Where players have so much fun, extra time happens.
I wanted to go with Where Goran cuts his hair and looks ordinary happens. But you know me, i look at things from a positive point of view. What? Am i the only one who made notes whilst watching The Secret?
New country, new city, new arena, new haircut, same result.
Yes, Spain beat Slovenia in extra time 79:72, but i am not sad about it. Despite losing again, Slovenia looked completely different. Unfortunately that includes Goran also. Goran decided to introduce himself to the home crowd with a new haircut and a clean shave. He looked younger. He looked different. I liked him better with his long curly hair on his head and on his face. Maybe his subconscious liked it better also and decided to play tricks on him, because honestly, he didn't have a good game.
If you're not completely distraught by what I've just written, please join me, while i try to take you and your imagination thru the game like you were there. Hopefully after reading my notes, you'll feel like you don't need a TV or a Radio to satisfy your needs. I know what you're asking: "What's a Radio?"
- About 30 minutes of various activities before the game to celebrate the opening of a new arena in Ljubljana. The place is packed with more than twelve thousand people and it looks great!
- This is the only game Spain has and will play outside of Spain during the preparation period. That is very kind and generous of them. I hope their generousity includes them losing this game.
- Watching the news conference from the day before, i hear that despite all his travels, Navarro only communicates in Spanish. Not sure that's completely true, but hey i'm not a real journalist, no need to check the facts.
- Sort of unusual moment where just before tipoff, mayor of Ljubljana adresses the crowd and thanks the Spanish team for coming. He then asks Lakovic (who plays for Barcelona) to translate what he just said to the Spanish team. Not only is he a team captain, he's also a translator. Hope you get seperate paychecks Jaka.
- Navarro is injured and not playing tonight. Nothing serious i think.
- During warmups, Fernandez and Dragic quickly share a hello and judging from gestures, Fernandez compliments Dragic on the haircut. Don't encourage him Rudy!
- Slovenia starting 5: Lakovic, Dragic, Nachbar (has a minor ankle injury), Slokar and Brezec.
- Spain starting 5: Fernandez, Rubio, Reyes, Mumbru and Gasol.
- tipoff; Brezec tips it down the court, Goran chases it down and it's Slovenia's ball.
- Lakovic passes the ball to almost completely open Goran on the wing; he misses the 3 pointer.
- good 1st defensive possesion by Slovenia; turnover for Spain, Goran with the steal.
- Lakovic&Brezec with a pick'n'roll, Brezec gets fouled. He gets one of two and first point of the new arena goes to Brezec.
- out of bounds play Spain, quick shot by Mumbru and Spain takes the lead for the first time tonight. Yes i realize the stupidity of that sentence.
- Lakovic running point, a lot of movement in the offense by Slovenia; Nachbar drives inside and goes for the slam; he misses it, i think he was suprised he had a clear path; also he looks hesitant because of the ankle
- Dragic with his 1st personal, tried to strip Gasol.
- That haircut is doing wonders, Fernandez is all over Dragic. Settle down guys, what i mean is Dragic&Fernandez are guarding eachother.
- Goran with a tough drive inside, manages to get up the shot, but that was a dificult shot with him falling down and he misses
- Rubio misses a layup
- 2 minutes gone, Spain leads 2:1; better defense by Slovenia
- sweet pass by Slokar to Brezec inside, he misses, Slokar gets the rebound and it's 3:2
- 3 minutes gone, Goran gets his 2nd personal; Fernandez faked 3 pointer, Goran left his feet and he's going to the bench. Goran, Goran. Becirovic comes in.
- Slokar passes a bullet from a 3 point line under the basket to Lakovic and he scores.
- Gasol fouled again, Brezec has 2, Vidmar comes in for him.
- Becirovic with a nice drive inside; would have scored, but Fernandez fouls him. 2 free throws, Slovenia leads 9:7
- Nice drive inside by Becirovic, who delivers a no look pass to cutting Vidmar, who scores. 11:7
- Nachbar gets called for a foul on Mumbru, who was driving inside; i love the rotations and agressiveness.
- 4 minutes left, Calderon comes in for Rubio
- again Becirovic drives inside, defense collapses, he gives up the ball to Lakovic on the wing, who scores on a 3 pointer. I get it Becirovic, you read my previous recap and now you are trying to make me look bad. What, are you like 4 years old? Little maturity please! Slovenia leads 14:8
- Vidmar gets called for a foul on Gasol. He's tough to guard i guess. Hits only one free throw.
