I have been asked to write a small insight into the Lithuanian basketball team for one Polish website, I’d like to share it with you as well:
The Lithuanian National Team will be coming to Eurobasket 2009 like a hurt predator with both of its front feet severely injured as none of the stars in our backcourt positions are coming, but the powerful frontline might just be enough take some weight of the guards. Šarūnas Jasikevičius, Arvydas Macijauskas, Rimantas Kaukėnas and Ramūnas Šiškauskas would probably have made it to any team in the tournament and will be missed in the Lithuanian squad as well. Despite the fact that not all players were able to come for one or the other reason, Lithuanian fans are as always putting a lot of hopes into the team and sometimes it seems that all of the 3,5 million of the country‘s basketball experts are set for an upset. The results of friendly games shouldn‘t be seen as a warning sign, but the game itself makes you think sometimes about Butautas skills as a coach at times. When the guards of the team just bounces the ball around and then dump the ball down low – that‘s not a good sign, is it?.. To throw some more rocks in the garden of our guards – there‘s not enough speed, not enough movement around the court and the ball seems to get stuck at times. I also think the game lacks in drive-and-kick game to get the defense moving a little more. The main problem is in the point guard position as neither Mažutis nor Kalnietis and Jomantas who sometimes plays the position are not capable of leading a team of this caliber. And our star forward Linas Kleiza, as well as the whole team is very inconsistent – at times the game might be going perfectly and the next second you see the team in a big drop of game level. Some say that the team can‘t find it‘s leader who‘d take the game into his own hands and do something good. You might see a different Lithuanian team in Poland opposed to the previous tournaments as the previous weapon – deadly sharpshooters were replaced with a huge power under the basket with Javtokas, Petravičius and the Lavrinovič brothers. By the way a commercial series by one of the banks that supports the National Team refers to the Darjuš and Kšystof as Lolek and Bolek from the animation film. And I have to say the game had been improving the whole time, you can see the bones of the team now and if our snipers get to see the target – the team will be a force to be reckoned with while fighting for the medals, if not – I’d predict the 5 place. It might be felt that remaining in the bronze medal position would be a satisfying performance to all Lithuanian fans, both those here in Lithuania sitting by the TVs and those who‘ll cover the Polish arenas in the yellow, green and red.