Aussie Update – Volume 30

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By JT.

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

* Aron Baynes is reportedly considering a return to Europe. It’s pretty clear what’s going on here. It’s a similar situation to the Eric Bledsoe/Phoenix standoff, albeit with a lot less coin at stake. Baynes is a restricted free agent so the Spurs control his rights; no other team has made an offer to force their hand so the Spurs are holding firm on the number they like ($1.1m qualifying offer); Baynes thinks he’s worth more than that; thus, we have the stalemate. I think the European option is a tactic by Baynes’ camp to try and pressure the Spurs into increasing their offer. I can’t see him leaving San Antonio but we’ll see how it plays out.

* ESPN’s draft guru Fran Fraschilla had this to say on Thon Maker after watching him dominate the Under Armour Elite 24 practices in New York: “He’s KD on offense and KG on defense.”

* Ben Simmons was voted the ‘Most Likely No. 1 NBA Draft Pick’ by his peers after the AAU season.

* From SBNation’s Pounding The Rock: ‘Patty Mills – the efficiency expert’

* Patty Mills makes a cameo in the Adelaide Crows short film entry for the Virgin Australia Film Festival. Stick to footy, fellas.

* Thunder GM Sam Presti and Aussie Steve were in Wellington recently to participate in a youth basketball camp. You can check out the press conference here. Adams was typically hilarious throughout but something else struck me there. When asked to explain the reason why Adams is not suiting up for the Tall Blacks they both gave some pretty shifty (and in Adams’ case, non-existent (at the 13:50 mark)) answers. I think the Kiwi fans deserve better than that.

* The Boomers continued their impressive play leading up to the FIBA World Cup by crushing Finland 80-57 on Friday Night.

* The boys chilling out in Barcelona.

* Dante Exum sleeping with a giant teddy bear?

* Another episode of ‘Inside the Huddle’.

* Australia were defeated 99-92 by the United States in the FIBA U17 World Championship game, earning the silver medal. Check out the highlights.

* Isaac Humphries and Dejan Vasiljevic were named to the FIBA U17 World Championship all-tournament team. Here’s some individual highlights of Humphries.

* Ben Simmons is featured in the Home Team Hoops’ “Road To Peach Jam” Documentary.

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.

‘Aussie’ Kyrie Irving doesn’t know much about the Australian Basketball Team

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Kyrie Irving:

  • Born in Melbourne, Australia…
  • Holds an Australian passport…
  • Travelled to Australia last year to get acquainted with the thousands of Australian fans he’s gained over the last few years…
  • Flirted with the idea of playing for the Australian National Team & rumor has it, made an incognito trip out to Australia prior to heading to Duke to explore this opportunity…
  • Doesn’t know or seem to care about the current Australian World Cup team.

Yep. That seems to be the case.

Speaking to the media after today’s Team USA training session, Kyrie Irving was asked by Nick Metallinos of starting5online.com about his thoughts on the Australian team heading into the World Cup.

Kyrie said:

“Honestly, I don’t know who’s on the team. No disrespect to Australia and their team, but I’m worried about our team and what we can do to win this World Cup.”

Someone in the media scrum quickly mentioned to Kyrie that his own Cavaliers team-mate Matthew Dellavedova was on the Boomers squad…

“Yeah, I know. But I ain’t checking for Australia.”

hashtag shots fired.

There’s a few things that I take from this…

#1 As an Australian member of the NBA media, the three times that I’ve been lucky enough to speak to Kyrie, he’s been very warming towards Australia. He’s stated on occasions that he still refers to Melbourne as “my hometown” & wants to come back Down Under as often as possible… Even as early as next off-season. So, for him to take a small shot at the Australian National Team, to a fellow Australian media member, really surprises me.

#2 Shout-out to Charles Barkey & Angola.

#3 To me, this basically sums up how the USA have approached this World Cup & is the tip of the iceberg on an even bigger issue that I’ve seen with this USA team… Their lack of preparation heading into the World Cup. 

After the embarrassment of 2004, USA Basketball had pulled together a program to ensure that moving forward, they were perennial gold medallists. They became respectful of the FIBA game. Especially the nations that were at the top of the tree; Argentina & Spain. Whilst they still deserve the right to be favourites to bring home the gold next month, their World Cup preparation so far has been exactly the opposite of what it has been in previous tournaments since 2004.

We’re now 8 days out from opening day & Team USA still hasn’t finalised their squad. They’ve had some speed humps along the way including Paul George’s horrible injury & Kevin Durant pulling out of the competition.

These two incidents aside, from an outsider looking in, their preparation seems like Team USA aren’t respecting the FIBA game as much as they have in previous tournaments.

They have 4 warm-up games scheduled before the tournament begins. Brazil, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico & Slovenia. To me, this schedule doesn’t exactly look like the best preparation for a FIBA tournament. If the USA were treating this tournament seriously, they would have looked at organising games against more European competition.

Teams that they could potentially face in the medal rounds of the competition include Spain, France & Lithuania. The USA need to accustom themselves with their particular styles & systems heading into the World Cup. Their games against Brazil in Chicago plus Dominican Republic & Puerto Rico in New York, don’t help them prepare for the games that matter. Slovenia does, but it’s only one game against a European system. The South American teams they are facing’s systems look much more like an NBA type system than a Euro system & doesn’t allow the NBA stars on Team USA to do too far out of their comfort zone.

Before the 2012 Olympics, Team USA travelled to Europe early to play exhibition games in France, Spain & Great Britain before heading to London. A similar schedule this time, especially seeing there’s a noticeable talent drain since the Olympics, was exactly what the USA needed.

