In the second to last day of group action, several fates were decided. In Group A, Germany and Jordan were eliminated, in Group B, Iran and Tunisia were eliminated, and in Group D, Lebanon and Canada were eliminated. Meanwhile, Team USA clinched Group B, Turkey clinched Group C, and Lithuania clinched Group D. For the full current group standings, go here.
Team Thunder Recaps:
I could go back, watch this game, and tell you how it broke down. But, who really cares? This game was over the moment it started, and Westbrook and Durant had limited minutes. I know, this is a Thunder blog, and we should focus on Thunder players. But I think that words (and my limited time in watching games) are better spent at this point previewing potential opponents. Team USA clinches Group B, Iran is eliminated from the playoffs.
In Krstic's first game back from the chair throwing incident, he turned out to be just the X-Factor Serbia needed in order to be among the elite of Group A. He had 14 Points and 10 Rebounds. Meanwhile, Teodosic did a good job of sealing the game for Serbia late in the fourth quarter,and Australia used a very balanced scoring attack. Serbia moves to 3-1 and will play Argentina tomorrow, while Australia will play Angola tomorrow for third place.
A game that I truly regret missing. Tibor Pleiss had a horrible game, with only 2 Points and 4 Rebounds on 1 of 4 Shooting, but, as I predicted, the quick game of Angola proved to be the ultimate downfall of the German team of stiffs. Unfortunately for Thunder fans, due to this loss, Germany will not advance to the knockout stage of the tournament, but you still have one chance to see him tomorrow against Jordan.
Below: 3 Games You Might Have Missed!
Games you might have missed:
Rather unsurprisingly, Russia secured it's place in the Round of 16. They had to make a minor 2nd half comeback in order to do it, as Wang Zhi Zhi, Sun Yue, and Yi Jianlian made a solid first half effort. But, in the end, a late 4th quarter run by Russia (including two threes by Sergey Monya) was too much for China.
Puerto Rico made a valiant effort to win in the end. In the last minute, down by 9, they nailed back-to-back threes, while Ilyasova missed a wide open three that he had too much time to think about. Turkey had the ball with 40 seconds or so to go. They winded down the clock, and missed a three. Puerto Rico opted for a quick two, putting them down by 1 with 7 seconds left. They fouled Kerem Tunceri with 6 seconds to go. He made the first free throw, but missed the second. Puerto Rico did all they could to get it down the floor, but the game ended, rather disappointingly, with a wild desperation three that went way short.
The first quarter was a tight affair. How many more ways can I put it? The game was unbelievably tight, and unbelievably fluid. Defense was played reasonably well, but the offenses just kept finding holes. The score never deviated more than 4 points towards either side, and Brezec got two early fouls.
But the second quarter showed a totally different game. Anderson Varejao came in for Brazil, and while I'm hesitant to say that he was entirely responsible for the 14 Pointrun that the Slovenians went on, I'm also hesitant to say that he didn't have a large part in it. The lane was wide open, and Brazil was unable to do anything offensively but badly miss threes. The Brazilians tried to make a comeback run in the waning minutes of the quarter, but it was thwarted by good ball control and a huge three by Lakovic. Lithuania led, 44-30.
But, Brazil went on an 8-0 run of their own after another Lakovic three, through a couple of threes of their own and a nice steal by Tiago Splitter. Nevertheless, Slovenia had the advantage for most of the quarter, and went into the 4th with a 16 Point Lead.
And as we've seen in this tournament, it seems no lead is ever safe. Brazil started a furious comeback, in which they played zone defense in order to get easy steals on the perimeter and avoid giving Slovenia any open threes. On offense, they used a lot of isolation in order to let their three point shooters shine. After a 15 Point run, Brazil was down only by 2 Points with 4 Minutes to go. Marcelo Machado was the real hero, hitting 3 shots from beyond the arc for Brazil in this run. But Slovenia finally responded with a highly contested Lakovic three. After some pandering, he hit another highly contested three. After more pandering, Bostjan Nachbar made a three, putting his team up 79-71. Brazil did make an attempt to come back, with Machado hitting a three, Slovenia splitting some free throws, and Brazil making three free throws off of a Nachbar foul. But, it was too little, too late, as there was only one second on the clock after the free throws, and Slovenia inbounded it without incident.
Did you watch the games? What did you think? Vote in the Poll, Post a Comment!
Story of the Day?
Team USA Destroys Iran, Clinches Group B (5 votes)
Serbia Defeats Australia, Guns for Group A (3 votes)
Germany Loses to Angola, Eliminated from Group A (1 vote)
Russia Defeats China, Secures Place in Round of 16 (0 votes)
Turkey Narrowly Defeats Puerto Rico, Clinches Group C (0 votes)
Slovenia Defeats Brazil, Gets 2nd Place in Group B (4 votes)
Lithuania Defeats France, Clinches Group C (3 votes)
16 total votes