- Garbajosa scores on a drive; despite contact, no foul called; both team in penalty. Slovenia leads 16:11
- Samo Udrih from downtown, Slovenia leads 21:13
- 30 seconds left and 1st time out of the evening
- Garbajosa from way outside at the buzzer, end of 1st, Slovenia leads 23:19
- Dragic back in at the start; i wonder how his foul situation will affect his game
- first offensive possesion for Spain, but great Slovenian defense, they block the shot twice in a row, but then sweet give'n'go for Spain ends with a basket.
- some issues with boxing out and rebounding for Slovenia at the start of the 2nd
- Goran running the offense; despite his foul situation he's reaching into Spanish players when they pass him. Why?
- 2 minutes gone,time out Slovenia, Slovenia leads 23:21, Spain has a 14:6 rebound advantage
- We all know Goran is no stranger when it comes to doing the "dirty work". He borrows a "broom" from a young man cleaning the floor and cleans it with intent and intense focus. If you want something done well, you have to do it yourself.
- nice pick'n'roll Becirovic&Vidmar; Vidmar misses, gets his own rebound and slams it. 25:21 Slovenia.
- nice play by Spain under the basket, but Rizvic blocks it, fast break Slovenia, Becirovic to Udrih to Dragic on a wing, he misses a 3 pointer; he then runs back, intercepts the ball, runs after it as it goes out of bounds, throws it up in the air and Spanish team grabs it, they lose it, another fast break Slovenia and Vidmar misses under the basket as he is fouled. (Dragic was out of bounds, but no call was made there)
- Fernandez comes back in and right away goes to chat with the ref about Dragic being out of bounds. How can you do that to Goran, Rudy!? How?!
- Nachbar and Brezec back in. Nachbar clearly affected by the ankle injury
- better defense by Spain, Nachbar misses, but somehow Rizvic gets an offensive rebound and scores
- Nachbar misses a layup as teams exchange couple of missed shots
- Gasol checks back in; awesome!
- 4 minutes left and Goran gets his first basket of the game on a nice drive inside
- Lakovic stops a Spanish fast break, while the whistle goes off, Goran who was close and thinks it's on him, starts complaining. Lakovic quickly tells him, it's on him.
- Nachbar misses a 3 pointer, he's not playing well.
- sweet bullet pass by Rubio under the basket, but Slokar stops the play with a foul
- 2 minutes left, Slovenia time out, Slovenia leads 29:28. Turnovers: Spain leads 9:3. That's what i'm talking about, be generous!
- Gasol drops Dragic as he's setting a screen, an offensive foul
- zoom in on Dragic's dad in the audience, while Goran looks calm and confident amidst Spanish pressure defense
- a lot of movement in Slovenian offense, but Spain is moving just as well in defense, rotating quickly to open players, but Nachbar finally gets a basket
- turnover Spain, Brezec is holding his shoulder, goes to the bench, Vidmar back in, and 30 seconds later he is fouled under the basket
- 8 seconds left, Spain time out, Slovenia leads 31:28
- Fernandez misses a 3 pointer (he still has no points), halftime Slovenia:Spain-31:28
- Dragic starts with Lakovic, Nachbar, Slokar and Vidmar
- Dragic alone at the 3 point line, he doesn't take the shot
- nice fast break Spain as it ends with a foul, free throws...guess? Gasol, of course.
- bad pass by Rubio, Dragic picks it up, runs down the court, Mumbru is next to him but it seems like he has a clear path, Mumbru fouls him and gets called for an intentional foul. Not sure if that's true, but i don't care. In the 1st game, Spanish refs had some weird calls, including two intentional fouls. Anything you can do, i can do better. Goran hits both free throws
- Dragic runs around screens, gets a pass from Lakovic, he drives inside, the defense shuts him down, passes to Nachbar who turns it over and a Spanish fast break that ends with an alley oop and an applause from a home crowd. Spain leads 34:33
- Dragic drives inside, gets fouled by Fernandez. Fernandez playing solid defense on 'Gogi'
- Gasol fouled again
- nice play Vidmar to Slokar for a dunk
- Gasol fouled again(feels like i'm repeating myself)
- for once Goran chasing Rudy around, as he delivers a pass inside to Reyes and Spain leads 39:36
- Goran almost intercepts a pass, then plays great defense on Rudy, who then scores on a fadeaway jumper outside the free throw line
- Lakovic passes to Slokar who slams it home
- Dragic drives inside, passes outside to Slokar who is alone at the 3 point line, misses, Vidmar picks it up, shoots, Gasol sends it away, Spain leads 41:40
- Rizvic passes to Dragic under Slovenia basket, while Rubio is harrasing him. When Dragic passes him by, Rubio trips him over with his foot (it looked intentional). Goran doesn't aprecciate it, chats with Rubio. Goran hits both free throws as both teams are in the penalty with 4 minutes left and Spain leading 44:42
- Fernandez with a lob to Gasol, but Dragic will have none of it, jumps high and pokes the ball away to Jagodnik
- Becirovic with a steal and a layup, Slovenia leads 46:44, time out Spain
- Becirovic blocks a shot, Dragic runs away with a ball, but he's so fast, he actually loses the ball and goes crashing on to the floor. Turnover Slovenia.
