Four (three) more games to watch today:
|12||Sep||1||4:30 AM MT||Group B||Croatia||vs||Senegal||Ante Tomic|
|13||Sep||1||10:00 AM MT||Group A||France||vs||Egypt||Rudy Gobert|
|14||Sep||1||12:00 PM MT||Group B||Puerto Rico||vs||Greece||Carlos Arroyo|
|15||Sep||1||2:00 PM MT||Group A||Brazil||vs||Spain||Raul Neto|
Croatia (2-0) just got upset by Senegal (1-1), 77-75. Former Utah Jazz draft pick Gorgui Dieng was big again (27 pts, 8 reb, 3 ast, 2 blk, 1 stl, went 11/12 from FT line), and the Croats didn't get it done. Maybe they were looking past Senegal after beating the strong Argentinians the day before? A 3-0 start looks much better than 2-1, especially since their group (Group B) is still up for grabs. Senegal was up by 9 at halftime, and what we see every game is that Croatia's interior defense needs a lot of work. Ante Tomic isn't a great defender in Europe. He's not going to be great in the NBA either if he ever comes over. He did his best in this game, and finished with 14 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, and he went 12/14 from the line. He only took three shots though. Does it seem like their offense is based around using Tomic as a passer, and not a finisher? He's got 10 assists in three games so far. (Which is like a year of Kyrylo Fesenko basketball)
France (1-1) plays Egypt (0-2) and this should be relatively easy for Les Blues. Egypt got rolled by Spain 91-54, and Serbia 85-64. They aren't ready for this jelly. We could see some extended garbage time today; and hence, more Rudy Gobert.
The P.R. (0-2) will rumble against Greece (2-0). It's been rough for Carlos Arroyo so far this tournament, he's averaging 8.5 ppg, but only 0.5 apg, and 0.5 rpg. Greece is always a strong club, and I would be surprised to see them fall today. Unless, of course, Arroyo has one of his customary games where he just plays great for his homeland.
The last game we care about (sorry Team USA, you guys are unstoppable) is Brazil (2-0) vs. Spain (2-0) -- effectively the kingmaker game of Group A. It's even more important because of Raul Neto, who is playing good defense and making smart passes on offense, and adding a little bit of flair. Brazil has impressed me with one of the better offenses out there. They're not scoring a million points every game, but they play with great flow on the court. Everyone is moving, and passes are made to spots on the floor, not guys waiting for the ball. Spain just has the best bigmen in the tournament and tons of NBA talent as well. Both teams had this game circled on the calendars for a while. It should be a great match.