The Painted Area is keeping a close eye on all the action in Poland, where Spain took a spill and Turkey came up big in the tournament's first day:
GROUP C: Serbia 66, Spain 57
Has to be the worst game I've seen Spain play in recent time. Can't remember a non-USA game in the last five years where Spain got thoroughly outplayed.
It's not so much they lost, it was how they got beat. Spain is just not a national team that goes thru the motions. Spain was without Rudy Fernandez because of a quad injury, but have more than enough firepower to play better than this.
Spain was a step slow and couldn't hold onto the ball. Was slow transitioning from offense to defense. Constantly beaten to spots on both ends. Spain made some mini-runs in the 2nd half but never seriously threatened the Serbs.
Give Serbia some credit, they have promising talent on their roster, but most of their players are inexperienced on the senior level. Serbia were in control of this game from early on and never relinquished command. Serbia appeared more purposeful in their moves. Took advantage of their transition opportunities. Were quicker to loose balls. Played with great defensive intensity throughout ...
GROUP D: Turkey 84, Lithuania 76
With this win over a solid opponent, Turkey answered the question if they would take this tourney serious with an automatic qualifying spot in their back pocket. Turkey was led to victory by their potent NBA forward combo, Hedo Turkoglu & Ersan Ilyasova.
You would think a game where both teams shot 52% from the floor would be somewhat entertaining. But it wasn't. Hard game to embrace with all the stoppages of action because of constant fouling--a total of 50 fouls whistled.
The Turkish offense looked similar to the Magic offense with Hedo handling the ball in the high pick/roll most of the time (Though, Oguz Savas is nothing similar to D-Howard). Hedo connected on a few on his patented pull-up jumpers going to his left, hit off of iso action as well. Hedo led the Turks with 19 pts & 3 assists...