A new category has joined the ranks here at The Lithuanian Perspective. Early Morning Hiccups will bring you the whispers, scribbles and just stories about Lithuanian hoops scattered around the net. For the sake of being open, I have no idea if this is going to work out with the minimal coverage about Lithuanian basketball throughout different English language media outlets, but I’ll do my best and plan to update this at least weekly, but this doesn’t entirely rely on me. For a worst-case scenario, I’ll try to fill the void with some interesting stuff from European basketball in general.
SF – Kleiza vs Artest
Kleiza had some trouble getting off against Kirilenko; Artest is the bigger stronger version. It will be tough taking it to him head on, so it will be best to keep Ron-Ron on his toes and mix it up some. I really have nothing to say other than Artest is more of a perimeter player on offense; he likes to pop long jumpers. Those are easy to defend, just stay up on him and get him to put it on the floor. I don’t know, I got nothing on this match-up, I think Kleiza will score some, grab a couple boards and dish a few dimes, and I think Artest will do the same.
Proving once again that, even when no games are being played, there’s never a dull moment in Lithuanian basketball, BallinEurope’s man in Lithuania (whom we know simply as “Y”) reports that a team executive there seems to have a bit of a slippery grasp on hard reality – and it’s not even Vladimir Romanov!
Much like he did during the latter part of his 12-year stay in Cleveland, Heat center Zydrunas Ilgauskas spent 15 minutes after Sunday’s victory over the Nets sitting in front of his locker with his feet inside of a large orange cooler filled with ice and water.
“This is how I keep fresh,” said Ilgauskas, who also had both of his knees wrapped in ice. “I’ve got to take care of myself.”
When he followed former Cavaliers teammate LeBron James to South Beach, the 35-year-old Ilgauskas was searching for his first championship ring. But the ring wasn’t the only reason he came south. The 7-3, 260-pound veteran had other motivations.
“I feel like I have something left in the tank,” Ilgauskas said. “I wanted to go somewhere where I could have a fresh start and have it do me some good.”
On Sunday, he took another step toward that fresh start, coming off the bench in the first quarter and providing a spark with 10 points (on 5-of-6 shooting) to go with four rebounds and an assist in 18 minutes of action.
While Election Day went on throughout America, the city of Portland was treated to a nice shadow campaign, propagated by individual(s) unknown. Riffing on former Trail Blazer Chris Dudley’s campaign for governor of Oregon, some basketball aficionados in the state crafted a bit of a samizdat poster for Lithuanian citizen Arvydas Sabonis to rule govern the state on whose basketball courts he once roamed.
Freaknick breaks down a Wednesday on which CSKA, Asseco and Spirou need answers fast, Caja goes down and Zalgiris beats Asseco Prokom in OT.
Two match-ups between undefeated clubs highlight the Euroleague’s third week of play. In the first, Fenerbahçe Ülker does their best to oust the 2010 champs in Palau Blaugrana. The second pits the unlikeliest of the 2-0ers, Union Olimpija, against the 2009 champs, Panathinaikos. Those and 10 more to come, but first it’s time for me to apologize to a forgotten prospect…
As we head into week three of EL play, things haven’t quite normalized to preseason expectations, but BallinEurope’s Official Euroleague Power Rankings are looking a tad more normal. Well, except CSKA Moscow’s placement, that is. Rankings are based on current Euroleague record, plus play in other leagues and intangibles (like, for instance, this writer’s preconceived notions).