FIBA World Cup: Day 4 wrap – “Harden v Haka”

The Results

Group C

  • Ukraine 64 Turkey 58
  • United States 98 New Zealand 71
  • Dominican Republic 74 Finland 68

Group D

  • Mexico 70 Angola 55
  • Australia 82 Lithuania 75
  • Slovenia 89 Korea 72

Highlights

1) Kenneth Faried starred once again as the United States easily disposed of New Zealand 98-71.

Faried finished with 15 points & 11 rebounds & Anthony Davis had 21 points & 9 rebounds as the Kiwis had no answer to the dominance of the United States big-men.

The Manimal has been in awesome from this tournament… He shot 7-9 from the field & is currently shooting 80.8% from the field through 2 games.

BJ Anthony was New Zealand’s highest scorer with 11 points.

Play of the day was definitely this lob from Steph Curry to Faried. HEY KENNETH… DON’T HURT ‘EM!?!?!?!

2) Aron Baynes & Joe Ingles lead Australia to a huge 82-75 win over Euro powerhouse Lithuania.

In what is one of Australia’s biggest victories in recent memory, the Boomers showcased a complete game to easily handle the Lithuanians. Aron Baynes got the Boomers rolling at the start, taking it to Jonas Valancunias on the first few posessions. Baynes ended up scoring 10 of the Boomers first 15 points.

A day after NBA rumors began circulating, Joe Ingles was also on-fire. Finishing with 18 points on 7-of-11 from the field along with 4 assists & 3 steals. Jingles had the twitter world abuzz, hitting a few massive step-back threes, including a crucial one in the 4th Quarter that beat the shot-clock.

After being up 30-20 at the end of the first quarter & then having a 19 point lead at half-time, the Boomers became complaisant in the 3rd Quarter & allowed Lithuania to get back in the game.

Credit has to go to the Boomers defense, Australia did a great job at disrupting Lithuania’s offensive flow & not letting them get a lot of easy looks. Valancunias especially had a rough day in the office, Lithuania’s leading scorer was held scoreless throughout the first half.

Coach Andrej Lemanis praised Australia’s defensive effort.

“I thought we came out as planned – very aggressive and disruptive defensively,” Lemanis said.

“Our guys did a great job forcing some turnovers and getting a flow for us going early – we forced them into 22 turnovers and that ignited some of our offense.

“We didn’t do that as well in the second half and they showed that if you don’t disrupt them they are very good offensively and they are hard to play against.

“I was pleased with the way we managed (the game). They were always going to make a run and we did a good job of playing out the game, finding a way to win.”

3) Slovenia easily disposed of Korea 89-72 to put themselves in the drivers seat of wrapping up Pool D.

Goran Dragic finished with 22 points & shot 71.4% from the field in a pretty one sided affair.

The big take-away from this game is that Slovenia will now more than likely wrap-up Pool A. Pending all going to plan, there’s a good chance that Lithuania will ‘tank’ their final pool match against Slovenia as a way to avoid crossing over with the USA until the Semi-Finals. This means that at the moment, it looks like Australia will finish in 2nd place.

Here’s the highlights from the game.

Random notes of the night:

1) New Zealand’s haka was pretty cool… The best part about it was the expression on James Harden’s face! Full respect to the USA for treating the haka with respect, unlike Turkey.

2) Boris Diaw wants you to know… Tapas is so much better with friends.

3) Lithuania are such gracious losers… Here’s some quotes from Lithuanian coach Jonas Kazlauskas post-game.

Philadelphia 76ers are interested in signing Joe Ingles

BASKET-WC-2014-KOR-AUS

According to Orazio Cauchi of Sportando, sources suggest that the Philadelphia 76ers are interested in signing Australian swingman Joe Ingles.

Through 2 games at the FIBA World Cup, Ingles is playing some seriously good basketball, averaging 14.5ppg & shooting 75% from the field to go along with 2.5apg & 2spg.

76ers Head Coach Brett Brown has good prior knowledge of Ingles from his days coaching the Australian National Team. Ingles was arguably Australia’s most complete player in London, averaging 15ppg, 5rpg & 4.2apg.

This isn’t the first time that Ingles has had NBA interest. He came very close to signing with the Memphis Grizzlies last season. However, he chose to stay in Europe & signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv. This decision ended up working well for the 26 year-old as his David Blatt coached team won the Euroleague title.

