Saturday, July 19, 2008

Greece too much for New Zealand

Greece easily beat New Zealand, 75 - 48.  It wasn't much of a game to watch as NZ was really overmatched

What was interesting to watch was NZ's pregame tribal dance, something they take great pride in.  The Greek players watched with respect.  It's great to see live.  [photo at left]

But that's about all that went well for NZ as Greece jumped out to a quick 15-2 lead.

NZ did a poor job breaking the press, failing to leave anyone back who was even with the ball or below as a throwback option.  The result was a lot of turnovers.  For some reason, Penny, an off-guard, was handling the ball.

Besides that, NZ struggled to score all game.

But give Greece some credit.  They're a solid team on both sides of the ball. 

For Greece, Schortsanitis, a former LA Clippers draft pick, continues to struggle with his weight. He can't finish inside and missed two consecutive lay-ups and a dunk in the second quarter.  In addition, his body language was negative as he left to come out of the game.

Gliniadakis, another former NBA pick who spent time in the NDBL this season, was seeing his first action with the Greek national team in a big tournament.

Spanoulis (pictured here), a former Houston Rockets player, played hard, but I can see why Jeff Van Gundy played him limited minutes.  He's a poor defender and is careless with the ball.  At times, it looked like he was playing in a pick-up game, though he was more unselfish tonight than in previous games.

Fotsis is a former Memphis Grizzlies player.  He spent the last five years playing in Russia. He's proven that he's not an NBA-caliber player.

NZ played primarily zone defenses.  Their lateral quickness is a problem.

NBA ref Billy Kennedy worked the game.