- Dragic misses a jumper
- Becirovic with a difficult runner
- Gasol fouled again (no joke),luckily he is missing free throws tonight
- Since both teams in the penalty a lot of free throws
- Becirovic with a great pass to Rizvic under the basket. Don't know how, but he manages to miss it.
- Becirovic with a very difficult layup in the crowd
- Becirovic again with a shot from outside (he has 13 points), Slovenia leads 53:51
- 40 seconds left, Lakovic comes in for Dragic
- Garbajosa again at the buzzer for two and it's tied at 53
- Slovenia has some problems in their offense against a great Spanish defense at the beginning of the 4th
- Becirovic with a 3 pointer from a left wing
- Calderon quickly returns the favour
- Becirovic misses a 3 pointer
- Garbajosa drops Lakovic with a moving screen, no call, then a call on Jagodnik. Lakovic and Calderon exchange some Spanish recepies, time out
- Nachbar misses again, home crowd is testing to see how the "wave" looks in a new bigger arena.
- Alley oop Spain, they lead 59:56
- Lakovic with a 3 pointer from a left wing, tied at 59
- Dragic checks back in with 6 minutes left
- nice ball movement, Dragic finds himself alone at the 3 point line, misses
- Nachbar on the bench, getting ankle treatment
- nice drive inside from Dragic, comes up short; some contact, no call, offensive rebound by Slokar as he gets fouled
- another offensive rebound by Vidmar and Slovenia leads 63:59 with 3 minutes left
- zone defense by Spain, Lakovic throws it up, misses, Vidmar with a rebound and a slam, Slovenia leads 65:60, time out Spain
- Fast break Slovenia, Becirovic goes for a layup, but he's blocked. Too bad, two minutes left
- Spain comes down and Gasol slams over Slokar, 65:62
- Fernandez called for a foul on Dragic, he scores on both free throws; 67:62
- great defense by Slovenia, Dragic playing solid defense on Rudy as he scores again, with the shot clock violation buzzer going off, with a fadeaway; 67:64, damn you Rudy!!
- turnover Slovenia, Spain scores as Rubio gets a layup; 67:66, one minute left; timeout Slovenia
- turnover again for Slovenia!, Spain has a fast break, Dragic runs back fast and stops it with his super powers as he intercepts a pass and chases down a ball, but Spain recovers and Vidmar fouls Fernandez; Vidmar fouls out (12 points, 6 rebounds)
- Spain is in penalty, Slovenia is not with 24 secons left and Slovenia leading 67:66.
