Tuesday, September 14, 2010
TWTWTNBA: The World Basketball Championships post-mortem
These are some of the things that we learned from the World Basketball Championships
1. Kevin Durant is ready to take the best player mantra right now. If there is any doubt that he is not among the best in the world, leading the so-called B-team to first gold medal in the tourney since Dream Team II erased all that. I think he will win the 2010-11 NBA MVP if Oklahoma City takes the next step.
2. Hidayet Turkoglu gets a bounce back year in his Phoenix debut. Nothing like playing well for your flag to rejuvenate you after a lousy season. It happened with AK-47 before.
3. Lithuania will be dangerous in the Eurobasket 2011. Finishing third in the tournament sure made things look good for a team with only one NBA player (Linas Kleiza) on the current roster. Watch out for a future NBA player named Donatas Montejunas on that roster by then.
4. The Serbian resurgence is primed up. I still cannot get over the Milos Teodosic bomb against Spain. Turkey needed a block in the final seconds to escape with a semifinal win. Like Lithuania, they only have one current NBA player (Nenad Krstic). And after that nasty incident in Greece, they surely needed this good set of news.
5. Luis Scola. Argentina had no Manu Ginobili and Andres Nocioni got hurt in the path to Istanbul. Already known as one of the most hardworking players in the NBA, he then raised it up a notch. He averaged 27.1 pts (tops in the Tourney), 7.9 rebounds (4th), 35.9 minutes (3rd), 56.6 % shooting (5th). With all the uncertainty surrounding Yao Ming, Luis Scola can surely fill the void.
6. Playing bodes well for the upcoming NBA season. The future of USA Basketball looks really good. Youngsters like Russell Westbrook, Eric Gordon and Stephen Curry really benefited from the experience. NBA fans now have an idea on certain players who will be coming in this season, like Mozgov for the Knicks, Splitter for the Spurs, Asik for the Bulls and Erden for the Celtics.
7. Hard to argue the best game of the tourney. Brazil vs Argentina (Scola vs Huertas showdown) or Spain vs Serbia (Teodosic bomb) or Turkey vs Serbia (The Block) would be the prime choices.