Greek Basketball: The post-Diamantidis Era
After the last game of Greece on the 2010 World Basketball Tournament Dimitris Diamantidis announced his decision to stop playing for the National Team. Now the Greek NT has to face the challenge of learning how to play without a player who was giving energy and constancy on defense while on the other end he was an offensive threat with his 3pt shooting but mostly by knowing how to capitalize his teammates? strengths.
Beside the Diamantidis loss the Greek NT is in search of the new coach. With Kazlauskas on the bench the Greeks made it to the 3rd place during the the last European competition (without Diamantidis on the squad) and coach K was the one who managed to transform Schortsianitis? explosive game to an asset for the Greek NT. Now the challenge for the Greek Basketball Federation is to find someone who will take the most out of Schortsianitis, Kalathes and the other under 28 years old players but at the same time he will use wisely the veterans as Tsartsaris , Fotsis , Bourousis , Papaloukas (if he decides to play) and last but not least the physical leader of the team Spanoulis.
My belief is that on the post Diamantis Era the Greek NT will have to learn how to use the big men on set games and how to create offensive situations for the guards from the ?paint?. Finally it is a question, which player will come up as the second man behind Spanoulis who will have to take on most of the scoring and maybe leave aside other things like playing full court press on the opponent point guard.
Regarding the first round of the European Championships I don?t believe Greece will face any problems to qualify while the only threat for the first place seems to be Croatia, who won only Tunisia and Iran during the 2010 World Basketball Championship but lost a point game against Serbia on the ?eight finals? round and with players like Popovic, Tomas, Ukic and Bogdanovic needs to be taken seriously.
The other three teams (and the one expected for the qualifying games) of the group seem to be even and will fight for the rest of the tickets to the round of 16 with a small advantage for FYROM and Montenegro.
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