Thursday, September 19, 2013

Lithuania - Italy ( Eurobasket 2013 )

lithuania italy eurobasket 2013 picks and predictions
Yesterday, there were only two games as we already reached to the quarter finals and I particularly liked the match up between Serbia and Spain. If you read the long preview I wrote yesterday, you may have noticed that the game occurred just the way I expected. I mentioned about the problems brought by wide rotation of Spain and possible solutions Juan Orenga was supposed to refer to. In fact, he just acted the way I thought he would by giving initiative to his Real Madrid duo Sergio Rodrigues and Rudy Fernandez in the offensive end of the game. Tournament's in arguably the best center Marc Gasol also shut down respected veteran big man Nenad Krstic as we also presumed. Thus, Spain as anticipated heavily crushed Serbia which only came that far with their young core.

In the second day of quarter finals, the last showdown is between Italy and Lithuania tonight. Lithuania surprisingly ended the previous round after Serbia whereas Italy was placed at the 3rd spot right after home side Slovenia. Tonight, it's going to be the end of road for either side, so teams can't compensate any mistake made today.

I must admit Italian rotation displayed some great performances in this tournament. Against teams like Greece and Spain, Italy managed to stay calm and continued the head to head play until very last minutes. This group of young guys undoubtedly proved to have a decent chemistry among them and reached to the quarter finals totally merited. Lithuania, likewise, is one of the favorites of Eurobasket championships as usual. With their deep rotation, they lost only twice in this tournament. Lithuania could get scoring support from pretty much every player whereas Italy has relatively tighter rotation which is depended on some certain names to dominate the game.

Regardless of whichever side wins the game, It's certain that we're going to watch an amazing game. Both teams have put a lot of heart and hassle so far and tonight isn't going to be any different. I must say, Italian back court especially Alessandro Gentile and Andrea Cinciarini ( not even mentioning Marco Belinelli ) along with Gigi Datome performed just perfectly and they could create a lot of trouble for Lithuania tonight as well. However, Italy has one crucial weakness which I think decides the fate is this match up; rebounding. Italian team is not only as deep as Lithuania but also is quite undersized when compared to Lithuania. Marco Cusin fell into early foul trouble many times and Nicolo Melli probably found more playing time than he could ever imagined. We must give him credit that he did good;however, today he'll possibly have to fight the biggest war of the entire tournament against Valanciunas, Javtokas and Lavrinovic brothers to grab the boards. Italy averaged 35 rebounds per game while this figure for Lithuania is 40 per game.  5 rebounds a game makes a lot of difference in the presence of such small spreads. My personal opinion is this rebounding gap is likely to increase even further tonight. Italy is destined to be out rebounded.

Once Lithuania takes command of the game inside the area, they have enough quality around the perimeter to match with Italian back court. The spread isn't so high and I think it is worth to try. I don't expect any surprise here.

Pick: Lithuania Full Time -5.0 @ 1.86 pinnaclesports


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