Courtside Seats – World Championships Part 2

From our courtside reporter:

The organisation over here is on par with local basketball association standards (lost count how many times I’ve been told to sit down etc) but the games have been awesome.  Watched all 15 pool games in Kayseri where Aus were playing. Back in Istanbul now and went to the first knockout games last night, got Aus and Turkey games tonight (sellout) and got tickets for the next 2 nights which will have US, Arg, Lithuania, Russia, NZ, China, Brazil etc. Hopefully the German fans will lend me their drum again tonight.

The fans that have come over are awesome, Greece vs Spain last night was the best I’ve seen so far, they each took up a section behind the basket right next to each other. No trouble though. Looking forward to a Lithuanian game.

The Aussie fans are mainly family and gf’s of the players, so we’ve been sitting with them, but they’re a bit quiet. We really need some good Australian sporting chants, Aussie Aussie Aussie and D-Fence is getting a bit tiring…

Courtside Seats – World Championships Part 1

Welcome to our new section, Courtside Seats, where we’ll be covering tournaments and leagues as they happen.

The World Championships have finally gotten under way, after much anticipation, and thankfully they’re shaping up to be one of the most exciting tournaments in recent history. We’ll be covering day by day action, team analysis and of course player profiles as the tournament progresses.

Let’s start off with a Mikan Drill-esque look around the net:

  1. Henry Abbott shows us 10 things to watch in the WC’s.
  2. FIBA thinks they’re awesome, thank you for asking.
  3. Now that’s gangsta.  Turkish PM rubbishes Russia while visiting Turkish locker room.
  4. Arroyo is hurt.
  5. Spain lost.  Everyone who is surprised please raise your hands.  Wow, that’s a lot of us.
  6. FIBA’s top 50 players who aren’t in the NBA.
  7. Games on day 2:
    Group A (Kayseri): Angola claimed their first win of the tournament by beating Jordan79-65 behind Rasheim Wright’s 18 points. Luis Scola erupted for 31 points to help Argentina come from behind and edge out Australia 74-72 to maintain their 100 percent mark.
    Group B (Istanbul): Croatia overcame Hamed Haddadi’s 27 points and nine rebounds to beat Iran 75-54. Leandro Barbosa scored 16 first quarter points to help Brazil jump out to a 26-16 lead against Tunisia on their way to an 80-65 win.
    Group C (Ankara): Ji Yianlian had 26 points to lead China past Ivory Coast 83-73 for their first win. In an exciting contest, Greece held off stubborn Puerto Rico 83-80 to improve to 2-0.
    Group D (Izmir): France rode the momentum of their win over Spain on Saturday tocrush Lebanon 86-59 thanks to some balanced scoring.

Some thoughts so far:

  1. French team were considered down and out.  Without Tony Parker or the-big-who-shall-not-be-named, they were considered going in to this tournament as a B grade team, even by those loyal to Les Blueus (me again…)  Yet they came back from 20pts down in the 2nd against a strong Spanish team, led by Bokolo’s drive and dish game, resulting in a huge upset win over the heavily favored Spaniards.  We’re believers again at 3MW.
  2. Speaking of which, Batum can play.  Just sayin.
  3. Gelabale – someone get him an NBA contract please.
  4. Marc Gasol was spanked.
  5. Rubio was not looking comfortable.
  6. Lots of love for Sergio Llull going around the net at the moment.  Not convinced his game is that great yet, but certainly will be watching him more closely.
  7. USA, USA, USA… Rose is the pg of the future for team USA.  Write it down.
  8. The benefit of having so many drive and dish guys on your team if you’re a shooter like Eric Gordon?  Shots, shots, shots, shots, shots…
  9. KD is a beast.  So young yet such a great leader on the court for the US team.
  10. PS we love Coach K.
  11. Close games and balanced teams are great for basketball around the world.  These 2 days have exceeded all expectations for standard of play.