Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Watching FIBA games in Greece

Just left the Athens Indoor Sports Arena after watching the Germany-New Zealand FIBA game and part of the Greece-Brazil game.

New Zealand ran some great weakside action out of the triangle offense. They do a great job at weaskside "slips" and get a lot of good reads out of their offense. NZ's best player is Kirk Penney who played at the U. of Wisconsin.

For Germany, Dirk Nowitzki played more inside for Germany than he does for Dallas. He played with a lot of emotion and was really unselfish, but still had 35 points. He could've had 50 if he wanted.

Chris Kaman played only a few minutes in the second half and still had 20 points for the game. He was very effective inside.

NBA ref Marc Davis worked the Germany-NZ game.

Players from both teams were very coachable, which might be why the Spurs work so hard to find/sign international players.

We watched part of the Greece-Brazil game, but we're exhausted from the trip and left early. The crowd had great enthusiasm. Greek fans were dressed in blue and waving Greek flags; small pockets of Brazilian fans wore bright yellow t-shirts with others wearing green and yellow wigs.

Brazil was without Nene of the Nuggets, Barbosa (Suns), and Varejao (Cavs).

For Greece, I really like Diamantidi, who wore #13. He's a point guard who plays unselfishly and has good size. He also really defends well.

For Brazil, Splitter (#15) is a big man who is very active for his size and could play in the NBA.

Greece applied good backcourt pressure full-court after made baskets.

Brazil had great offensive movement from an X and O standpoint.

NBA ref Billy Kennedy worked this game.

Overall, in both games, the play was more physical than in the U.S. They also love the offensive "tip out pass" for offensive boards.