Official Basketball World Championship Topic
We had a general basketball topic but I think this deserves its own thread.
I must admit that I haven't been as excited about a basketball tournament for a long time, but I'm feeling quite positive at the moment about our team and I think we can do well and build on our European Championship title of last year. Our defence is amazing, and Giannakis has worked a lot in the attack which remains our weak spot with these rather annoying lapses of scoring. We still don't have a natural scorer but we have a mean bench and a 12-man debth so if one isn't on his best day someone else will be. Hopefully we won't underachieve.
We were drawn on the hardish 3rd group which includes Brazil, Lithuania, Australia, Turkey and Qatar. Nothing needs to be said about Lithuania which even without Jasikevicius probably remain the best European team. Australia has Andrew Bogut, the guy who was number 1 pick in last year's draft, but not much else. I don't know how Turkey is at the moment but I can't remember the last time we lost from them. Brazil are a bit of an unknown quantity but they do have a couple of NBAers in their ranks which could mean either a lots of things or absolutely nothing. Qatar is the weakest team of the tournament. Basically, if we turn up I think we are strong favorites for the 2nd spot behind Lithuania but we should give them a game for the 1st spot which will put us in the pleasant situation of not having to face the Americans till the final (if either goes there) provided they get top spot in their group.
We are starting with a game against Qatar tomorrow morning. But who the hell are Qatar? Well, Qatar are basically the weakest team of the tournament. They recruited an obscure American coach named Joseph Stibing and they gave passports to some African players, and this brought them the 3rd place (behind Japan and China) in the last Asian Championship. They don't have any player who stands out particularly but we should be expecting a sort of African team playing American basketball - energetic defence, lots of jumping and fast breaks when possible. To be honest, they really shouldn't be a problem. Unlike football, small nations in basketball usually serve as a punching bug rather than having a realistic chance of doing damage.