NBA 2K15 ‘LeBron James Homecoming’ trailer is pretty cool

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If Cavaliers fans weren’t already excited for LeBron James returning to Cleveland, getting LeBron James back to Cleveland in video game form will excite just as much until the season officially kicks off.

The plethora of LeBron remixed with Diddy’s Homecoming track is sure to get old by season’s end, but until then let’s enjoy it as much as possible.

FIBA World Cup: Day 6 wrap – “D.R.A.M.A”

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#454626822 / gettyimages.com

Please note, today’s wrap will be quite quick, due to the fact i’m about to jump on a flight… We released a podcast today with Sam Meyerkopf from Euroleague Adventures that covers most of the below & more!

The Results

Group A

  • Brazil 128 Egypt 66
  • France 81 Iran 76
  • Spain 87 Serbia 67

Group B

  • Philippines 81 Senegal 79
  • Croatia 103 Puerto Rico 82
  • Greece 79 Argentina 71

Group C

  • New Zealand 67 Finland 65
  • United States 95 Ukraine 71
  • Turkey 77 Dominican Republic 64

Group D

  • Angola 91 Australia 83
  • Mexico 87 Korea 71
  • Lithuania 67 Slovenia 64

The final 16 is set… Here’s how the knock out stage looks

knockout

Highlights

1) I guess the biggest talking point from today was Angola’s win* over Australia & the implication that had on the rest of the tournament for Australia, Lithuania & Slovenia.

We covered most of this off with Sam Meyerkopf from EuroleagueAdventures.com in today’s podcast.

Australia rested Aron Baynes, Joe Ingles & played only four minutes of Matthew Dellavedova. Which is fine. They are playing five games in six days, so it’s all good to strategically rest your players in a two-week tournament full of back-to-back basketball.

However, towards the end of the second quarter… Australia were settling for some suspect defensive sets & poor shot selection.

Like this:

& this:

In Australia’s defense… That was still a better defensive effort than James Harden… ba doom tish! I’m here all week… Try the veal.

The loss by Australia meant that If Lithuania beat Slovenia, they’d win the group, Slovenia would finish second & Australia third… Meaning that Australia would avoid the United States until at least the semi-finals.

Goran Dragic had this to say about the situation.

Lithuania would go on to beat Slovenia, setting them up with a Round of 16 clash against New Zealand, Australia vs Turkey & Slovenia in a match-up with Dominican Republic with the USA looming in the quarter finals.

Australian coach Andrej Lemanis had this to say post-game:

“That game proves that everyone at the World Cup is a good basketball team… and Angola is a good team with lots of international experience,”

“We shoot the ball pretty well (51% FG and 56% 3FG), our offense wasn’t too bad, but in defensive transition we were found lacking tonight.

“Certainly we got outrebounded and we had 18 turnovers, and that’s frustrating for how we want to play as a group.

“Obviously we rested some players tonight, knowing that we were going to go to Barcelona (for the knockout rounds), but still that second half performance was disappointing.”

2) New Zealand knocked off Finland 67-65 to qualify for the knockout round.

Massive props to New Zealand. After losing their first three games of the tournament, they’ve crawled back into the knockout stages.

Big-man Isaac Fotu top scored off the bench with 18 points, shot 7/9 from the field including a big three!

Here’s the highlights:

3) Team USA disposed of the Ukraine 95-71, rounding out their group stage at a perfect 5-0.

In a game that was a lot closer than it should have been for stretches, the USA eventually found their mojo to rack up a 24 -point win.

Good news for the USA, James Harden had his best game of the tournament with 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting.

A slight scare for Kyrie Irving who fell hard on his right hip going to the rim in the fourth quarter, but he was quick to re-assure everyone he would be ok.

Here’s the highlights:

….and for a bit of fun, here’s Kenneth Faried with his usual beast play of the game.

Random Notes of the night

1) DANTE EXUM TO NATHAN JAWAI IS ALL OF THE JAY-Z BEYONCE CONCERTS!!!

2) Andray Blatche guaranteed everyone that Philippines would beat Senegal… & they did. I’m going to miss Andray Blatche & Gilas Philipinas. They were so much fun to watch.

3) This child couldn’t quite understand what he was seeing in the Angola vs Australia game…

Episode 211 – FIBA Fever: Playing the Tournament Game

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On today’s episode of Believe The Hype, Sam Meyerkopf from EuroleagueAdventures.com joins Tom & Benyam to chat about the World Cup. Sam’s in Gran Canaria, so the guys have a chat about how Group D is playing out, discussing Australia’s interesting loss to Angola, the future of the Australian National Team, how Slovenia & Lithuania have been performing & the outlook for these teams moving towards the knock-out stages. Furthermore, Tom & Benyam chat about Team USA’s tournament so far, how awesome Spain have looked, #SummerOfBlatche, Boris Diaw’s selfie game & more!

