Thursday, August 23, 2007

FIBA Americas--Brazil 75, Canada 67

Also See: The Painted Area's FIBA Americas team-by-team preview, ranked from 1-10

- Barbosa was basically a one-man wrecking crew on offense for Brazil. He dropped 30 of Brazil's 75, with Tiago Splitter (12 & 9rebs) the only other player in double digits. Barbosa was not shy, chucking up 26 shots all over the court, probably rushing a few, but he did damage with jumpers & unstoppable drives. He also did a nice job creating for others off the bounce & his speed led to 11 ft attempts (9/11).

- Both teams actually played pretty solid defense. Brazil was a little bit better on the boards in this battle of 2 physical frontlines, and the 6 extra off. boards. helped their cause. Both teams did not shoot the long-ball well today combining for 9/41 3pts., and Canada was dealt a blow with a knee injury to their main marksman, Andy Rautins.

- A little odd that Nene came off the bench today, and did not enter the game until the 8:00 mark of the 2nd. He looked a little rusty, but was still a physical presence on both ends. Splitter, per usual, provided his usual workmanlike effort on the boards, and did a solid job finishing at the rim just like he did last year at the Worlds.

- Undersized PF Juan Mendez was a huge offensive spark off the bench for Canada with 18 pts on 7/14, 3/6 from 3pt. Can say not to surprised with Juan's outside shooting display, we saw him play at Niagara a few times, and although he did most of his damage in the paint, he would often flash glimpses of his face-up ability. Actually, Canada got good perimeter shooting from their forwards tonite--NBL(Australia) standout Dave Thomas showcased his silky smooth jumper for 10 pts, and ex-Pitt Panther, Levon Kendall, showed his touch a few times.

- Like I mentioned in my preview, think Brazil is much more potent when they look to push pace, and they were doing this early in the 1st half, and they were very effective in transition leading to 25 1st quarter points. But Canada slowed them down after the 1st & slowly crawled back into the game.

- Mentioned in my preview that the PG position was the main question facing Team Canada, and the problem was rather apparent today since both their points were pretty much non-existent today. Thought the offense was sparked in the early 4th quarter by Carl English taking the reins of the offense in a point-forward capacity. English was having a rough time finding his range (4/13 overall, 1/7 3pt), but he did a nice job setting up teammates, particularly Dalembert during a key 4th quarter run. Think Coach Rautins needs to explore letting Carl run the offense more often because their point guard rotation is not up to snuff. Also, need to get Dalembert involved earlier on the offensive end--Sam finshed 4/5 for 10 pts & 10 rebs, and came on strong in the 4th.

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