EuroBasket 2013: Goran Dragic, Slovenia to face France

Like Slovenia did in its final game of EuroBasket’s first round, Goran Dragic and company had done enough to take a cautious approach in the final game of the second. As such, Dragic played just five minutes and scored three points in a 92-76 loss to Finland on Monday.

Dragic was in position to rest because Slovenia had already secured the second seed in Group F. And the rest will be an important factor to save Dragic’s legs heading into a quarterfinal game against France. There, Dragic will unquestionably be forced to counter point guard Tony Parker in one of the more intriguing individual matchups of the event.

Parker is averaging 17.3 points per game but has the second-best shooting percentage of any EuroBasket player in 2013 thus far. He’s hitting 53.2 percent of his shots, just behind Czech Republic forward and Washington Wizards reserve Jan Vesely.

Before Monday’s contest that was meaningless from a standings standpoint, Dragic had one of his best offensive outings in a 73-65 win against Greece. He needed just 26 minutes to score 28 points on 9-of-18 shooting from the floor, and that included Dragic shooting 3-of-5 from three-point range.

The second round concluded Monday and ended runs by Finland, Belgium, Latvia and Greece in EuroBasket. Slovenia, Spain, Lithuania, Italy, France, Serbia, Croatia and Ukraine remain and will compete in a tournament-style final round.

Dragic’s new Phoenix Suns teammate, Slava Kravtsov, is also still alive, though Ukraine barely snuck in the tournament round as the final seed from Group E to advance. The big man has continued his limited role but in playing 17.9 minutes per game through eight outings, he’s averaging 1.4 blocks.

Kravtsov’s last two games have also been erratic in terms of his production. He scored eight points but had no rebounds in an 82-75 win against Serbia and grabbed nine boards but went 1-for-4 from the floor in a 70-63 Ukraine loss to Lithuania.

Ukraine will begin the final round against Croatia, the No. 1 seed coming out of Group F.

  • Scott

    The Slovenian team has accomplished a lot so far, mainly due to Goran’s play. He’s done a great job.

    Kravtsov is doing okay with Ukraine, but I have to think they’ll lose out to Croatia, a team that’s been tough on everyone.

    Again, I’m sad the Suns didn’t get Nedovic. I’d much rather have him on the squad than Christmas, Brown, or Green.

  • Scott

    BTW, I know the Suns are into brothers, not colors, but maybe the Suns should invite Michael Redd to camp just to put Redd, Green, and Brown on the floor? ;)

  • Scott

    BTW, ESPN is doing their annual NBA Player Rankings and they’ve completed the first 100 players. These would be the players perceived to be at the bottom of the NBA.

    From the Suns’ current roster, there are Miles Plumlee at #414, and Slava Kravtsov at #453. Ish Smith, who many think will be cut from the team, is ranked #445.

    Former Suns Hakim Warrick, Quentin Richardson, Ronnie Price, Hamed Haddadi, Earl Barron, and Luke Zeller are on the list. Suns’ SL member Arinze Onuaku is #494.

    Some Suns players, like Dionte Christmas, Diante Garrett, Alex Oriakhi, and Malcolm Lee, did not make it into the ranking.

    Going through the list, there’s usually room for quibbling on the order of the rankings, and often some outright mistakes.

    Nemanja Nedovic, for instance, ranks #447. This is probably a matter of him having a low profile as a European player and from a small country to boot.

    Arsalan Kazemi might be suffering from lack of exposure as well, though he played on a US college team.

    Luke Zeller ranks right before Carrick Felix? I think I’d rather have Felix on the team, since it’s baskets scored while actually in the game that count.

    Grant Jerrett, who played well in SL for OKC, is ranked near the bottom, after many useless players, at #490. In fact, OKC has four players in the bottom 100, three of them players I’d want for the Suns: Steven Adams #406, Andre Roberson #409, Daniel Orton #479, and Jerrett.

    The Lakers are another team with 4 players in the bottom 100, and the Sixers actually have 5. Denver is the only team with no players ranked in this range.

    Surprisingly absent: Kendall Marshall. Maybe he’s not viewed as poorly as Suns fans think?

    Also absent: the high-flying Michael Beasley.

    The final two players on the ranking are Fab Melo (recently released from Boston) and Royce White (#500), both late first round picks last year.

