could blow up in my face..., there is ‘Drag Me To Hell', ‘Misery' or even ‘Apocalypse Now'.

    Key To Success: When success is winning a game, it is more simplistic and the key will be whether their spiky and volatile approach can be channelled into a positive energy on the court. If Videnov and Stoykov can get points on the board early and find momentum then Bulgaria just need to hang around in games and a chance could come along. Stranger things have happened.

    Tournament Prediction: 13+

    In just five words: Hit their ceiling after qualification
    http://www.eurobasket2009.org/en/coi...leMode_on.html
    Die Liebe wird eine Krankheit, wenn man sie als eine Heilung sieht
    Artificial Nature

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    The day before EuroBasket final game in Katowice there will be the 3-point contest: Allen Iverson vs Andrzej Pluta.

    I can't wait

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    Quote Originally Posted by greg View Post
    The day before EuroBasket final game in Katowice there will be the 3-point contest: Allen Iverson vs Andrzej Pluta.

    I can't wait
    Really? Do you have a link?

    Stuart

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    Polish link:

    http://www.sport.pl/koszykowka/1,650..._Iverson_.html


    The same day there will be U-18 European All-Star Game.

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    Thanks greg. Why are they doing this? Just a halftime show?

    Stuart

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    Quote Originally Posted by stuart View Post
    Why are they doing this?
    For AI it's a part of Reebok promotion.

    For us great event. Pluta has quite big chances


    Quote Originally Posted by stuart View Post
    Just a halftime show?
    There is a free time between 5.-8. place and semi-final games. So maybe then.

  19. #39
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    Wish You Were Here: Ramunas Siskauskas, Rimantas Kaukenas, Sarunas Jasikevicius and Arvydas Macijauskas
    Darius Songaila should be mentioned here too


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    I agree with you and hold my hands up

    But there came a point where I had to stop somewhere - Luthuania are just too deep I could have probably went on and on and on

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