- Gasol with a difficult turn around-step back shot off the backboard, Spain leads 68:67
- Becirovic drives inside, passes to Lakovic on the wing, he passes to Slokar, who has an open shot, decides to pass to Dragic who drives inside and is fouled by Gasol (maybe a weak call). Ok, in slow motion, it looks like Gasol moved his left foot and kneed Dragic in the thigh. Goran misses his first free throw, scores on a second and we're tied at 68 with 5 seconds left, time out Spain
- Fernandez drives inside, defense collapses on him (some contact), he passes outside to Mumbru on a 3 point shot that he misses at the buzzer and it's overtime with score tied at 68! To think we would have won if Goran hits both free throws
- Spain playing zone, Becirovic picks it apart, passes to a cutting Rizvic who misses a layup, Spain turns it over and Rizvic gets a slam; 70:68
- Dragic sort of slips and goes into Fernandez and Goran is called for a foul. Dragic has some words for him, as Fernandez elbowed him in the head in that play. Fernandez tries to talk to Goran, gently moves away the ref ( that could be a techical), he embraces Goran and talks in his ear, probably to say he didn't do it on purpose. I'm not making this up. Rudy is really impressed with the haircut i guess. It's like faith is bringing them together. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
- Tied at 70 after Rudy hits both free throws
- Great defense by Spain, as again Lakovic had to force the shot
- Rubio misses a layup
- Dragic with a nice pass to Becirovic who is alone on a 3 point line...he misses
- Mumbru posts up while being guarded by Dragic and somehow, Dragic gets called for a foul (his 4th). Weak call. As we're in penalty, two free throws, he hits one. 71:70
- Spain still playing zone as Slovenia has another turnover
- Fernandez misses, Slovenia has fast break and another turnover. Teriffic. Time out Slovenia, Spain leads 71:70, 2.45 left
- A call on Rubio, Slokar misses both free throws ( 60 % free throw shooting for Slovenia, 64% for Spain)
- Unbelievable "unbalanced, fadeaway, on one foot" aka "The Nowitzki" shot by Gasol; Spain leads 73:70
- Slokar misses a jumper, Fernandez is fouled and Slokar goes to the bench
- Ferndandez hits one, 74:70
- Dragic misses a 3 pointer, Brezec gets a rebound and he slams it 74:72
- Dragic runs the fast break, passes to a wide open S.Udrih on a wing, he misses a 3 pointer (in and out goes the ball)
- Rubio with a tough layup with 48 seconds left, Spain leads 76:72.
- Jagodnik throws it away against Spanish zone
- Fernandez with a difficult 3 pointer, he hits it and it's 79:72 with 10 seconds left
- Dragic quickly goes and misses a 3 pointer with 4 seconds left
- Game over, Spain wins 79:72
Quotes after the game (translated and some edited for length):
Goran Dragic: "It's hard after a loss like this. We wanted to win for the fans, but we came up short. We have to move on. It's better to lose a preparation game like this, than lose a game in Turkey."
Jaka Lakovič: "The game was tough, the same as the game in Spain. As for some "in-game" conflict between various players, it's part of the game, nothing serious. There will be no secrets between teams in Turkey, so we have to play as close to perfect as possible. There is a lot of room for improvement in defense and offense. Since both teams are in preparation phase, one can't expect high quality basketball."
Coach Becirovic: "Arriving in a new arena was special. Too bad, we didn't put a stamp on it with a victory. We had some chances, but we lost concetration towards the end and our field goal percentage was low. Spain, as great and experienced as they are, took full advantage of that. Still, i am happy with the progress we've shown."
Rudy Fernandez: "We have to play every game with effort and focus, despite being a preparation game. We have to keep working hard in practice, so that we will be ready in Turkey. It's good to play a close game"
Ricky Rubio: "This is a big day for Slovenia. Slovenia has a good team and they played well. After a poor start, we were able to come back and win the game. It was unbelievable, great ambient, full arena. It was wonderfull."
Coach Scariolo: "I don't want teams to give up against us, i want teams to fight with us for a victory. We both gave it all we had, we both had an opportunity for a win, yet at the end we managed to come up with a win in overtime. Regardless of who wins, both teams should be happy, since playing a close, hard game benefits both.
I'm sure Spain didn't play with 100% intensity, but still, there are a lot of positives that one can take away from this game. Compared to previous two games, Slovenia actually played basketball that is pleasing to the eye and at the same time we almost beat the world champs.
Considering the following stats, i think we have a lot of room for improvement.
Spain is a world champion, yet at the same time, i'm wondering what was the reason for drop in concetration in the end. Missed shots and a lot of turnovers and it feels like we gave this game away. Like i said, not feeling too bad about it, since it looks like this team can improve.
Now to Goran. He had 9 points and 7 of them came from a free throw line. He missed all 5 three point shots while only making one shot (layup). He had 2 steals with only one turnover. He didn't have a good game, yet i'm not worried. It's obvious he felt pressure playing in front of a home crowd. Slovenian fans expect a lot from him and i guess he felt it.
When he picked up those quick two fouls at the beginning of the game, it was obvious he had to be more carefull. That took away his agresivness, at least until later in the game, when he could afford additional fouls. He is picking up quick fouls, but i have to say, some of them are weak calls to say the least. At the end of the game, it was obvious his shooting percentage affected his confidence, but i'm not worried. I'm sure he'll bounce back this weekend, when Slovenia is hosting another tournment in Maribor.If nothing else, he could at least start growing his facial hair again. And hopefully, with that, his confidence.
That's it from me guys. Sorry for poor editing.