Tag: Juan Carlos Navarro

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NBA overseas roundup: Tyson Chandler turns down China

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As the NBA lockout drags on and on and on, there have been more players talking to overseas teams about taking their talents across the pond. Here is today’s roundup of news.

• Tyson Chandler has decided not to take an offer to play in China, tweets ESPN’s Chris Broussard. “I was considering it but I don’t think I’m going to. It was hard to turn down.” For Chandler and other free agents to be, there is a lot of risk in heading overseas — an injury could cost tens of million to Chandler. What happened to J.R. Smith had to scare guys thinking about these deals.

• Jeremy Lin’s deal to play in Italy is “not set in stone,” according to CSNBayArea.com. I didn’t know they carved contracts in stone still in Europe, but they have those old-world traditions.

• Tony Parker confirmed that if the lockout continues he will play the full season for Villeurbanne, and said he would make an offer to Boris Diaw to join him (via Hoopshype).

• Golden State big man Ekpe Udoh has signed with Bnei Hasharon in Israel, and he has an NBA opt out. In an interesting note, Udoh replaces J.J. Hickson who replaced Trevor Booker on the team this season.

• Juan Carlos Navarro could have returned to the NBA and had a lot of teams interested in him, but he instead has agreed to a contract extension with Barcelona through the 2014-15 season.

Spain wins European championship behind Gasol brothers

Spain's celebrate their victory at the e
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Spanish basketball fans should buy Mr. and Mrs. Gasol a dinner and a nice bottle of wine.

It’s because of their sons — Pau and Marc Gasol — that Spain is the champions of European basketball for the second time in a row. Spain beat France 98-85 in the championship game of EuroBasket Sunday to earn the title. France and Spain both earned automatic berths into the 2012 London Olympics by reaching the finals, which in and of itself is a huge win for France.

Pau Gasol had 17 points and 10 rebounds in the title game and was the steady force throughout the tournament. Mark Gasol had 11 points, six rebounds and two blocks against France.

The tournament MVP however went to former Grizzlies guard Juan Carlos Navarro, and deservedly so. He had 27 points in the final game and outplayed Tony Parker (who had 25 and carried the French offense throughout the tournament). Navarro had 25 or more points in all of Spain’s elimination games.

The French team is loaded with NBA talent — Joakim Noah had 11 points but fouled out, Boris Diaw had 12 and Nicolas Batum had 10.

Russia, Macedonia, Greece and Lithuania all did well enough this tournament to earn berths in the pre-Olympic second chance qualifying tournament next July. That tournament features the countries from around the globe that just missed out on earning a berth this year fighting for one of three last-chance spots in the games.

EuroBasket: Spain, France earn Olympic berths with victories

Juan Carlos Navarro
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Spain, the silver medal team in Beijing who gave the United States all it could handle in the gold medal game, will be back for the London Olympics. They will be joined by a French team led by Tony Parker and Joakim Noah.

Friday Spain and France won their games to advance to the finals of EuroBasket. Both teams want the European championship, but they have gotten the two automatic bids from the continent to the Olympics.

Here are some breakdowns:

Spain 92, Macedonia 80: Macedonia’s team reminded me a little bit of the 2000 Philadelphia 76ers — they played fantastic defense and counted on one small, quick guard to create a lot of their offense. Then eventually they ran into just too talented a team.

Macedonia led by one at the half, 45-44, and it felt like an upset. Bo McCalebb had carried the Macedonian offense to the semifinals and he had 25 in this game.

But he was not the best guard on the floor, that was Juan Carlos Navarro. He took over in the second half scoring 19 third quarter points and finishing with 35. Pau Gasol finished with 22 points and 17 rebounds.

Macedonia still had a fantastic tournament and will be in the pre-Olympic qualifying tournament next summer, a second chance to surprise some teams and sneak into the games.

France 79, Russia 71: Russia’s strategy was to give Tony Parker jump shots, not let him penetrate. It was pretty successful, but Parker still hit 9-of-20 shots on his way to 23 points, and nobody accounted for Nicolas Batum, who had 19 points on 8 shots.

France plays good defense, if they get enough offense they are hard to beat. If Parker’s jumper is falling at a decent rate they are hard to beat. Both those things happened, Russia could not maintain floor balance with their defense and the result is France going on to the Olympics.

Andrei Kirilenko had 21 points and Timofey Mozgov had 12 for a Russian team headed to the pre-qualifying tournament next summer (where they should be a favorite to get one of the last-chance Olympic spots).

The Spain against France final should be interesting. Spain has a long front line — Marc and Pau Gasol as well as Serge Ibaka — but their help rotations have been spotty this year. If Parker can get into the lane he can cause trouble for them. Spain is the favorite, they crushed France in a friendly this summer. (You can throw out Spain beating France at EuroBasket, Parker and other key French players sat that one out.)

EuroBasket roundup: Spain looks good, Germany in trouble

Marc Gasol of Spain looks on while being guarded by Nowitzki of Germany during their FIBA EuroBasket 2011 basketball game in Vilnius
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Here is where we are at with EuroBasket — two groups of six teams each, with the top four from those groups advancing to the eight-team knockout round. What we saw Wednesday was three teams taking control — France, Spain and Lithuania — while Germany may have sealed its doom.

What follows is your Wednesday wrap up:

Spain 77, Germany 68: This was the two best front courts in EuroBasket going head-to-head and Spain slightly winning that battle behind the Gasol brothers. Marc Gasol had 24 points (and five boards) while Pau had 19 and seven. Dirk Nowitzki had exactly the same 19 and seven as Pau, and Chris Kaman had 15 points and 12 boards. Still, down the stretch the Gasol brothers dominated the scoring (the last 9 Spanish points) and Germany could not stop them.

The real difference was Spain had the better backcourt. Juan Carlos Navarro had 14 points and while Ricky Rubio had another blasé offensive game he was strong on defense with four steals and a clutch one late in the game to help seal the win.

The win has Spain at 2-1 and Germany at 0-3 in the second round of group play. That is an almost impossible hole or Germany to climb out of (and Spain should advance unless they completely collapse).

France 68, Turkey 64: France remains undefeated (3-0), and Tony Parker remains the guy in front for the MVP trophy. He has 20 in this one. The question about France coming in was would they have enough offense, Parker has almost singlehandedly answered that question. That said, Turkey had some late success with a 2-3 zone to slow Parker’s penetration, France is going to se a lot of that going forward.

Turkey is now 1-2, same record as Serbia. Barring some dramatic upsets, one of those two teams will advance to the knockout stage, one will be sent home. The two sides play Friday in what will be the biggest game of the tournament for both sides.

Lithuania 100, Serbia 90: Big win for the host Lithuanians, who now hold the power to advance to the knockout stage in their own hands (they are 2-1, same record as Spain, but Spain holds the tiebreaker, so basically Lithuania is third in Group E). Raptors fans had to be drooling in this one as their No. 5 overall pick Jonas Valanciunas had 18 points on 9-of-9 shooting. The kid has skills and he may end up being the best player out of this past draft class.

If you want the stat that decides it, Lithuania won the bench battle 47-19. The old cliché is that role and bench players do better at home, and Lithuania is benefitting from that.

As we said before, the Serbia vs. Turkey game Friday may well determine who advances to the knockout stage from Group E with France, Spain and Lithuania.

The best possible thing about the lockout: a Marcus Thornton-JCN showdown

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Forget Drew-Goodman. You want the best (and by best we mean ridiculous showdown possible in the lockout? Take a look at December 17th. That could be the magic day if everything falls into place.

From HoopsHype comes a story from TUBASKET.com regarding Marcus Thornton and how he may wind up signing with Spanish team Caja Laboral.

The result? December 17th sees Thornton’s theoretical Caja Laboral take on FC Barcelona featuring… Juan Carlos Navarro.

Navarro, for those of you who don’t remember, played one season with the Grizzlies, averaging 10 points and 2 assists with 40 percent shooting playing 26 minutes. Not exactly the stuff of legend. And yet he showed a surprising amount of talent in one year on a terrible team (the year Gasol was traded) including his trademarked teardrop. He then promptly ran away as quickly as possible, back to the warm confines of FC Barcelona. He promptly won the Euroleague MVP.

LaBomba is a pure scorer, even at the ripe old age of 31. He averaged 16 points and 3 assists on over 50 percent shooting last season. In short, seeing “The Bomb” play “Buckets” would be incredibly fun. It would mostly just be a series of low-angle runners and no-conscience jumpers. It would also be an epic contest of shooting from players that are driven by scoring. It’s not Kobe vs. Durant, but it’s also in an organized competition and would be the rare opportunity for Thornton to score as much as he wants.

It’s possible the lockout is starting to rot my brain.