What’s the best template to build an NBA team by these days? For several years, it was to construct a Big Three, like the Spurs, Celtics, and Heat did with great success.
The quarterfinal round of EuroBasket ’13 began Wednesday.
With only six available spaces for the 2014 World Cup, seven of the remaining eight teams are battling it out to make it to the Spain next year.
Twenty-four teams came, and only eight remain at the 2013 Eurobasket. The pressure to qualify for the World Cup has lessened, but the pressure to bring home the gold is sinking in. At this point, one win in the Round of 16 (taking place today and tomorrow) gets you into the World Cup next summer, with only the 8th place team not gaining an automatic bid. (If Spain finishes sixth or higher, the seventh place team is in.
The eight remaining teams are Spain, Italy, Lithuania, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Serbia and Ukraine — the last of which crashed the final eight over such traditional powerhouses as Greece, Germany and Turkey.
With the playoffs set to begin, here are 10 things we have learned so far at this year’s Eurobasket:
In case you missed it, Mexico won the Tournament of the Americas.
Yes, Mexico, which hadn’t qualified for a World
Championship Cup in 40 years. Gustavo Ayon of the Atlanta Hawks was the tournament MVP.
What does this have to do with Eurobasket ’13?
Only the fact that you never know what is going to happen in a FIBA tournament, as witnessed by what we are currently seeing in Slovenia.
Of the popular meanings of the word tank, two have roots signifying damage and destruction. There is the blunt military vehicle, and the less subtle term that is popular in our contemporary basketball lexicon.
The basketball version of tanking will unavoidably be a central theme in the upcoming 2013-2014 season.
Compared to previous seasons, the 2014 NBA draft class is projected to be filled with All-Stars and franchise-changing players, headlined by Canadian wing Andrew Wiggins, who will play at Kansas this coming season. Supposedly, it’s the most “loaded” draft in a long, long time.