I ran across an article on CNNSI that said “The Cavaliers have declined permission for center Zydrunas Ilgauskas to play for Lithuania in the Olympics.” It was funny that last summer when I was watching EuroBasketball 2007, I did not see Ilgauskas there. The top four teams from this tournament qualified for the Olympics and Lithuania took the bronze medal. Lithuania had only one loss to Russia in the semifinal game during this tournament. Lithuania does not need Ilgauskas to win. They proved it during Eurobasketball and every country that is playing in the Olympics better watch out for Lithuania.
I have always routed for Lithuania during the Olympics. Lithuania won the bronze during the 1992, 1996, and 2000 Olympics. Lithuania came in fourth during the 2004 Olympics.
I really enjoyed watching Eurobasketball last summer and Lithuania has some big names on there team such as Darius Songaila, Linas Kleiza, and Sarunas Jasikevicius. Other key players included Rimantas Kaukenas, Darjusas Lavrinovicius, Ksistofas Lavrinovicius, and Ramunas Siskauskas. Lithuania played many other teams from Europe with NBA players and Lithuania dominated.
Lithuania knows how to play international basketball and they will be ready for the Olympics.
What a great game. There was a little scare in the first half with letting the Nuggets come close with a 58-56 score at half. Pau Gasol had an great game with 36 points, 16 rebounds and 8 assists. Kobe pour in 32 points and Lamar Odom was hussling out there with 17 points, 14 rebounds and 6 assists. Walton was also in double figures with 16 points.
The Nuggets have two deadly scorers with Iverson and Anthony, both had 30 points today. My Lithuanian friend, Linas Kleiza, has 23 points. Way to go. The only other Denver Nugget in double figures was Smith with 15 points. On a side note, Kleiza does play on the Lithuanian national team and will be in the Olympics representing Lithuania.
The Lakers did what they needed to do in the third quarter and outscored the Nuggets with 39 points versus the Nuggets 22 points. This is the way to do it. Build your lead in the third quarter and protect it in the fourth quarter.
This was a good game but the Lakers need to keep the intensity up against this high scoring team. I believe the Lakers need to play harder on defense. Not playing defense won’t hurt them during this series but will be a problem the further they go into the playoffs. As long as Kobe, Lamar, and Pau play like this, I believe they have a deadly offensive combo but everyone on the Lakers needs to pick it up on defense.