We’re doing something slightly different for 2012-13; rather than a team-by-team breakdown of the NBA and its 50-plus Europeans in the rolls, BiE instead presents the 25 storylines this website will attempt to keep tabs on as the 2012-13 edition of the NBA enfolds. Enjoy the season (unless you’re in the Twitter Airlines NBA fantasy league, in which case BiE’ll attempt to seek misplaced vengeance for his general incompetence in the Euroleague game…)!
Taking a look at this year’s roundup, we note that 53 Europeans have been named to NBA clubs’ 15-man roster, just beating the pace of the 52 listed in 2010-11. (BiE didn’t take the tally for last season because, you know, things were kinda confusing during the lockout and all…)
And quite a few teams have seriously European-tinted rosters: Five teams go into the 2012-13 NBA season with four Continental players – and of these 20 players, perhaps only Sasha Pavlovic and Evan Fournier are marginalized at the lower end of the 15-man rosters. If one includes Ty Lawson as an honorary Lithuanian (for at least one more season), the Denver Nuggets could put an all-Euro squad on the floor with Lawson heading up an admittedly odd lineup of Fournier, Danilo Gallinari, Kosta Koufos and Timofey Mozgov.
The team-by-team breakdown goes as follows.
While we’re a little ways away from actually awarding medals for 2012 Olympic basketball, the first round showed international hoops fans quite a lot. Though the fat lady hasn’t sung yet, reputations have changed over the past five games to cause some individual and/or teams losses beyond these Olympics. BallinEurope today takes a look at those whose stock has risen and those who’ve fallen in the early going of the London Games.
• Lebron James. Yeah, like this guy needs a further upward trend in his already all-time lofty-looking career. Four years ago, ESPN’s Bill Simmons proclaimed (correctly, in BiE’s opinion) that in 2008 ‘Games crunch time, “everyone deferred to Kobe, who made some monster plays to clinch it. Know that in the history of the NBA we have never had the best-player-alive argument resolved so organically.” In 2012, King James has proven himself to be the best player on the best team in this Olympic tournament.
And here’s a second question: Shall composition of the requiem for Lietuva’s 2012 Olympic bid begin now? Sadly, it doesn’t look good for our heroes with Team USA on the slate tomorrow and a first-round date with presumably Spain or (BiE’s pick) Russia in the knockout stage – and this in the 20th anniversary year of the country’s greatest-ever Olympic performance.
But first things first. Jonas Valančiūnas. Let’s just get right to the stat lines.
1. USA (5-0)
5. Nigeria (1-4)
6. Tunisia (0-5).
BiE’s taking Team USA to run the table for a few reasons … Continue Reading…
BallinEurope’s Official Fearless Predictions™ for 2012 Olympic basketball will be posted tomorrow, but with the 2012 Olympics opening ceremonies taking place tonight and the men’s competition tipping off on Sunday, BiE got out the virtual calendar to make time for the following seven (or eight) games, matches that should fundamentally shape the greater 30-game picture, the subsequent knockout tournament and the OFPs™ themselves. BiE’s keeping eyes peeled for…
• Argentina vs. Lithuania, July 29. The Olympic schedulers decided to place a couple of dandies on day one of men’s basketball play in a pair of games that will send two Group A teams scrambling immediately. Argentina looked impressive in friendlies in general and against Team USA, but this team’s weakness in 2012 is a traditional Lithuania strength. Continue Reading…
Quel dommage! Eurobasket 2011 runners-up France are finding the road to London bumpy indeed recently. Already losing Joakim Noah throughout the 2012 Olympic Games due to injury, Les Bleus must temporarily sit Boris Diaw and Nando de Colo due to NBA-related insurance issues. And now Mickael Gelabale faces penalties from FIBA, including possible suspension for part of the ‘Games.
With France chipping away at a seven-point third-quarter Spain advantage in yesterday’s “friendly,” Les Bleus forced a turnover out of Rudy Fernandez which led to a breakaway layup for two. Gelabale, meanwhile, was confronted by Fernandez with the expected results. Gelebale was ejected from the game, necessitating a report to FIBA by the official – a report which could in turn become suspension for one Olympic match or more.
This one goes out by request to BallinEurope’s Lithuanian agent Y. … with Team USA coming together to play the Dominican Republic today – with or without Chris Paul – BiE tries to answer the question “Who [if anyone] can beat Team USA?”
A few gauntlets have been thrown by the Americans already, the least of which is certainly not the roster itself. That roster, one more time, is the following.
Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)
Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers)
Tyson Chandler (Dallas Mavericks)
Team France’s aspirations for Olympic success in 2012 have taken quite a hit today, as Joakim Noah announced that he will not after all compete in the London Games with Les Bleus.
Noah made the announcement today, as reported in L’Equipe, explaining that “I’m absolutely not ready, not ready to run, not ready to jump. And even less to play. I need more time and work. I’m not in form for someone who wants to compete in the Olympics. And given the problems that I have with my ankles, not going to the Games seemed to be the most reasonable decision.”
The Chicago Bull had suffered an ankle injury in his NBA team’s playoff series with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Worse yet, France is still on hold with regard to Tony Parker’s eye problem, the result of a bizarre incident in New York (one that he’s suing for $20 million over, incidentally). Head coach Vincent Collet must submit a final roster for his team tomorrow.
In his first media appearance since the Chicago Bulls were eliminated from the NBA playoffs by the Philadelphia 76ers, Joakim Noah assessed his chances of suiting up for Team France in the 2012 Olympics.
“Still a little sore” from his most recent ankle injury, Noah stated from Los Angeles that “I’m not quite ready. I will discuss all this with [national team coach Vincent] Collet. For now, it’s necessary that I focus on rehabilitation.”
Putting something of a more positive spin on things, Noah went on that state that “I prefer to stay positive and tell myself that time is on our side. We’ll see how it turns out. We’ll know more in two or three weeks […] when I can join the French team. The Olympics is also a goal in my season, but I want to return to France in shape. I want to be there, but at 100%.”
The NBA club has not given word on whether Noah will be discouraged or prohibited from playing in the Olympics.
For Les Bleus in FIBA Eurobasket 2011, Noah contributed a team-high 8.0 rebounds per game over the tournament to go with 9.0 ppg and 0.9 spg.