I need to re-evaluate how I was listing my games. (As seen in the last post which suggests that those 6 games were over 2 days --- which they were if you follow the rules suggested by Sir Sanford Fleming in terms of this hypothetical international date line) Now I'm just going to blog about it in a different way -- so behold: the preview for the 2nd games for each team!
- Lithuania (1-0) vs. Iran (0-1) [11.08.08 -- 9:00 PM EST]: I really want to like the Iranian team. They have heart and they have class. They aren't bad guys, they are guys who just want to play ball and represent their country. One of their best players recently died in a car accident (his brother is the star of their squad, Mohammad Samad Nikkhah Bahrami), and that's gotta totally suck. They are a quick, fast team that is very Golden State-like in that they live by the long ball and die by it too. Their stamina and depth are in question, and will not be able to handle the assassin like tenacity and cold blooded decision making ability of Lithuania. It wouldn't surprise me to see Ramunas Siskauskas or Sarunas Jasikevicius totally own the Iranians. They may have to put Linas Kleiza (hero of game 1) on Hamed 'Who's your daddy?' Ehadadi who is very long and very fast for a bigman. Lithuania should win this game going away.
- Russia (1-0) vs. Croatia (1-0) [11.08.08 -- 11:15 PM EST]: These two teams have a recent history of good games. Croatia is the (obviously) more talented offensive squad, while Team Russia is all about their shifting zone defense. If you haven't seen Russia play let me explain why what they do is effective. They are all long and quick. The whole point of the defense is to get a hand on passes and make deflections that result in steals for their side, and turn overs for the other team. Getting a steal (hypothetically) every 4th or 5th time on defense doesn't seem like much in a 100 possession game -- but Russia slows it down and grinds it out so it makes it that much more important to handle the ball (kinda like those "Czar of the Telestrator" Mike Fratello led Cleveland teams during the 1993-1994 to 1998-1999 seasons). The last time that these two teams played for anything that mattered, Russia won 83-70 (11.09.07), and a motivated Russian squad took care of business in the 4th quarter in a very tight game. Hopefully history repeats itself and Russia wins.
- Germany (1-0) vs. Greece (0-1) [12.08.08 -- 2:30 AM EST]: Germany powered their way through a shrimpy Angolan team (tallest guys are 6'7) thanks to their two 7' NBA stars. They didn't play against Greece in the 2007 EuroBasket 07 tournament, but they will face a very hungry and humiliated Greek team that sports six guys who are at least 6'9. It is early, but you don't want to get too down in the preliminary rounds, so I implore the coaching staff to release
the krakenSofoklis Schortsianitis (aka. Baby Shaq) upon the bigger German squad. Greece should come back strong and win this game due to their above average guard and forward play. I'm still shocked at how badly Spain beat them down.
- Spain (1-0) vs. China (0-1) [12.08.08 -- 4:45 AM EST]: Things just don't get easier for Team China. Yao vs. Pau is fun. But Yao vs. Pau, Jose, Rudy, Ricky, Jorge and Marc is just not good TV. Yi better step it up, otherwise Nets fans (and China) are going to start getting worried. There's more to being a good player than being the best 24 year old 21 year old. The Spanish Armada continues to destroy all within its path.
- USA (1-0) vs. Angola (0-1) [12.08.08 -- 8:00 AM EST]: Maybe guys like Tay-Tay and Booz can get off the bench for this one? USA wins this one, by a lot.
- Argentina (0-1) vs. Australia (0-1) [12.08.08 -- 10:15 AM EST]: At the end of this game, one team will still remain winless. That team will most likely be Australia. For some reason the Aussie's went away from their only NBA guy and suffered a loss to Croatia. Argentina lost a highly contest match to Lithuania on a buzzer beater. They are going to come out and quickly establish they they are for real. Manu, Noce' and Carlos are just too dynamic for the Aussie guards.