Ingles is an elite perimeter defender with an improving three point shot… He averaged 41.7% from outside this season, which was a career high. In the new NBA era of “3 & D” players, Ingles is the perfect fit for a developing NBA team.

Joe Ingles also fills another need for the 76ers… He can play basketball & is willing to be remunerated to do so… Two traits of a basketballer that the 76ers struggle to find.

via: Sportando.

FIBA World Cup: Day 3 wrap – “Senegal surging”

 

The Results

Group A

  • Serbia 83 Iran 70
  • France 94 Egypt 55
  • Spain 82 Brazil 63

Group B

  • Senegal 77 Croatia 75
  • Argentina 85 Philippines 81
  • Greece 90 Puerto Rico 79

Highlights

1) After defeating Puerto Rico yesterday, Senegal registered their biggest win in FIBA history, defeating Croatia 77-75.

We may have branded this tournament the #SummerOfBlatche… But Senegalese & Seinfeld fans probably want us to take note of the #SummerOfGorgui as Gorgui Dieng played all 40 minutes & registered 27 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 awesome dance move & 3 side-bumps in celebration.

Outside shooting is normally one of the strengths of this Croatian team, but it was their downfall in this game as they finished 7/26 from outside.

Bojan Bogdanoivc came off the bench for Croatia, finishing with 15 points & was 1-7 from beyond the arc in a game that he couldn’t find his stroke & looked to be forcing the issue too much. Over the last few games, the only constant in the Croatian line-up has been Dario Saric. He also nabbed 15 points & shot a nice 6-9 from the field.

Senegal were very patient in offense. Often playing out the shot-clock, looking for their looks & trying to find Dieng in the post. But, also had a few great transition baskets & looked dangerous when running.

Krunoslav Simon tried to tie the game up with 10 seconds remaining… He was double teamed & decided to go for a really long three… Only to airball the hells outta it & basically hand Senegal the game.

After the game, Senegal’s coach Cheikh Sarr said, “Our tournament started in the second half against Greece. The first half was really crazy. We didn’t know the competition would be like that,”

“Other teams come here to win the tournament. We are here to learn.”

Here’s some highlights:

2) Pau Gasol leads Spain to a monster 82-63 victory over Brazil.

Spain are looking ever so dangerous & in this game, it was clearly an on fire Pau Gasol who was the difference between the two teams. Pau went through a stretch in the 3rd period where he scored 11 consecutive points, hitting 3 threes & a nice mid-range jumper. A lot of his points were coming off picks, with Nene incorrectly rotating, leaving Pau with open looks which he was knocking down.

Spain’s interior defense was once again on-fire. Pau, Marc Gasol & Serge Ibaka were giving Brazil limited space when getting to the basket & they ended up having to rely on mid range jumpers.

Brazil looked their best when Leandro Barbosa & Anderson Varejao were on the floor together.

Nothing was easy in the post for Brazil… Check out this block that Pau had on Nene…

Spain definitely look like a complete team & it seems like we’re destined for a USA/Spain Final.

3) Greece remained undefeated in the tournament, defeating Puerto Rico 90-79.

Back-to-back losses have put Puerto Rico against the wall in terms of qualifying for the Knock out rounds… But Greece, on the other hand, have looked great so far this tournament. Their defense was tight, not allowing Puerto Rico to get any good looks & holding them to 38% shooting.

Nick Calathes has been one of the form point guards of the tournement. Utilising the pick & roll really well.

It also helps when you’ve got Giannis Antetokounmpo coming off your bench. Giannis finished with 15 points, however was 0/3 from outside. He is a FIBA scoring machine who’s been leathel in transition.

Check out this play from today.

Random notes of the night:

1) Boris Diaw wants you to know… Cryotherapy is more fun with friends.

2) Dario Saric’s steal, behind the back dribble, bounce pass between the legs play in the 3rd Quarter vs Senegal was all of the Christmases.

3) Brock Motum sat down with RSN Radio in Australia for a chat about the Boomers tournament so far & more. Check it out!