They are coming into this tournament under-prepared & it’s comments like Kyrie’s one about Australia… A team they SHOULD be “checking” seeing as there is a good chance they’ll face them in either an elimination game in either the quarter or semi finals shows how the USA have really approached this tournament the wrong way.

Kyrie & the USA should be worried about other teams in the tournament. Because gone are the days where the USA only has to worry about themselves. Teams who the USA will most likely have to go through on their way to the Gold Medal potentially including the likes Australia, Lithuania, Turkey, France & Spain are already beginning their preparation for this inevitable match-up. If 2004 taught the USA anything, it’s never get complacent. These are professional outfits who are built to win in the FIBA game. Show them a lack of respect & there’s a chance you’ll come up short where it matters… That gold medal.

Episode 208 – Talkin’ Team USA & Atlantic Division

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On today’s episode of Believe The Hype, Dan Devine from Yahoo! Sports’ Ball Don’t Lie joins Tom & Benyam for a chat. The guys discuss how Team USA are looking after their first two World Cup Warm-Up games vs Brazil & Dominican Republic & chat about who may be the four unlucky players cut from the team. Furthermore, the guys chat about how the teams from the Atlantic Division are looking heading into the upcoming season, players they’re looking forward to seeing playing in the World Cup & more!

Follow Dan on twitter: @YourManDevine & catch him over at yahoo.com/NBABallDontLie.com.

Don’t forget that that you can follow us on twitter @traread & @benyamkidane and using the #BTHype tag to ask questions to be answered in next weeks episode.

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Swaggy P life lessons: Left arm for tats, right arm for buckets

Yesterday Swaggy P posted this picture on Instagram of him getting some new ink and in the process dropped some of the best basketball life advice.

Previously he had only gotten tattoos with limited visibility e.g. under the jersey, but once the expansion into arm territory began, it was not without careful consideration.

Left arm, mainly used for catching, passing, hi-fives, dribbling……..useless stuff.

Right arm, for getting buckets. Shooting, 360 layups, fadeaways, scoring points. End of story

A quick scan around the league for the best “get buckets” guys or best shooters in the league, leads to some pretty conclusive evidence. KD, Steph and Ray, all great shooters/scorers/no tat right arm guys. The list goes on.

NBA shooters

As you can clearly see in the picture above, tattoo free right arms =  all the points and sweet jumpers you could want.

Swaggy is forever a student of the game.

via: Instagram

Aussie Update – Volume 29

julia gillard and the bird

By JT.

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

* Australia will play the United States in the gold medal game at the FIBA under-17 world championships in Dubai after a stunning comeback win against Spain overnight. You can catch the game live on Sunday morning at 3am Australian time at www.livebasketball.tv.

* Isaac Humphries is turning heads with his dominant play at the FIBA under-17 world championships. In a recent game against Canada, Humphries tallied a record setting 41 points, 19 rebounds and 6 blocks.  

Move over Ben Simmons/Thon Maker – this young fella wants a seat at the table.

* A DraftExpress interview with Isaac Humphries.

* In a recent NCAA coaches poll, when asked which current high school player has the brightest future in the NBA, Ben Simmons ranked No. 1 with 32% of the vote and Thon Maker came in at No. 2 with 19% of the vote. Here’s some of the comments: 

On Simmons: “I feel like physically and skillset-wise, he can play right now in the league.” 

On Maker: “If he stays injury-free, he is going to be the guy Anthony Davis worries about in the league in five to six years.”

* A Ben Simmons mixtape by PrepForce.

* Check out this sweet dish from Dante Exum in the Boomers win over the Ukraine.

* A couple of new episodes of ‘Inside The Huddle’ – here and here.

* An Inside Sport Q&A with Boomers assistant coach Luc Longley.

* Bleacher Report examines how new head coach Steve Kerr can more effectively utilise Andrew Bogut in the Warriors’ offense.

* Grizz and Tizz from Downtown chat to Brett Brown.

* The Sydney Kings have signed Josh Childress.

* The Perth Wildcats have signed DeAndre Daniels. Daniels was the Toronto Raptors second round pick (No. 37) in the 2014 NBA Draft.

* The NBA schedule has been released and Dante Exum’s Utah Jazz will host the Houston Rockets in their season opener on October 29.

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.

Episode 207 – Schedulizer

 

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Today on Believe The Hype, Tom & Benyam chat about today’s release of the 2014/15 NBA schedule & discuss what some of the ‘must-see’ match-ups of the season are. Furthermore, for every good NBA game, there’s probaby 10 gross games… So, the guys break down some of the NBA games they’re not looking forward to this year & why. Also, the boys chat about Greg Monroe’s situation, whether or not we’ll see Shawn Marion in Cleveland & answer some listener twitter & facebook questions!

Don’t forget that that you can follow us on twitter @traread & @benyamkidane and using the #BTHype tag to ask questions to be answered in next weeks episode.

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Off Season Instagrams – Blake Griffin

Like the majority of NBA players, Blake Griffin spends his off-season working on his game… Perfecting what he does well & adding a couple of new things into his game.

Blake’s always been known as one of the league leading funboys & he’s always had a strong photo-bombing game.

It’s good to see that during his off-season workouts, he’s spending some time perfecting the art of the photo-bomb with #BTHype’s favourite son, Sasha Vujacic.

Your move, Chris “king of the bomb” Bosh.

sashablake

via: Instagram