The Greek National Team doesn't begin FIBA World Cup play until August 30, but fear not basketball-starved Bucks fans: the Greeks (and presumably Giannis Antetokounmpo) kick off their exhibition schedule on Friday vs. Serbia and Miroslav Raduljica, followed by two more games on Saturday (France) and Sunday (Croatia).
At this point Giannis appears all but assured to make the final 12-man Greek roster for the World Cup, though we haven't gotten official word just yet. Thankfully our friend Alex Gkoussis was kind enough to translate a Q&A that Greek coach Fotios Katsikaris did earlier this week, which hints at Katsikaris' plans for using Giannis this summer.
Fan Question: Is Giannis going to have an important role with the team? And in which position do you intend to play him?
Coach: Giannis is a very special kind of player, so he needs to be handled in a special way because he is young, extremely talented and everyone associated with Greek basketball expects a lot from him. The most important of all is that we give him a specific role so that he won't get confused, which is being used as a 3. That doesn't mean we won't let him show his talent as far as ball handling or in 1-on-1 situations.
Fan Question: We've got a fast backcourt this summer. Are we going to play fast transition basketball?
Coach: This summer in our team we've got players with very long wingspans. Especially with the presence of Antetokounmpo, for the first time there are 6-7 players with this attribute, which can help cover some weaknesses in terms of footspeed as we can cover more ground. Every day we insist on that in training because that can be one of our defensive keys, which could automatically lead to fast transition basketball
Cool. So can we just start the games already?