FIBA World Cup: Day 2 wrap – “Boomers Bounce Back Brilliantly”

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 #454417968 / gettyimages.com

The Results

Group A

  • France 74 Serbia 73
  • Brazil 79 Iran 50
  • Spain Egypt

Group B

  • Croatia 90 Argentina 85
  • Senegal 82 Puerto Rico 75
  • Greece 82 Philippines 70

Group C

  • Dominican Republic 76 New Zealand 63
  • Finland 81 Ukraine 76
  • USA 98 Turkey 77

Group D

  • Australia 89 Korea 55
  • Slovenia 89 Mexico 68
  • Lithuania 75 Angola 62

Highlights

1) The Boomers bounce back from their loss to Slovenia to dominate Korea 89-55.

In a game that Australia was always expected to win, the team started with a 10-0 run & never really looked back.

Australia shot 57% from 3 point land with Ryan Broekhoff shooting 3/5 from outside & Joe Ingles 3/3 on his way to a game-high 17 points.

The game could be seen as a much needed confidence game for some key Boomers players with Ingles finally displaying the attacking edge that he needs to show if Australia are to go deep in this Tournament. He looked dangerous both at attacking the rim & stepping back to hit the outside shot. Furthermore, Matthew Dellavedova lead the team well finishing with 8 assists & 7 points.

Furthermore, recent NBA Draft picks Cameron Bairstow & Dante Exum showed glimpses of what we can expect from them throughout their NBA careers. Baristow’s an important piece for the Boomers with Lithuania looming, he finished the game with 14 points & shot 85% from the field… Looking great cleaning up the scraps on the offensive end & working the pick & roll. Whilst Exum got to a slow start, looking like he was having some issues penetrating the Korean defense, he finished the game well throwing down a big dunk & opened up the court to control the offense well in garbage time… A valuable few minutes of confidence for the Utah Jazz #5 Draft Pick.

“I think we did a really good job on the defensive side of the ball in holding Korea to just 55 points,” said Bairstow post-game.

“We knew coming in that the three-point shot was their main focus, so holding them to 20% (5-of-25 3FG) from three-point range was one of the biggest keys to the game.

“Then on the boards we did a good job of limiting their offensive rebounds and really taking advantage of it on our end.”

Towards the end of the game, we were treated to some good minutes from Nathan Jawai… AKA “Outback Shaq”/”Jawaiberwocky”. Jawai looked good on offense. His facilitation from the low post was great. However, his rim protection looked suspect, even against the smaller Koreans. Whilst he’s fun to watch… I don’t expect we’ll see him playing meaningful minutes against some of the elite teams.

Oh, but he tried to tear down the entire building.

2) USA survive an early scare to smash Turkey 98-77.

Although they managed to finish up 21 point victors… It wasn’t always looking that way. The USA were down 40-35 at half-time & looked to be struggling to find their offensive flow in the Turkish zone. Klay Thompson struggles from outside, shooting 2/7 from the floor. Whilst being their first choice point-guard, the offensive rhythm wasn’t great when Kyrie Irving had the ball in hand & the team’s flow looked much better when Derrick Rose was on the floor.

Defensively, the USA weren’t always on-song either. Rudy Gay looked really slow & James Harden in particularly looked to struggle at times… Which… Of course…

For the USA, Faried looked great. Finishing with 22 points (79% from the floor) & 8 rebounds. Playing his natural high-energy game.

3) France beat Serbia 74-73 in a thriller

Bogdan Bogdanovic started off as the hero of the game for Serbia… Looking leathal on offense during the early stages of the game, allowing Serbia to take a nice lead. However, with the game tied at 73-73, Bogdanovic lost the ball on a drive to the lane in the final seconds to cause a turnover which eventually lead to the French getting on the foul-line & finishing the game.

Serbia’s Miroslav Raduljica was as Raduljulous as usual… Scoring well of picks, showcasing his great passing & looked dangerous in catch & shoot situations. For France, it was big-man “King” Joffrey Lauvergne who did most of the damage… finishing with 19 points. Also, point guard Antoine Diot ran the break well, finishing with 15 points off the bench.

Here’s some highlights from the game:

4) Nene only played 16mins in Brazil’s big 79-50 win over Iran… But his presence was definitely felt.

He’s clearly one of the most dominant big-men in the tournament… Hamed Haddadi will be having nightmares about him all night. Check out these highlights:

Random notes of the night:

1) Philippines pulled out some 14 year old schoolyard moves in their loss to Greece. L.A Tenorio gave Kostas a little hit in his Papanikolaou’s…

H/T: @TheNoLookPass

2) Also from the Philippines… The #SummerOfBlatche has continued. Andray Blatche doesn’t need those things known as ‘team-mates’… Check out this assist of the backboard to himself.

