“Andrew Bogut nearly dragged Australia over the line single-handedly, but the Boomers still needed a last-second shot from CJ Bruton to overcome plucky Angola 81-78 in the FIBA Diamond Ball tournament in Nanjing, China.
Bogut was sensational, scoring 32 points and hauling down 11 boards in a Herculean effort that kept the Boomers undefeated after two games in the pre-Olympic Games competition.”
The Aussies are in trouble if Bogut had to become Hercules to beat Angola in an Olympic warm up game, but isn’t that Aussie sports writing great?
Bogut finished a three-point play from the lane to tie the game at 78, then set the pick that freed the winning shot. The Aussies needed 12 points from Bogut in the 4th to catch Angola. Needless to say, the Aussie coach wasn’t too happy with everybody but Bogut (a feeling former Bucks coach Larry Krystkowiak knows well) though it should be pointed out that Angola is the African champion and one of 12 teams in the Olympic tournament in Beijing.
Bogut’s heavily quoted on the official international basketball site (FIBA) not saying much, but it sounds like he’s having a good time. http://www.fiba.com/pages/eng/fc/news/lateNews/p/newsid/27446/arti.html Here’s a good one:
“All of these preparation games are really important to get a feel for the ball, for the different style of refereeing.t’s more a European style of game and that is different from the Australian and NBA game and we have to get used to that.”
In other words, the international refs will call a foul if a defender so much as breathes on Manu Ginobli. The Aussies play clutch and grab Detroit Pistons style D – quite a learning curve. The Aussies play Ginobli and Argentina in the Diamond Ball final early Friday AM.
Lebron led Team USA to a 114-82 prelim win in Macao, China, against the Turkish team, which was playing without its best players – Hedo Turkoglu of the Orlando Magic and Jazz center Mehmet Okur. (The Turks didn’t qualify for the Olympics). But this only meant more shots for Bucks 2005 draft pick Ersan Ilyasova, still Milwaukee property in the NBA. Ersan scored 10 pts, grabbed 5 rebs and played an active game.
With Ersan gunning six early points, the Turks led this one 27-24, but Lebron, Kobe and D-Wade put on a show the rest of the way. Chris Paul, Chris Bosh and Dwight Howard contributed heavily. Lebron led the way with 20 pts.
ESPN has a handy blow-by-blow game summary. I hope they keep posting those during the Olympics.
The Bucks’ Michael Redd had 4 points on a jumper and two free throws. Believe it or not, he only took two shots, missing his only three point attempt. Isn’t Redd supposed to be the designated shooter?
Speaking of Michael Redd: who is this guy in the photo to the left? Does he play for the Bucks? And is that some sort of Jedi mind trick he’s aiming at the camera or is that his Kobe Bryant imitation? Given the uncoachability hijinx last season (after Kobe and Michael hung out during summer international ball) I don’t think the Kobester is a very good influence on Redd.
Apparently this is the serious Michael Redd. Or is this ladies man Michael Redd? He might possibly be mugging his on court tunnel vision. Whatever it is, it’s making me uncomfortable.
The photo was gripped from Dimemag.com. I now must defer further questions about the state of Michael Redd’s mind to them.
Btw, brawler Ron Artest has been traded to the Houston Rockets for back up guard Bobby Jackson, rookie forward Donte Green (who worked out for the Bucks before the draft) and a first round draft pick. Yao Ming reacted by saying he likes Artest now because he “hated playing against him.” Yao also hoped Artest wasn’t still fighting and going into the stands, but I doubt he meant it in a mean way. ESPN’s trying to play Yao’s comments into a mini-controversy. It’s not working.