Archive for the ‘ International ’ Category

It’s just preseason. The law states that needed to be the first sentence here. Because, it’s true. It’s just preseason, and often in preseason the best players on an NBA team play very limited minutes. It’s just a warmup. But when an NBA team plays an international team, preseason or not, the international team takes it seriously. And then anything can happen. Here’s the Oklahoman reporting:

Thunder lose preseason game to Real Madrid

Game on the line.

Russell Westbrook on the bench.

It’ll be a regular-season rarity for the Thunder, and should the situation arise in a game that counts, Oklahoma City will hope to handle it better than it did in Monday’s preseason debut.

With Westbrook watching — he played only the first and third quarters — multiple Thunder players tried to fill the go-to role down the stretch of Monday’s 142-137 overtime loss to Real Madrid…

Real Madrid made 20 of 37 3-pointers — many of them clean looks as a result of sloppy defensive rotations — in rallying from 22 points down for an upset win…

Victor Oladipo scored 34 points. Enes Kanter added 29 points and 10 rebounds.

Pregame notes for Rockets vs Sharks

Rockets team notes for game vs Shanghai Sharks tonight:

· This game marks the first time a professional team from China is facing an NBA team in the United States… the Sharks play in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA).

Connections:

· The Sharks are owned by former Rocket Yao Ming… on Feb. 2, 2016, Yao will become just the sixth player in Rockets history to have his number retired.

· Rockets guard Bobby Brown spent the past two years playing in the CBA… last season, he was with the Shenzhen Leopards and averaged 29.2 points, 6.3 assists and 4.7 rebounds.

· Sharks center Wu Guanxi was a member of the Rockets entry in the 2016 Samsung NBA Summer League… Rockets Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, K.J. McDaniels, Chinanu Onuaku, Gary Payton II, Isaiah Taylor and Kyle Wiltjer all played on that team.

· Sharks guard Jimmer Fredette played five seasons in the NBA and was teammates with Rockets forward Ryan Anderson and guard Eric Gordon in New Orleans for the 2014-15 season.

Injury/Status Report:

· The Rockets have no injuries to report.

Rockets News & Notes:

· This marks the 50th season in Rockets franchise history… the San Diego Rockets were established as an expansion team for the 1967-68 season and moved to Houston prior to the 1971-72 season.

· Houston is one of three teams (Dallas and San Antonio) to have gone .500 or better in each of the past 10 seasons… the Rockets have also made the playoffs in four straight seasons, which is tied for the third-longest streak in franchise history.

· Since joining the Rockets in 2012-13, James Harden has scored 533 more points than any other player in the league… he also has made 461 more free throws than any other player has attempted over that span.

· In 27 games played post All-Star break last season, Patrick Beverley averaged 11.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists after averaging 8.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg and 2.8 apg his first 44 games played.

The Raptors will play a pair of 2016 NBA preseason games in Vancouver and Calgary.

Their opponents will be the Warriors and Nuggets.

Even though it’s just preseason, that Warriors game will be Kevin Durant’s debut on the squad and is therefore worth watching.

And as for Canada in general, any games outside of Toronto should certainly be attended by fans who don’t get to see NBA players with their own eyes on a regular basis.

Here’s more info: http://www.insidehoops.com/canada-nba-preseason-games-083016.shtml

USA beats Serbia, wins Olympic gold

USA beats Serbia, wins Olympic gold

After a tough first first, the USA stepped up and dominated Serbia, winning 96-66 on Sunday in Brazil to win 2016 Olympic gold.

Kevin Durant led the way for the USA, shooting 10-of-19, including 5-of-11 three-pointers, for 30 points. DeMarcus Cousins also had a great game, coming off the bench to contribute 13 points and 15 rebounds in just 17 minutes of play.

Klay Thompson added 12 points, on 11 shots.

For a full recap, read our Team USA Basketball page.

USA women win 2016 Olympic gold

The 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team (8-0) rolled to a sixth straight Olympic gold medal and remained undefeated at the 2016 Olympic Games with an impressive 101-72 win over Spain (6-2) on Saturday afternoon at Carioca Arena 1 in Rio de Janeiro.

The U.S. women now have won eight gold medals in Olympic competition, own a 49-game Olympic win streak and an overall record of 66-3 since beginning play in 1976.

Serbia (4-4) beat France (4-4) 70-63 to win the bronze medal.

The game was close for the first 13 minutes before the USA began to pull away. Led by four players in double digit scoring, including Diana Taurasi with 17 points on 5-of-7 shooting from 3-point and Lindsay Whalen with 17 points and six assists, the USA got 55 points off its bench, outrebounded Spain 51-28 and scored 23 points off of 17 Spanish turnovers.