  • http://none Sillmarillion

    Can’t wait to see Dragic vs Parker! As much as I hope for Slovenia to win I don’t think it’s gonna happen. In such games Parker plays very well usually.
    Also Slovenia’s success isn’t only Dragic. His brother plays a nice tournament, their center is pretty well and their perimeter players look nice. Many of those players could easily compete in the NBA!

  • hawki

    @ Scott

    You can add Royce White to Redd, Brown & Green.

    ah….if only Vida Blue played basketball.

    as for Dragic….
    Go-Gi !
    Go-Gi !
    Go-Gi !

  • Scott

    ^^ Aha! Good point about White. :)

  • Scott

    Oh, and there’s Vander Blue … but that’s too many guards. The team needs someone at PF or C.

  • BCrayZ

    Very good update.

    Gogi, lest we forget, & Frye were part of 2010′s “killer bench unit.”

    Eric may only be a rental so if we can not keep him here, trading Dud away will turn out to be a very poor deal. Free agents Louis & Leandro are still looking to come back.

    Ex-Celtic Barbosa reaches recovery milestone
    August 21, 2013, 11:30 pm




    Leandro Barbosa tore knee ligaments Feb. 11 in Charlotte, finishing his season.
    (AP Photo)

    Six months after tearing his left ACL and damaging his MCL last season with the Celtics, Leandro Barbosa tweeted a milestone in his recovery Wednesday night.

    Barbosa sustained the injury on Feb. 11 in a game against the Charlotte Bobcats. By that time, the Celtics had already lost Rajon Rondo for the season with a right ACL tear. Down two guards, the team traded Barbosa to the Washington Wizards as part of the deal for Jordan Crawford.

    Barbosa, 30, averaged 5.2 points, 1.4 assists, and 1.1 rebounds a game off the Celtics bench last season. He is an unrestricted free agent.

    Agent says Lakers, Clippers interested in Louis Amundson
    Kurt Helin Sep 4, 2013, 12:34 PM EDT
    Lou Amundson
    Teams know what Louis Amundson is going to give them — real energy off the bench, rebounding, and almost no offense whatsoever. He was part of a good Suns bench back in 2010 but the past three seasons have seen him bounce around the league, struggle to get regular minutes, hand-in-hand with that his production has fallen.

    Maybe a team looking for a veteran big will take a chance on him.

    Maybe a team like the Lakers and Clippers, Amundson’s agent told Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.

    Free agent forward Louis Amundson has sparked interest from several teams, including the Lakers and Clippers, according to his agent, Mark Bartlestein. Bartlestein said in an interview with the Los Angeles Newspaper Group that his client plans to finalize a deal with a team within the week, though he wouldn’t go into exact specifics what role and terms would best suit Amundson.

    First the word of caution: A month ago we heard how Amundson was going to make his decision in a week. So don’t bet on this timeline.

    Of these teams, the Lakers make a little more roster sense. The Clippers have 14 contracts on the roster and while they might use that 15th spot for a big it seems more likely they would like a guy they can develop. Yes, the Clippers have questions about depth up front (unless you are big believer in Byron Mullens and Ryan Hollins) but the fact is Amundson isn’t the answer.

    The Lakers would have 14 guys only if the keep second round pick Ryan Kelly — but he may not be healthy by training camp — and Summer League team leading scorer Marcus Landry. But they might let one of those two walk to make space for a veteran who can provide some depth up front (they project to have Kelly, Elias Harris, Jordan Hill and Robert Sacre as bigs off the bench behind Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman, with Gasol playing plenty of five).

    MUST reunite that killer bench unit. Let’s go SUNS!!!!

  • Ty-Sun

    @Scott – If having a color as your last name is the only requirement, you could bring in Aaron Gray and Kwame Brown as your two bigs.

  • Scott

    ^^ Oh, there you go! Probably Gray would be preferable, as his color isn’t on the team yet. That, and Kwame has small hands. ;)

  • Scott

    I see some more Suns and former Suns on the latest additions to the ranking (376-400).

    I see Malcolm Lee wasn’t left off ranking, as I had thought. He’s actually ranked above 400, which is a surprise to me. Is it deserved? He’s at #396, which puts him ahead of former Sun James Jones (#398), yet behind Joel Przybilla (he can still play?).

    Not a Sun, but Solomon Hill is pegged at #383, and from what I saw in Summer League he could go higher. If he was with the Suns, he would probably start.

    Michael Beasley is at #378, which seems high. (heh heh)

  • hawki

    The Slovenia vs France game is on LIVE on the NBA Channel at noon today (Wed)

  • DBreezy