Sunday, September 18, 2011

Spain Wins Eurobasket!

Spain put away France earlier this afternoon, 98-85, and are the Eurobasket 2011 champs! Another great performance for this group, what can you say? This game reminded me of the France-Russia game, except France was Spain and Russia was France (here's the post I'm referring back to). France was trailing for basically the whole game and Spain just piled on the offense. France had no consistent rebuttal.

Juan Carlos Navarro propelled the Spanish offense. Navarro had 27 points on 14 shots, which is pretty efficient. His triples were timely, he can just pull up and knock them down. Navarro can just save a possession because of his scoring ability. He also hit also 12 of his FT's and was +2 in assist to turnover ratio. Navarro knows his role, plays it well and that's why he was named the MVP.

Serge Ibaka was huge off of the bench for Spain. In the second quarter, Ibaka had four blocks in three minutes and four seconds (from the 9:26 mark to the 6:22 mark). That's incredible! He tried to carry that energy that he expelled on defense over to the offense, but he didn't make much of an impact scoring-wise. Ibaka's intensity and plays that put his team in transition are what makes him valuable. Five blocks doesn't just mean he's playing good D, it means that there are potentially five additional fastbreak opportunities for Spain, which is tremendous. The more Ibaka can make the play on defense, then finish it off on offense, the more imposing he'll be.

On the French side, Tony Parker's game was OK at best, Joakhim Noah seemed to be frustrated throughout the entire game, Nicolas Batum didn't score enough and the x-factors for France in Ali Traore and Nando De Colo had no true imprint on this game.

Monsieur Parker played decently, but where his game lacks is efficiency. As the main scorer for France, Parker had 26 points on 20 shots. Reminds me of those Laker games where Kobe had a lot of points, due to a lot of shots and LAL loses. I understand Parker wants to get his, he is a central part of the French offense, but he needs to increase his effectiveness. Move the ball around when shots aren't falling, because continuing to do what doesn't work simply doesn't make sense! It'd be nice if France had a more true PG they could bring off of the bench, that would really take a load off of Parker's shoulders. Maybe a young prospect will fill this sort of role in the future?

Joakhim Noah needed the kind of uplifting performance Serge Ibaka had. Instead, all that can be remembered of his game today is the looks of confusion after he got called for fouls. Oh, and let's not forget his emotions and clapping to the crowd when he fouled out. Noah just needed to be more imposing and obviously, foul less. If Tony Parker was a more pass first PG, that would greatly help Noah too. There just wasn't enough pick and roll and action for him to move and create an opening for himself.

Ali Traore and Nando De Colo had no valuable minutes in the game. They combined for six points, on eight shots. Traore is someone who will impact the game on defense mostly and he didn't do that. De Colo is a streaky shooter and he didn't even make a shot today. Nothing more to say about them, except they didn't step in and do much anything. Too bad!

This was a decent game, kind of hoped for better, but alas, it was basketball!? But, the problem is, what basketball can I watch now (or come late October)? END THE LOCKOUT!

Photo and stats courtesy of Eurobasket