You do you, Andray.

3) Tonight saw Australia’s World Cup broadcaster unveil their newest panel member, Downtownball.net‘s Tommy Greer. Tommy was good in his first ever live TV appearance (that didn’t include him actually playing basketball).

However, it seems like Greer won the viewers over for his fresh haricut along with his strong suit & tie game… The likes our national publicly funded broadcaster has never seen before.

Do you have ‘Justin Timberlake – Suit+Tie’ stuck in your head? Because I do.

Stephon Marbury to star in a Chinese stage show about… Stephon Marbury

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Yes… You read that headline correctly. Former NBA star & Chinese basketball Superster Stephon Marbury is set to star in a stage show about his life called “I Am Stephon Marbury”.

It isn’t a new thing for a stage show to be created about basketballers… A few years ago there was an Off-Broadway production about the Magic Johnson/Larry Bird rivalry. However, I never thought i’d hear of the day where Starbury got his own show… But, then again… We probably should have seen it coming.

According to the Sinosphere Blog on NYTimes.com, who transcribed from the official website of the show:

The show’s website declares “I Am Stephon Marbury’’ to be “China’s first fusion of sports, music, dance and multimedia for a sports-themed youth theater event.” It plans to feature the Chinese Basketball Association’s top cheerleading squad and performers trained to do various basketball tricks. According to the website, other celebrities will make surprise appearances on stage, including Yao Ming, who once starred with the Houston Rockets.

The play, which will run for 11 consecutive nights, centers on the idea that Marbury is a successful Beijing vagabond, or beipiao — a Chinese term typically used to refer to the millions of migrant workers who flock to the capital in search of employment without official Beijing residence permits. The plot follows the story of a musician, a beipiao himself, who arrives in Beijing in search of fame and is inspired to beat the odds by watching Marbury lead the Ducks to their first-ever championship during the 2011-12 season.

Furthermore, according to NY Times, due to Marbury’s inability to comfortably speak Mandarin & his lack of acting experience… Don’t expect to see Marbury appear too much throughout the production. Despite being named after him, the story is more about achieving your dreams & a feel good story rather than a straight bio-show of the life. I’m kinda disappointed about this… I would have loved Marbury to have done what NBA fans knew him to do… Hog the spotlight, even if it isn’t best for the team/production.

Marbury has become a huge star in Beijing ever since he moved to China in 2010 & to his current team, the Beijing Ducks in 2011. He’s lead the Ducks to 2 CBA Championships in 2012 & 2014 & won Foreign MVP in 2012/13 whilst averaging 29.5ppg… Oh, he also got a statue in his honour in Beijing after the 2012 title.

I can’t miss an opportunity to see this show. I need to get over to Beijing ASAP.

Here’s the poster for “I Am Stephon Marbury”

iamstephonmarbury

 

FIBA World Cup: Day 1 wrap – “Summer of Blatche”

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The Results

Group A

  • Serbia 85 Egypt 64
  • Brazil 65 France 63
  • Spain 90 Iran 60

Group B

  • Croatia 81 Philippines 78 (OT)
  • Argentina 98 Puerto Rico 75
  • Greece 87 Senegal 64

Group C

  • Ukraine 72 Dominican Republic 62
  • Turkey 76 New Zealand 73
  • United States 114 Finland 55

Group D

  • Angola 80 South Korea 69
  • Slovenia 90 Australia 80
  • Lithuania 87 Mexico 74

Highlights

1) To fully understand the tournament so far… You have to watch the below video for 20mins… Then you’d get the perspective that everyone watching at home on Livebasketball.TV has seen so far:

2) Andray Blatche did his brand new country proud & cemented the Philippines as one of the teams to watch… 

Blatche had 28 points, 12 rebounds and 7 Blatche-like turnovers & almost blew up twitter with his behind the back dribble drives, contested fade-away twos & big momentum changing threes. This three to tie the game at 64-64 with 3:15 left in the game was all of the Christmases…  

Philippines have certainly cemented themselves as a team to watch… A part from Blatche, Filipino Mamba Jeffrei Chan finished with 17 points including 4/6 from three. He was his dangerously fun self throughout the second half… Hitting big shot after big shot & driving to the hole with ease. I really hope we see this team make it through to the round of 16… They could be anything.

