MADRID (The Monday International Show) - Here are some observations and predictions concerning international NBA players before the quarters at the EuroBasket championship.
Spain will beat Lithuania in a magnificent run and gun final, 90 to 82 one year before the Spaniards beat the US team in the Olympic final in Bejing behind a smart matchup zone they have been fine tuning here.
Spain is europe's version of the Suns except Spain wins titles with their uptempo, shoot it when you are open, spectacular style behind a golden generation of unselfish stars led by Gasol and Navarro who will go from Madrid to lift Memphis out of the doldrums even though their future teammate Milicic seemed to have a screw loose here!!
Nowitski's unhappy run continues as he came back from the outback to a german team at the end of their cycle and completely outclassed.
In their league they allow eight americans on each team and this isn't helping the national team find new players at all.
As for Finals MVP, Tony Parker, his french team is looking for some consistency in their player rotations, coaching, shooting, defence and post-up scoring as Diaw is still MIA, Diawara is not used enough and Flo Pietrus is playing like a young Rodman with a three- point shot to boot!
Tony's buddy, Kirilenko has been an all-around fabulous leader and new coach-with NBA potentiel-David Blatt has given them confidence and a less haphazard style of play.
On the other hand Turkoglu and Okur seem to be playing on their own planet while their Turkish teammates are on another!
Italy's Bargnani and Belinelli have a similarly individualistic approach which is a far cry from what gave their country a silver medal in Athens.
After 3 games Bargnani had zero assists!
Now on to a list of players the NBA never figured out!
Jasikevicius on one leg, Slokar hitting key threes, Spanoulis-greece's leading scorer, and Kasun-croatia's leading scorer and rebounder - will all give their former teams regrets.
Sarunas, who represents half of undefeated Lithuania's potential according to teammate Siskauskas, is still a firery decisive leader despite leg problems and the fact he hardly played in the NBA this season.
His dream would be a trade to Phoenix or a buyout in order to return to beautiful Barcelona but is he coach Ivanovic's type of player?
He'd probably be better off with coach Pini Gershon at Olympiakos.
Let's move on to players with unexpected NBA potential like Israel's active rebounder Yaniv Green, surprising Slovenia's young playmaker Dragic-his teammates Lakovic and Smodis have the level too-, or Lithuanian twin towers the Lavrinovic bros and finally Portugal's high flying Cape Verdian athlete, Joao Gomes.
All these guys deserve a long look!
Some NBA GMs,scouts and Team USA people will show up for the quarters while lonely espn.com reporter and a rare American international b-ball specialist, Chris Sheridan, is writing some interesting stuff from here.
T-Mac even made an appearance but he spent his time watching his Blackberry more than the games!
The hardest working guy here is FIBA's Jeff Taylor who commentates all the games for the net ALONE, then writes reports and does interveiws that he uploads before collapsing into bed like a worn out porno star!
I don't know how he does it!