“Obviously it was an incredible tournament for us,” said USA head coach Geno Auriemma. “From the very first game that we played to today, with very few exceptions I thought we played basketball at a really high level. I can’t say enough about our players. How quickly they’ve come together, how much they’ve been able to accomplish in less than a month that we’ve been together.

“It wasn’t as easy as sometimes it looked, these last two games especially with France and today against Spain,” Auriemma continued. “These are very good teams that we’re playing, and you could see that it wasn’t just a cake walk, that it was a struggle. Then finally, because of our depth and because of the experience on our team, we were able to separate ourselves. But the way we played, we respected our opponents and we respected the game itself, we earned a lot of respect from a lot of people around the world, and I’m really proud of that.”

The first quarter saw six tied scores and four lead changes before the USA closed with seven straight points to take a 21-17 lead into the second quarter. The first 10 minutes saw eight different U.S. players score and 14 points from non-starters.

“Tonight was a good game,” Whalen said. “Spain is a tough team. They really pushed us. We worked hard this month to get to this point, really our whole lives to get here. We’re glad we played well tonight.”

The run stretched into the second quarter when Sue Bird made a 3 at 9:36 to bring the score to 24-17. Spain responded and cut into the margin with its own 3-pointer at 6:54 to bring the score to 27-24. The USA held Spain scoreless for the next 3:37, however, while it tallied 10 points, including back-to-back 3s from Taurasi, to lead 37-24. Spain ended its drought at 3:17, but the USA again closed strong, outscoring Spain 12-6 to go ahead 49-32 at halftime.

Maya Moore scored nine of her 14 points in the second, while the U.S. defense buckled down in the second period to hold Spain to 5-of-18 shooting (.278) from the field. Moore also finished with six assists.

The USA was a red-hot 77.8 percent from the field (14-18 FGs) while it raced to 32 points in the third quarter, and it held Spain to 33.3 percent from the field (6-18 FGs) and just 17 points in the period to all but seal the win. Nine U.S. players put points on the board in the third, including two more 3s from Taurasi and six points from Elena Delle Donne, who tallied 10 in the game.

“You play these eight games and you want to win so bad,” Taurasi said. “The one thing we didn’t do is we didn’t take any possessions off. We played every single game like it’s a gold medal game, and that’s why I think you see everyone is emotionally and physically spent right now. And that takes a certain character of team and individuals. I’ve never been a part of anything like this.”

Spain, which was playing in its fourth Olympic Games and its first medal game, outscored the USA 23-20 in the fourth quarter as the USA cruised to the 101-72 win.

Breanna Stewart, who finished with 11 points, pushed the USA into triple digits with the USA’s last field goal with 35 seconds remaining to make it 101-70.

“I’m just really happy,” said Sue Bird. “We just did something that’s pretty incredible. When you get together as a team and you know you only have a month to do something, it’s remarkable in so many ways that we were able to put this together and do it in a fashion that leaves no question marks. This put us on the map as arguable one of the best teams and we had fun doing it. Not only that, you can talk about the 100-point games or the margin of victory, but we played our butts off. We really did. I don’t think I’ve ever been around a group that’s this talented and also played this hard. Again, I’m just super happy. I’m proud of my teammates. I’m proud I’m part of this group. I’m happy for coach Auriemma and the rest of the staff, and it’s just a really fun day today.”

The Olympic semifinals were Friday, and Serbia dominated their matchup with Australia and will play the USA on Sunday in the Gold Medal Game. Here’s the Deseret News reporting:

Jazz forward Joe Ingles didn’t mince words when discussing Team Australia’s surprisingly lop-sided semifinal loss to Serbia Friday.

“For us it was pathetic,” said Ingles, who had seven rebounds, two steals and 12 points in Australia’s 87-61 loss to Serbia. “We haven’t played like that all tournament. (It was) totally not like our team.”

Australia beat Serbia in group play 95-80 on Aug. 8, but Serbia clearly had a different game plan and mindset in Friday’s semifinal win as they led start to finish in every way.

Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting on Team Spain, who aren’t getting much production from point guard Ricky Rubio:

Ricky Rubio does little in Spain loss to Brazil

Ricky Rubio walked off at halftime looking dejected, staring at the floor, the last of Spain’s players to get to the locker room. By the end of the game, he was standing on the sideline, waving a towel, urging on his teammates.

Rubio contributed another unproductive game to Spain’s waning Olympic hopes on Tuesday, producing three points before fouling out of Spain’s 66-65 loss to Brazil at the Rio Games. In 16 minutes, Rubio produced four rebounds, two turnovers, three points, zero steals or blocks and zero assists. He finished minus-6 for a team that lost in the last seconds to a less-heralded team.