On the other end of this game, Brooklyn Nets’ Bojan Bogdanovic was the Croatian Bond Villain that the Philippines didn’t need to have out there… Finishing with 26 points and sinking the crucial game winning free throws.

3) Goran Dragic destroyed Australia, finishing with 25 points (66% shooting), 7 rebounds & 3 assists in their important Group D match-up.

The Boomers started off slow & Dragic was having his own with the Aussies… Hitting big shots & feeding the bigs to take advantage of Australia’s suspect rim defense. Dragic spurred on an 11-4 run late in the first to ensure that the Aussies would be playing catch-up for most of the night.

The Boomers would eventually mount a comeback late in the game, but after some missed opportunities to get within three points of Slovenia, the Euros class eventually prevailed & they won the game 90-80.

“For us to score 80 points – that puts you a good position to win the game,” said Boomers coach Andrej Lermanis.

“We shot pretty well ourselves, we shot at 46% from the three point line and 51% overall, so that’s a pretty good offensive performance.

“In that third quarter when we got it back and were only one (point) down, we got a stop, went down a pulled the trigger on a three early in the shot clock.

“That’s one thing we’ve been focusing on is style of play in those situations and ensuring we have quality possessions.

“Unfortunately we missed that one and then in the next four possessions we had three turnovers, which immediately released any pressure we had been able to build up to that point.”

4) Brazil sink Eurobasket champions France 85-83 off the back of super fun point-guard Marcelino Huertas’ 16 points & 5 assists.

In what was a battle of continental heavyweights, Huertas & the interior defense of Anderson Varejao was too good for Boris Diaw & the French.

However, Antonie Diot brought France within 1 with 3 seconds remaining, hitting a big 3. But the French just weren’t able to find a miracle & Brazil came home with the bacon.

The highlights of the game went to Utah Jazz big-man Rudy Gobert who threw down some thundering dunks. Gobert’s picked up where he left off at NBA Summer League & has shown us glimpses of the player that he will become.  

5) USA destroyed Finland… Obviously.

Shout-out to Angry Birds… Here’s the highlights:  

Random notes of the night:

1) Apparently Andray Blatche’s Filipino nickname is “Young Sea Lord”… So, there’s that?

2) Slovenia threw a shout-out to last weeks’ Emmy Awards. Look for Jure Balazic to be nominated for Best Supporting Act In a Foreign Language Mini-Series after this performance…

3) Some media just don’t get it… After the USA’s big win over the basketball powerhouse that is Finland, a reporter asked Mason Plumlee whether or not he’s only in the team because he’s a Duke & Nike guy…

Plumlee was not too happy, obviously. Check out the video from our friends at Ball In Europe.

Aussie Update – Volume 31

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By JT.

A round-up of news featuring our top Aussie ballers.  

* According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, whilst the Spurs are still determined to re-sign Aron Baynes they are exploring other options.

* Brock Motum has signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Utah Jazz. Details of the deal are: 1st Year – $507,336 (non-guaranteed); 2nd Year – $1,045,059 (qualifying offer).

* ABC and ABC2 will be televising live all the Boomers and Team USA games and the Quarter Finals through to the Gold Medal game of the FIBA World Cup in Spain. Here’s the schedule.

* The Boomers plan to bring Dante Exum off the bench at the World Cup.

* Ben Simmons remains at No. 1 on the Rivals.com Class of 2015 Player Rankings.

* Rasheed Malek from Warriors World: “An Increased Offensive Role for Andrew Bogut is Essential”. You’re preaching to the choir, bro.

* Watch the USA vs Australia Gold Medal game in full from the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championships.

* Dante Exum in NBA 2K15.

* Another episode of ‘Inside the Huddle‘.

* Bleacher Report with a couple of good features on Thon Maker and Ben Simmons.

* Some highlights of Thon Maker at the Under Armour Elite 24 practice session.

* Melbourne United have signed the Philadelphia 76ers’ second round draft pick, Jordan McRae. Here’s McRae dunking over Dante Exum at Summer League.

* SBNation with a comprehensive preview of the FIBA World Cup.

JT is the former Editor of the now defunct NBAMate. One of Australia’s original & most successful NBA blogs. You can find him on twitter @JThoopin.