EUROBASKET 2009 POLAND, DAY 2: Croatia 68, Greece 76
Written by Ivica Zuro
Sunday, 17 January 2010 21:04
According to Croatia NT lone NBA player Roko Ukic after the convincing loss from Greece, “Bourousis (19points, 8 rebounds, 2 threes) looked like Hakeem Olajuwon at moments.” (photo: thehoop.blogspot.com)
Here are some random thoughts about the game:
– Without any blood, without any hope except in the rare moments of the 2nd half
– Mario Kasun left the game to early with 4 personal fouls, otherwise it would be a huge question if the worst foreign player in the history of the Houston Rockets Vasileios Spanoulis would enter the game until it’s very end
– Croatian NT tactics to play with 3 guards at the same time would have been a solid solution if only guard pairs have been exchanged more frequently. Popovic and Planinic should enter the game on the peak of Croatia’s momentum with Greece up by only 10 in the third quarter, and they should both have helped Roko Ukic who was in the good tonus tonight. However they have burned out while waiting for to be exchanged with Kus and Stojic. Ukic, Popovic and Planinic are able to defensively control Perperoglu/Zisis i Calathes/Spanoulis.
– Why is Kreso Loncar – player who was able to create serious problems for Dirk Nowitzki in the last year’s decisive Olympic qualifying game – still buried on the end of the Croatia NT bench?
The Croatian NT will next face very aggresive Macedonian unit supported by their numerous fans tomorrow at 16.30 CET.
EUROBASKET 2009 POLAND, DAY 1: Croatia 86, Israel 79
Written by Ivica Zuro
Sunday, 17 January 2010 20:55
Ex-Maccabi Tel Aviv player Nikola Vujcic powered Croatia vs Israel with 21 points in 22 minutes of action
After a tough opening victory of Croatian NT vs Israel in Eurobasket 2009 here are some corresponding notes:
– If Scott Skiles somehow had a chance to watch this game, lets just say that he’d be thinking about recommending matching the T-Wolves offer to Ramon Sessions…meaning Roko you can definitely do better then this…
– Lior Eliyahu could soon, if he stays injury-free, face an increased demand on the other side of the Atlantic ocean
– Where have you gone Nikola Vujcic, our lonely nation turned its eyes to you…
– Mario Kasun ends the game tied with the Israeli team with 5 offensive boards
– There is an old Croatian saying that “the first litter is always disposed of”…
– Who saved the day for Croatia besides Popovic’s 10 POINTS in the 4th Q?
|00:31||4 R. Ukic 2PtsFG (Jump shot) MADE||82 – 77|
The Croatian NT will face the very compact Greek NT tomorrow at 19.15 CET.
NBADraft2K9 AFTERMATH: BLAKE GRIFFIN AND OTHERS
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 17:07
by Ivica Zuro, CroHoops.com
OK, the Clippers take Blake Griffin with pick #1, but what should the rest do – that was the one and only question circling around teams’ war rooms on Draft day June 25th in New York. Some of them found an answer, some of them made awkward (not to say wrong) moves, but considering the fact that this year’s NBA Draft was among the weakest in the last 20 years it can’t be said this was a boring one at all. In fact, it was a Slippery draft for many proven college players.
Besides the only reasonable move at 1st pick, some teams gained what they desperately needed. Memphis is good example, filling the void in the middle and at the wings, Tanzanian giant Hasheem Thabeet and experienced Sam Young are going to have an impact from the start. Oklahoma City gained a natural shooting guard upgrade with James Harden and a potential solution for center in BJ Mullens, since Jack Sikma’s departure in late 1980s this team didn’t have any players who were even close to be called that name.
It can’t be said whose surprise was greater, a pleasant one for the Spurs after realizing potential lottery pick Dejuan Blair was available at overall pick #37, or the opposite for ex Pitt-star and Big East Player of the Year because of a downfall worth at least 25 places. Minnesota picked 3 playmakers (Jonny Flynn and some familiar names) and one proven guard Wayne Ellington in the first round, later trading Ty Lawson to Denver while talking about some possible blockbuster trades including #5 pick Ricky Rubio and going further in the rebuilding process. And Denver gained a useable substitute for Billups – not bad for a team that didn’t have a 1st round pick at all.
Speaking about getting a lot without a 1st round pick, Houston made the right trade moves and gained players who will immediately contribute – SG Jermaine Taylor and swingman Chase Buddinger. Duke’s Gerald Henderson is going to be a fine upgrade for the present Charlotte squad, like Jordan Hill for the Knicks or Stephen Curry for the run and gun team better-known as the Golden State Warriors. Inside scoring was a question mark for the Bulls lately, but not after getting 1st round draftees James Johnson and Taj Gibson.
They were some moves that left most people confused. One of them was the Kings pick, Tyreke Evans, who is not a pure point guard while they had Rubio and Flynn available for instant impact. The other was Detroit’s new acquisition Austin Daye, who plays in one direction and lacks much needed strength.
Indiana made a conservative choice with Tyler Hansbrough although they needed some extra backcourt help. Cleveland stands beside the greatest upset of the 1st round, drafting Christian Eyenga – an unknown project guy while they could get a polished product in Sam Young or Jermaine Taylor, but they corrected their mistake by drafting Danny Green who is an excellent defender and key ingredient for this year’s NCAA champion North Carolina.
The one and only Croatian is this year’s crop, Goran Suton, was drafted by Utah in the second round, and that seems like a natural fit for him – Jerry Sloan is known for favoring skilled big men in his system.
On an interesting note, this Draft included 2 sons of former NBA players who both spent some time playing for Boston in the 80-ties – Darren Daye (Scavolini fans know him well) and Gerald Henderson Sr.