Anderson Varejao will miss Olympics with back injury

Warriors center Anderson Varejao was examined earlier in the week week by Dr. Robert Watkins at the Marina Spine Center in Marina Del Rey, CA, and was diagnosed with a small lower back disc herniation. He is expected to be ready for the start of training camp, but will be forced to miss the 2016 Summer Olympics due to the injury. He is from Brazil, who is this year’s Olympic host country.

Varejao recently experienced back pain while participating with the Brazilian National Team and returned to California to be examined by Dr. Watkins, a renowned spine specialist.

Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution with an update on point guard Dennis Schroder, who will have a huge role on the Hawks next season since Jeff Teague was traded to the Pacers:

No international play for Dennis Schroder this summer

Dennis Schroder will not compete for Germany’s national team this summer, the German Basketball Federation announced Wednesday.

Germany was to begin qualification play for next year’s EuroBasket 2017 tournament in August. The team made the announcement of Schroder’s withdrawal on social media.

Schroder will assume the starting point guard position for the Hawks next season after the team traded Jeff Teague this summer.

Heat sign Okaro White

Heat sign Okaro White

The Miami Heat have signed Okaro White.

Until we hear otherwise, we will assume this is a non-guaranteed contract.

White, a 6’8”, 204-pound forward, is currently playing on Miami’s Summer League team in Las Vegas where he has appeared in five games averaging 8.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.00 steals. He has scored in double-figures three times, including a 12-point, 12-rebound double-double against Phoenix on July 12. Prior to that he competed in the Orlando Pro Summer League with the Magic, appearing in five games (two starts) and averaged 8.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.20 steals and 17.2 minutes while shooting 51.9 percent from the field. He led the team in rebounds (30) and finished second in blocks (4) and free throws made (12).

White spent last season with Aris B.C. of the Greek Basketball League appearing in 35 games (32 starts) and averaged 13.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.57 steals and 26.8 minutes while shooting 49.1 percent from the field. He was selected as the Greek Basketball Player of the Year and named to the All-Greek A1 League First Team, All-Defensive Team and All-Imports Team. He posted six double-doubles and led the team in rebounds (255), steals (55) and free throws made (114). He spent the 2014-15 season in Italy with Virtus Pallacanestro Bologna averaging 12.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.00 blocks in 33 games (32 starts).

White played all four seasons at Florida State University appearing in 139 career games (94 starts).

Mavericks sign Nicolas Brussino

The Dallas Mavericks have signed guard-forward Nicolas Brussino.

According to SportsDayDFW, it’s a three-year deal.

Brussino (6-7, 195) is an Argentinian swingman who spent the 2015-16 season with Penarol Mar del Plata, averaging 14.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.5 steals per game in 59 games. He shot 55.6 percent from the field, 39.4 percent from 3-point range and 72.1 percent from the foul line last season.

Brussino has represented the Argentinian National Team since 2012. He went undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Rudy Gobert to play in Olympics for France

Rudy Gobert isn’t waiting until training camp to team up with new Jazzman Boris Diaw.

After sitting out France’s Olympic qualifying games this past week in the Philippines, Gobert announced on Twitter that he intended to play for his country next month at the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Gobert averaged 9.1 points and 11 rebounds a game last season for the Utah Jazz. The 24-year-old is eligible to begin contract extensions with the club through Oct. 31.

– Salt Lake Tribune blog

Here’s the Oklahoman reporting on that a Thunder rookie will be battling in the Olympics instead of playing summer league ball:

A few of OKC’s young pieces are expected to compete: Cameron Payne, Josh Huestis and Mitch McGary. But perhaps the Thunder’s most anticipated young talent, rookie Domantas Sabonis, won’t be in Orlando for summer league, The Oklahoman has learned. But it’s for good reason.

Sabonis, the 11th overall pick acquired in the Serge Ibaka trade, will focus on competing for his home country of Lithuania in the summer Olympics.

Willy Hernangomez plans to join Knicks

The Knicks are going to add some international talent to their frontcourt this offseason. Here’s Yahoo Sports reporting:

Spanish center Willy Hernangomez plans to join the New York Knicks on a multiyear contract this summer, his agent, Andy Miller, told The Vertical.

“It is my intent to reach an agreement with the Knicks and have Willy come to New York for next season and beyond,” Miller told The Vertical.

The Knicks hold the rights to Hernangomez, who was the 35th overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft.

Dante Exum will not play for Team Australia this summer

Utah Jazz guard Danté Exum will not participate in Australian National Team activities this summer.

