Italy goes to Madrid, Serbia home
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on September 6, 2007
As largely predicted, Italy beat Poland, even if our win (79-70) was tougher than excpected. Azzurri were in control basically for the whole game, with margins between 14 and 5 points. The key factors for this win were two: shooting percentages and controllling the boards.
I mean, it’s pretty difficult to lose when you 1) shoot 12/21 from three point land and 2) outrebound the other team 34-26.
My deep knowledge of the game is displayed by these smart comments: 1) knocking down shots always helps when you play basketball ; 2) considering that Italy still has the weakeast frontcourt in this Euro 2007 championship, you have an idea of how Poland big men were…
Italy dropped threes on Poland (weak) defense for 40 minutes, with Belinelli & Bargnani leading the show and resurrected guard Gianluca Basile (4/6) doing the main part of the damage when we needed the most. Even PF/C Angelo Gigli scored a three from the corner, another sign that it was “one of those nights”.
This win vs a proud but weak opponent doesn’t delete many doubts that fans with a minum experience still see: we still have no low post scoring (I counted one, I swear, ONE !! back-to-the basket move in the whole game that ended with two points, made by center Denis Marconato) so we won’t have any answers for good zone defenses or for when our shooters will cool off.
Our bench is still short, being Marco Belinelli the only player that do contributes and that can turn a game in our favour.
So I am happy for the win but I don’t expect to advance further, honestly. It was nice to see Bargnani and mainly Belinelli playing a good game, though. Now I want them to repeat it with stronger, tougher teams/defenses, to show they are not finesse players. Next games vs Lithuania, Turkey and Germany will tell us more about that.
On the other side, I am really disappointed to see Serbia going home, after the 83-87 loss vs Israel. I didn’t watch the game so you have to rely on Eurobasket 2007 recap (usually they are pretty good).
Serbians were probably tired and/or still shocked after yesterday night’s hurting overtime loss vs Greece, that ended with some very hard statments from Milicic and other players towards the refs, but no excuses here, they should have done better, even with a young and unexperienced team.
Time to seriously reconsider all the national team organisation, and to find a solution for the NBA players. Dealing with them is a problem that many european teams have, but one should ask why Parker, Gasol, Nowitzki etc (= way better players than Stojakovic, Radmanovic, Krstic etc) don’t miss a single game for their country in these competitions, while serbian “stars” prefer go surfing or watch tv.