Well, as Goran Dragic predicted yesterday, this game against Greece proved to be a test for the Slovenian team. And though there were some bright moments, Slovenia still lost. They trailed almost the entire game. At on point they were down by 16 but somehow managed to get back within 2. Obviously there is a big difference when Dragić is on the floor versus when he is resting. It felt like every time he left the Greeks went on a run. If you want more details on the game you should read this recap and if you want more numbers I will leave a link to the stats here.
In case you only care about Dragon stats:
Personally I think a few more fouls could have been called in that 4th quarter. Specifically, on that Edo Murič drive, where his hand was clearly hurt and he had to leave the game. Tomorrow we have another game, the Dragon will be resting and we will be playing the home team Lithuania, who by the way came in 2nd at last years Eurobasket. They did loose to France by 4 more points so at least we got that going for us. Hopefully in the next 2 weeks Erazem Lorbek returns, Goran Dragić finds his European 3pt shot (or just takes longer 3s) and everyone starts putting in the same effort/energy as Zoran Dragić.
Only quotes from Zoki and Coach today:
Zoran Dragić: We played very badly. Like with New Zealand we started dim, without any real energy, but though we managed to pull through in that first game, this opponent was of considerably higher quality and didn't let us close again. You could see we were missing some height, that's why we need to do a better job of closing the space under the basket and be more alert on defense. Coach Zdovc was rightly upset, because we weren't playing defense. We're aware that this part of the game is very important for us. If we're not firm on defense, it will be hard to win at the World Cup.
Jure Zdovc: For me Greece has long been a favourite for reaching a high place at the world cup. They have a very good team with diverse players, experienced, strong and especially smart. Considering they lost by so much to Lithuania yesterday, I expected they would be well prepared for us and highly motivated. I was interested to see how my players would react to a team like this, but we started the game very badly, dimly and unprofessionally. I used a lot of energy to wake up the players, though that is not my job. I have to be leading the game and not convincing the players to play seriously. This is starting to concern me, since it's always the same individuals. Still, we managed to find a rhythm and get closer, but we played too many bad minutes before to make a turnaround. When Goran Dragić sits our game drops, but we have to follow instructions from Phoenix and keep to the 25 minute limitation. In the following games we will have to play firmly from the first minute on and control the game as well as the opponent.
*note that though he says they have to follow Suns instructions, Goran played more than 25 minutes, again.
And now, because polls are fun: