Czech Republic Sends Georgia Packing for the Midnight Train from EuroBasket
After falling to Spain on Saturday, the Czech Republic rebounded with perhaps their most complete international basketball game to date, defeating Georgia, 95-79, on Sunday. The Czechs dominated almost every aspect of the game, shooting 54.7 percent from the field and winning the rebounding war, 41-34. The Czechs only shot 3-for-13 from the 3-point line, but shot 62.7 percent on 2-point field goals and made 71 percent of their free throws (22-31), which was quite an accomplishment for a team that often struggles from the free throw line.
The win, at the time, gave the Czech Republic a 2-2 record at EuroBasket and a chance to advance to the second round of play… had they beat Croatia on today. Instead, they got beaten up by the Croats and were officially knocked out of the 2013 EuroBasket tournament. More to come on the final game from the Czech Republic, but let’s run down the action from their game versus Georgia.
Yep, that’s a little black guy playing for Team Georgia. His name is Ricky Hickman and he’s from North Carolina. He played college ball at UNC-Greensboro and has played professionally in Romania, Germany, Finland, and Israel. Hickman didn’t do much against the Czechs, but you can follow him on Twitter: @rhsmooth03.
Not basketball fans… this is just how mimes in the Czech Republic look.
Ah, Georgia fans… they have all the quaintness of Walmart greeters and/or hot dog eating contestants.
Czech Coach Pavel Budinsky was serious about shocking the opposition.
The plain “Jan Vesely Fans” crew, featuring Dad Vesely in blue.
This guy is a grandpa, even if he’s just 27 years old. At one point, Jan Vesely maneuvered Grandpa aside with his elbow and made a strong post move at the time, which Vesely should be able to do against a 6-foot-8 wing player.
Giorgia Shermandini, a center and probably the best player on Georgia’s squad, was frustrated by the athleticism of Vesely the entire day. Shermandini still finished with 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting and nine rebounds.
Jan Vesely dominated the day like the presence of military-esque guys in ties and short-sleeve shirts at international basketball contests.
“Honza” finished with 27 points on 12-for-14 shooting (3-for-8 FTs) with 10 rebounds, one assist, and one steal in 27 minutes. Eight of Vesely’s points came over a four-minute stretch that sealed the deal in the game’s waning moments.
Sure, some of the attempts he got against guys like Shermandini are attempts that Vesely won’t see in the NBA, but for the most part during his 2013 EuroBasket experience, Vesely still showed the ability to sink quick hooks in the lane, an ability which will be very useful when he’s pulling down offensive rebounds for the Wizards.
Satoransky attacked the basket several times versus Georgia, using his athleticism to hang in the air and maneuver the ball past the arms of the defense. He could still how to score after absorbing contact, but Satoransky can finish at the rim better than most Euro guards, especially because he’s a threat to dunk. I was also generally impressed by Satoransky’s court vision during EuroBasket; whenever he secures a defensive rebound, he immediately looks up court of an opportunity to pass … not something a lot of point guards are conditioned to do.
Sometimes, however, Satoransky doesn’t make the veteran play. Here, he tried to go behind his back on a two-on-one break to Jiri Welsch, but the ball sailed out of bounds.
Still, the Wizards have to love Satoransky’s ability to rebound. He averaged 3.2 over five EuroBasket games; here, he grabs an offensive board for a key catch-and-put-back all in one motion.
Vesely was given a rest late in the game when the Czechs had a sizable lead, but was put back on the floor when Georgia cut their deficit to 13 points with just under six minutes left. No worries, because Vesely cleaned up the court and more, going hard at the rim, grabbing rebounds, dunking on fools, hanging on the rim, and pounding his chest. It was the most emotion I’ve ever seen out of Vesely.
The play-by-play / color man for the streaming broadcast, Kevin Connors (I think), shed high praise on Vesely during the entire tournament. Quotables from this particular game:
“Vesely is the player of Group C. You heard it from me. There’s no other player that has more of an impact on the game than that guy, Jan Vesely.”
“He says he’s not trying to send a message to Washington. Well, I’ll send it for him. ‘Washington, this kid is special, get him in there.’ “
Shermandini wasn’t always a fan of what the referees were laying down. Here, he picks up a technical after complaining about a non-call. His real frustrations lied in the 7-footer’s inability (7-foot-1 to be exact) to jump with Vesely.
More Vesely dunking… elbows at the rim.
One last look at Grandpa Sanikidze… the San Antonio Spurs actually still hold his draft rights. He was taken 43rd overall by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2004 NBA Draft—right before Trevor Ariza was drafted 44th—and had his rights traded to San Antonio that day. The Wizards drafted Peter John Ramos 33rd overall in 2004.
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