BallinEurope can hardly believe that the final four round of the 2010 FIBA World Championship is here … this fascinating and fun tournament wraps up this weekend, and BiE is happy to see The Continent well-represented and definitely well self-acquitted.
Without further ado, here are twelve bits ‘n’ bites to enjoy going into the Lithuania-USA and Turkey-Serbia games tonight from across world media.
• Nenad Krstic, who correctly prognosticated that “We will make Team Spain congratulate us,” won’t hedge his bets in this game but does promise that Team Serbia will be ready and will play their game.
• Hey, is Steve Porter working for Turkish TV now?
• Kestutis Kemzura proclaims, “You can beat us, you can win, but you cannot destroy us. This is the amazing thing about our country.” And Robertas Javtokas is playing the nobody-believed-in-us card.
• BiE’s just glad he’s not the only one who can’t figure out why Team Lithuania, 2010 edition, is so damn good…
• In an interview, Derrick Rose explains that this Team USA is *not* lacking that intangible team feeling that gives so many South American and Europe squads an advantage in these sorts of tournaments.
• One person who isn’t picking Team USA to win it all: Dejan Bodiroga, Team Yugoslavia and Euroleague all-time great. Bodiroga says “The Americans haven’t impressed me” and implies that he likes the winner of Turkey-Serbia.
(“Amerikanci me nisu impresionirali, verujem da će šampion sveta biti bolji iz našeg duela sa Turcima. Očekujem neizvesnu utakmicu jer se sreću dve ekipe koja igraju najbolju košarku. Naš tim izgleda jako dobro, igra odličnu odbranu, uvek neko iskoči a Turci deluju moćno.”)
• And here’s another: Jose Calderon picks Turkey.
• Could the fact that “Air” Martynas Pocius played for Mike Krzyzewski at Duke be a secret weapon in the Lithuania-USA game?
• Not even the Turkish marketplace can disturb Team USA’s focus. Scary.
• ESPN True Hoop blogger Jay Aych over at The Painted Area likes USA over Lithuania and reckons the Stars and Stripes will be facing zone defenses – lots and lots of zone defenses today. (But who can stop Kevin Durant, really?)
• Wayne Winston, he of the slightly more objective power rankings than those of BallinEurope, likes – no loves – USA vs. Turkey in final.
• BallinEurope Official Fearless Predictions™: A pair of remarkable runs come to an end as the USA and Turkey outlast their opponents, the former with speed and the latter with size.