World Cup: Round of 16 Preview

Rudy-Spain

The group stage of the FIBA World Cup is over, with 16 of the 24 teams moving on and three of them – the United States, Spain and Greece – still unbeaten. But they cannot afford to lose now. The knockout stage begins Saturday, and it’s pretty much the same as the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Win and keep playing. Lose and go home. And being one of the last four teams is something special – in this case,

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2014 Basketball World Cup: 24 Players To Keep An Eye On

fiba

In years past, Americans have considered the Olympics to be the only relevant international basketball competition. Stateside, the other quadrennial tournament formerly known as the FIBA World Championship went largely unnoticed until Team USA embarrassed themselves in 2002, losing three times in Indianapolis and finishing sixth after never having lost with NBA players. The rest of the world sees things differently. Other basketball federations have been viewing the World Championship as the more important international competition. Also, because the very best Americans play

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Mitnick: “The Other Dream Team” of the Basketball World Cup

Lithuania flag

It seems unlikely that a country with a smaller population than Connecticut could challenge the United States on basketball’s international stage. But that is exactly what Lithuania plans on doing. Runner-up in the 2013 European Championship and Jerry Garcia’s favorite national team, Lithuania will be a medal contender in the inaugural 2014 Basketball World Cup and could pose as Team USA’s lone threat on the road to the championship game. “The Other Dream Team” will be playing without its leader Linas Kleiza,

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Mitnick: Can The Spanish National Team Upset Team USA?

Spain

After Kevin Durant quit (to borrow a phrase from Sheridan) and Paul George’s devastating broken leg, the hosts of the 2014 Basketball World Cup have emerged as legitimate contenders for a gold medal. While Team USA remains the odds-on favorites according to sportsbettinginfo.com to take the gold, despite clearly sending a “B” team, they will have their work cut out for them overcoming a cohesive Spanish team in a potential Gold Medal game. The Spanish national team will be in Group A with France

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Mitnick: Evaluating Andrew Wiggins after Vegas Summer League

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LAS VEGAS – Is Andrew Wiggins worth giving up? That is the question we are left with as Summer League comes to a close and the Minnesota Timberwolves continue their efforts to trade Kevin Love — but only if there is a bushel of goodies coming back. On draft night, Wiggins, the super-athletic wing from the University of Kansas, was poised to be Kyrie Irving’s running mate and part of a core that had endless potential moving forward. A lot has changed

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Mitnick: The best International Prospects in the NBA Draft

exum

With the 2014 NBA draft merely a few hours away, teams are gearing up for all of their possible choices as the clock is winding down. In what should be one of the stronger drafts in recent years, despite being significantly weaker than the famous 1984, 1996 and 2003 drafts, there is a very strong crop of international prospects going into the draft. This year there are three prospects who could be picked in the lottery (Dante Exum, Dario Saric, Jusuf

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Mitnick: 2014 International Draft Prospects Below the Lottery

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Who are this year’s international men of mystery whose names will be called at the 2014 NBA draft? We already have looked at Dante Exum, who is a near lock for the top five, as well as Dario Saric and Jusuf Nurkic, a pair of bigs playing in Croatia who could be in the lottery. However, this international class goes a bit deeper, with a few established players who can play right away, plus the usual draft-and-stash candidates who could come to the league after a few years of

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Bobby Brown Signs 3-year Deal In China

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After a sensational season in the Chinese Basketball Association, former Cal-State Fullerton guard Bobby Brown has agreed to a three-year extension with the DongGuan Leopards. One of the most sensational scorers outside the NBA, Brown was the second-leading scorer in China at 30.7 PPG, fresh off of leading the Euroleague in the prior season with Montepaschi Siena. Over the past two seasons, Brown has had some ridiculous scoring nights, going off for 74 points in a two-point win over Sichuan (whose

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