The countdown to the 2014 FIBA World Cup continues.
While Anthony Davis and the U.S. national team were busy dispatching Brazil 95-78 in Chicago on Saturday night, Giannis Antetokounmpo and his Greek teammates found a mixed bag of results at the Huawai Cup tune-up tournament in Lithuania over the weekend. The Greeks suffered an 86-67 blowout loss to Lithuania on Saturday before bouncing back with a 79-71 win over Goran Dragic and Slovenia on Sunday.
Overall it seemed like a fairly quiet weekend for Giannis, though he did deliver another big dunk on Saturday (above) and made some key plays in the fourth quarter on Sunday (tip-in, a key steal and late block) to preserve Greece's win. He also did this in the first half (via Ball in Europe):
I haven't been able to find any box scores for the weekend's games, so if you find any more info please drop it in the comments (UPDATE: Fotiou C.K. was kind enough to post a picture of the Slovenia box score in the comment section). Greece closes out its back-to-back-to-back slate of games on Monday against New Zealand before facing Turkey on Wednesday.
As for other Bucks in international action: Zaza Pachulia scored 25 points and added nine rebounds to help Georgia erase a 23-point deficit and claim a crucial 91-90 overtime win in Portugal, as the Georgians bounced back from a 74-73 loss to Hungary on Saturday. Zaza had 19 points and six boards against the Hungarians and is now averaging 21.0 ppg on 55.6% shooting to go with 7.7 rpg and (less fortunately) 4.3 turnovers through three games of Euro 2015 qualifying. So for everyone pondering what happens when you run your offense through everyone's favorite Point Statue...well, there it is.
Bucks.com: FIBA World Cup Primer
Alex Boeder has all the details on Team USA, Giannis' Greek team and Miroslav Raduljica's Serbian side.
ProBasketballTalk: Jabari Parker says he’s ‘trying not to be that second pick bust’
Big things are expected of Jabari Parker this season, but he knows that being the #2 overall pick isn't a one-way ticket to stardom. Brett Pollakoff reports:
"There’s been a lot of second pick busts," Parker said Saturday morning, at the grand opening of the redesigned Jordan space inside Nike Chicago. "I’m just trying not to be that bust. Everyday that I step on the court, I just remind myself that I have a long ways to go. If I want to be one of those guys in the first tier of the NBA, like a LeBron, like a Kobe, like a [Blake Griffin], then I have to have that mentality starting off from the ground, and work my way up."
So what is Jabari doing with his summer? Lots, apparently. After putting in some time at the Nike Chicago opening, he made it to the United Center to catch Team USA on Saturday night:
Chicago native @jabariparker of the @Bucks, courtside for Brazil/@usabasketball on @ESPN. pic.twitter.com/OVvdjopI1R— NBA (@NBA) August 17, 2014
He's also been playing off and on for the appropriately named Team Parker in the Nike Chi League:
On the more random side, he made it out to Southern Oregon to talk to (and, more amusingly, scrimmage with) some young basketball campers for the third straight year:
And like seemingly everyone with a Facebook or Instagram account, he posted his attempt at the #ALSIceBucketChallenge on Sunday:
No word yet on when he expects to move to Milwaukee full-time (I'd guess at latest in September when informal workouts usually start), but in the meantime we're guessing the Bucks' training staff has told him to lay off the Jabari Bars.
Bucks.com: Milwaukee Bucks utilizing cutting edge training
Interesting stuff here from Bucks Director of Physical Therapy and Athletic Trainer Chris McKenzie on how customized training regimens are being leveraged for each of the Bucks' players this summer. Some encouraging talk regarding John Henson in particular.