Follow Sam on twitter at @HoopLikeDrazen & check him out at EuroleagueAdventures.com & @Euro_Adventures

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.

Download:

FIBA World Cup: Day 5 wrap – “No Spain, No Gain”

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#454558580 / gettyimages.com

The Results

Group A

  • Iran 88 Egypt 73
  • Brazil 81 Serbia 73
  • Spain 88 France 64

Group B

  • Puerto Rico 77 Philippines 73
  • Argentina 81 Senegal 46
  • Greece 76 Croatia 65

Group C

  • New Zealand 73 Ukraine 61
  • Turkey 77 Finland 73
  • United States 106 Dominican Republic 71

Group D

  • Australia 70 Mexico 62
  • Slovenia 93 Angola 87
  • Lithuania 79 Korea 49

The standings with 1 group game remaining:

standings

Highlights

1) Spain defeated their Euro rivals France 88-64 to all-but tie up Group A

Marc Gasol finised with 17 points & 6 rebounds to lead the Spanish in a huge statement game directed straight at the USA. The three headed monster of Gasol, Pau Gasol & Serge Ibaka finished with 42 points, 18 rebounds & shot 64% from the field. When Rubio, Calderon & Llull are feeding these guys… They are unstoppable. Once again, the Spanish pick & roll game was tough to defend. They are definitely looking like the team to beat.

Speaking of the three headed monster… How the hells do you defend this?!?!

France really struggled to deal with the Spanish’s pressure defense. The team finished shooting 5/25 from beyond the arc & Batum was never able to find his shot, equal top scoring with 11 points whilst shooting 33% from the field.

2) Australia defeat Mexico 70-62 to all-but assure themselves 2nd place in Group D

Riding high of the confidence from their big win against Lithuania yesterday, Australia struggled to find their rhythm early.

Australia had some good looks throughout the first half, but Aron Baynes had an uncharacteristically bad start to the game, missing easy looks at the rim & Ryan Broekhoff shot 0-5 from three point land in the half. Mexico would eventually get on-top of Australia in the 2nd quarter. However, Brad Newley pulled out his Toyota Auris Brad Newley & drove to the hole for a buzzer beating lay-up to give Australia a 33-32 lead at the half.

Australia would eventually re-gain the lead with a huge 3rd Quarter lead by 4 big 3 pointers from Ryan Broekhoff to take hold of the game.

Call me Nostradamus…

A lot of the credit in this game has to go to Matthew Dellavedova’s floor leadership. Delly was able to ensure that even with shots not dropping, the offense was still flowing & even hit a big open-three in the 2nd quarter when the team really needed it. Defensively, he did a great job locking down Jorge Guttierez to ensure that the Mexicans couldn’t get into a good offensive rhythm.

Highlight of the game was definitley “The Outback Shaq”, or “Jawaiberwocky” or “Nathan Jawai” depending on who you are… Throwing down this dunk that was all of the chocolates on Easter Sunday.

3) New Zealand defeat Ukraine 73-61 to keep their hopes of advancing alive.

Kiwi dangerman Kirk Penney finished with a game-high 17 points along with 7 rebounds and 2 assists.

New Zealand’s young big-man Isaac Fotu finished with 10 rebounds & showcased the future of New Zealand basketball as he held his own against a much more advanced Ukraine front-line lead by Slava Kravtsov.

New Zealand now find themselves in a must win situation. If they defeat Finland tomorrow night, they’ll go through to the next stage… At the expense of Ukraine who face the USA in their final game.

Here’s the highlights of the game:

4) Team USA defeated the Dominican Republic… Obviously.

DeMarcus Cousins & DeMar DeRozan were given good opportunities in this game… DMC finished with 13 points & 5 assists in 12 minutes & DMDR had 11 points in more playing time than he’s seen so far.

DeMar will also dunk on your hearts…

Random notes of the night

1) Kenneth Faried really wanted to go to a museum… But it was closed.

#PrayForFaried

(via: Ball In Europe)

2)  The #SummerOfBlatche was really hulking up the crowd in the Philippines loss to Puerto Ruico

3) This Juan Carlos Navarro buzzer beater is pretty cool.

4) I’ve mentioned this a few times before… But, I love the French sleeved jerseys!

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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

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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!