Exum will instead focus on his preparation for the 2016-17 Jazz season. His rehabilitation and recovery process has continued to progress accordingly according to the team, and he was recently cleared for full-contact basketball activities.

“At this stage the most important thing for me right now is to continue training,” said Exum. “It’s been great to be back on the court competing, and I’m really motivated to help the Jazz have a successful season this year. My support and best wishes will be with the Boomers this summer, and I look forward to future opportunities to represent my home country.”

The 20-year-old guard underwent successful surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee on Sept. 3, 2015, after having sustained a tear of the ACL on Aug. 4 while competing for the Australian National Team in a game against the Slovenian National Team in Ljubljana, Slovenia. As a result of the injury, he missed the entire 2015-16 NBA season.

The 6-6, 205-pound native of Melbourne, Australia, averaged 4.8 points, 2.4 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 22.2 minutes as a rookie during the 2014-15 season and was selected to compete in the 2015 Rising Stars Challenge during NBA All-Star Weekend. He also became just the 10th rookie in Jazz history to appear in all 82 games, starting 41 of those. Exum was originally selected by the Jazz in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft.

Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting on Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, who may wind up as the key big man on a global bball stage this summer:

DeMarcus Cousins is expected to make 2016 Olympic team

DeMarcus Cousins is presented with a golden opportunity. For several reasons that include injuries to other candidates, his steadfast commitment to USA Basketball and his prodigious abilities, the Kings’ All-Star center will be named to the U.S. Olympic basketball team later this month.

Anyone within shouting distance of a hoop and a net knew this was coming.

Cousins might not be USA Basketball’s favorite big man – that would be the injured Anthony Davis – but he is coming off his best season and essentially forced his way onto the roster. He participated in four consecutive training camps, never wavered in his desire to compete for his country, and when Davis got into foul trouble in the finale of the 2014 FIBA World Cup, Cousins controlled the interior with his blocks, his rebounds, his defense.

Russell Westbrook withdraws from 2016 Olympics

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook issued the following statement on his decision to withdraw from the 2016 Olympics: “After speaking with my family, I have decided to not participate in this year’s Olympics. This was not an easy decision, as representing my country at the World Championships in 2010 and the Olympics in 2012 were career highlights for me. I look forward to future opportunities as a member of USA Basketball.”

The final 12-man Team USA roster for the 2016 Olympics hasn’t actually been finalized yet, from but Westbrook was certainly a favorite to make the cut.

Here’s Euroleague.net with news that an important Israeli basketball team has found its new head coach:

In an announcement on Thursday morning, Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv named Erez Edelstein, the current Israeli national team head coach, as the newest boss of its own bench for the upcoming Turkish Airlines Euroleague season. Edelstein, 54, takes over for Zan Tabak, who joined the club during last season and was let go on Wednesday. One of the most-respected coaches in Israel, Edelstein will coach in the Euroleague for the first time with Maccabi, though he did serve as Pini Gershon’s assistant coach at Olympiacos Piraeus a decade ago. Edelstein has previously found success with Hapoel Jerusalem, which he led to the Eurocup semifinals in 2006. He also has coached Hapoel Tel Aviv, Hapoel Galil Elyon and Maccabi Ramat Gan. Last summer he guided Israel into the round of 16 at EuroBasket 2015 before falling to Italy.

Blake Griffin will not play for 2016 Team USA

Clippers forward Blake Griffin won’t participate in this summer’s USA Basketball Team training camps and exhibition tour. That’s the team that will play in the summer Olympics.

Griffin underwent a bone marrow procedure on his left quad tendon on April 27 and has already begun the rehabilitation process with the expectation that he will be ready for the start of the 2016-17 NBA season.

The five-time NBA All-Star originally injured the quad on December 25, 2015 against the Lakers.

In 35 regular season games this season, Griffin averaged 21.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 33.4 minutes. In four playoff games, he averaged 15.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists.

Joey Dorsey signs in Barcelona, Spain

Joey Dorsey signs in Barcelona, Spain

You remember Joey Dorsey. He’s built like a truck. It is best to avoid getting in his way.

Here’s Euroleague.net with the latest on his basketball travels, which have taken him away from the NBA:

FC Barcelona Lassa reached an agreement with former Euroleague champion center Joey Dorsey to reunite for the remainder of the current season, the club announced Friday. Dorsey (2.03 meters, 32 years old) takes over for Shane Lawal, who was sidelined with a torn meniscus last week. Dorsey arrives from Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul, were he averaged 7.9 points and 6.5 rebounds in 15 Eurocup games this season.

It remains to be seen if he’ll ever return to the league. It certainly seems possible.

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