FIBA: Giannis and Greece knocked out of FIBA World Cup by Serbia
Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Greek national team are heading home early from the 2014 FIBA World Cup.
After cruising through Group B with a perfect 5-0 record, Greece had no answers defensively for Serbia (2-3) on Sunday, as the Serbs shot 54% overall and 9/17 from deep in cruising to a 90-72 round of 16 win. Some energetic flashes from Giannis (7 pts, 3/3 fg, 1/1 from three, 2 reb, 1 blk in 14 min) helped Greece hang within 46-42 at half, but ultimately the Greeks simply couldn't keep up with Serbia's shooting.
As for the stuff Bucks fans care about? Well, the good news is that Giannis made all three of his shot attempts: a two-handed transition slam (above) and a layup off a nice diagonal cut in the second quarter, followed by an open wing three early in the third quarter. The latter marked Giannis' first three of the entire tournament, as he had missed all eight of his attempts in group play. He also added one very resounding block on former Bucks teammate Miroslav Raduljica, though the big fella had the last laugh with 16 points (7/12 shooting) for Serbia.
Don't worry, Miroslav still had a hug waiting for Giannis after the game. As for the not-so-good, Giannis turned it over four times including a pair of offensive fouls, matching his total from the first five games combined.
Giannis finished the tournament with averages of 6.3 points and 4.3 rebounds in 16 minutes per game, perfectly respectable given he was basically used as an energy guy whose only real opportunities came in transition and off cuts. You'd have certainly liked to see him prove more of a threat as a spot-up shooter (the aforementioned 1/9 from deep), but there was no questioning his abilities as a finisher during the tournament (66.7% on twos, 8.0 free throw attempts per 40 minutes). And while it's debatable whether the past month will translate into clear NBA skill development, I'd certainly argue that high-level, injury-free basketball of any sort is a good thing for a teenager just one year removed from playing in the Greek second division. All the stats for your perusing pleasure:
2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup: Antetokounmpo keeping level head while improving Greek team
Some pretty standard commentary here from teammates and coach Fotis Katsikaris on Giannis' first month with the senior Greek national team. Hint: they like him.
In the first week of training camp, Antetokounmpo roomed with Nikos Zisis. And the Greek veteran leader was impressed with the youngster.
"That week I got to know him a lot and I understood that everything happened with him very fast, super fast - from the A2 to the NBA," said Zisis.
"He's still young but he's a good kid and he understands it's a long way to go because he's super gifted. Now it's in his hands. I wish him all the best and above all health to keep his feet on the ground because sometimes it's tough with all this attention. If he does that, for him, it's literally the sky is the limit."
Clips Nation: Clips sign Ekpe Udoh and Chris Douglas-Roberts
So the Clippers gave up a first rounder to send Jared Dudley's salary to the Bucks for Carlos Delfino and Raduljica, then waived both of them in order to sign two more former Bucks, Chris Douglas-Roberts and Ekpe Udoh. QUICK SOMEONE FIND CHARLIE VILLANUEVA!!!
Kidd and Alex Lasry visit NEWaukee
Jason Kidd, wife Porschla and new Bucks VP of Strategy and Operations Alex Lasry were at the Milwaukee Athletic Club on Friday as part of NEWaukee's Lunar Series for young professionals--and yes, there were photographs. Charles Gardner reports that Kidd also spoke briefly and addressed the value that Dudley can bring to the young Bucks.
"When you look at a veteran coming from winning programs - Phoenix, the Clippers - that's important," Kidd said. "When I talked to him, he talked about learning from Grant Hill and what it means to be a professional.
"We need that in the locker room as much as we need him to be himself on the court by defending and knocking down threes and being part of the team."
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Kidd also hit up a Brewer game this week--nice choice of hat, JK.
John Henson and Larry Sanders were workout buds during the summer of 2013, but until last week we hadn't seen much of them together this summer. Let's hope this year ends up better than last year, eh?