Turkey v Lithuania Live
Given the fact that Turkey failed to qualify for the 2008 Olympics, the team is now facing a tremendous amount of pressure at the Eurobasket 2009 in Poland. Moreover, the squad around NBA star Hedo Turkoglu had a rather unsatisfying series of preparation games over the past month. In fact, Turkey lost both of their games versus Croatia and Germany at the Efsen Pilsner Cup last week in Ankara. On Monday at 8:15 p.m. GMT Lithuania will face the Turkish squad in the first game of Group D in Wroclaw.
Lithuania on the other hand is coming off a respectable fourth place finish at the Olympic basketball tournament last year and can look back on many years of success in FIBA tournaments. Although the Lithuanian team features NBA players such as Linas Kleiza and Darius Songeila, they do not rely heavily on them like other squads. More specifically, Linas Kleiza who averaged 9.9 points and 4.0 rebounds last year for the Denver Nuggets is not even expected to be in the starting-five. Other noticeable Lithuanian players include Darjuš Lavrinovic from Real Madrid and Robertas Javtokas from Khimki Moscow who have proven to be excellent Euroleague players over the past decade. Although Lithuanian head coach Jonas Kazlauskas has yet to cut his roster down to twelve players, the Lithuanian team will be highly competitive no matter who remains on the floor.
Without any doubts, Turkey will have a much harder time getting consistent production of their bench. To make things worse, NBA Center Mehmet Okur from the Utah Jazz will not be playing at the Eurobasket due to personal problems with Turkey’s head coach Bogdan Tanjevic. Nonetheless, the Turkish squad will be able to benefit from NBA experience of Ersan Ilyasov and Hedo Turkoglu. Before signing a 5-year contract with the Toronto Raptors, Turkoglu led the Orlando Magic to the NBA finals in 2008-09 while averaging 16.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game.
You can watch all FIBA International games right here on www.watchlivenba.com, the home of live NBA streaming.
Tags: Turkey, Eurobasket 2009, Hedo Turkoglu, Lithuania, Linas Kleiza, Darius Songeila, Jonas Kazlauskas, Bogdan Tanjevic
Posted: 7th September 2009
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