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Lithuania NT 2012
#1
Since the thread of Olympics already gets pretty hot, let's discuss Lithuania's future as well.

My position is very simple- we have to go with new generation. We have to say thank you for Šaras, Kaukėnas, Songaila, Brothers, Petravičius and probably Delininkaitis unless he'll have a very good season or great shape at the right moment. All players, except Kaukėnas and healthy Kšistof are far from their best. Another thing, even if Kaukėnas is till good, obviously veterans destroyed the thing that 2010 team had. Call it unity, solidarity, fighting spirit - but this summer the team looked old and lacking the sparkle. I already mentioned Šaras issue - the guy can't control him self and to be just a role player. He can't be a leader any more and he can';t be a role player. If Kemzura is staying as a head coach (and he obviously is), he should not invite Å aras to the team as we saw what happened.

The picture of new generation is pretty clear in my account except back up PG off course:

PG: Kalnietis, X*
SG: Pocius, Gecevičius, Seibutis
SF: Mačiulis, Jasaitis
PF: Kleiza, Jankūnas, Motiejūnas
C: Valančiūnas, Javtokas

X* : Hopefully it's some young face like Vasiliauskas, Čižauskas, Janavičius or any other.

The bad thing, I'm not sure Kemzura has any guts to say good buy to old generation and to continue with the thing which started in 2010.
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#2
Quote:Since the thread of Olympics already gets pretty hot, let's discuss Lithuania's future as well.

My position is very simple- we have to go with new generation. We have to say thank you for Šaras, Kaukė—nas, Songaila, Brothers, Petravičius and probably Delininkaitis unless he'll have a very good season or great shape at the right moment. All players, except Kaukė—nas and healthy Kšistof are far from their best. Another thing, even if Kaukė—nas is till good, obviously veterans destroyed the thing that 2010 team had. Call it unity, solidarity, fighting spirit - but this summer the team looked old and lacking the sparkle. I already mentioned Įaras issue - the guy can't control him self and to be just a role player. He can't be a leader any more and he can';t be a role player. If Kemzura is staying as a head coach (and he obviously is), he should not invite Šaras to the team as we saw what happened.

The picture of new generation is pretty clear in my account except back up PG off course:

PG: Kalnietis, X*
SG: Pocius, Gecevičius, Seibutis
SF: Mačiulis, Jasaitis
PF: Kleiza, Jankūnas, Motiejūnas
C: Valančiūnas, Javtokas

X* : Hopefully it's some young face like Vasiliauskas, Ȍižauskas, Janavičius or any other.

The bad thing, I'm not sure Kemzura has any guts to say good buy to old generation and to continue with the thing which started in 2010.

Yes, looks good. I thik that Motiejunas should be in a battle with K. Lavrinovic and Petravicius (assuming he gets back to health). I'll take the best performing player out of those three. Motiejunas is young but if he is not performing better than K. Lavrinovic or Petravicius why should he get the nod? I can't blame this summer's failure on either Lavrinovic or Petravicius but considering Kemzura barely used Lavrinovic it probably won't matter if Motiejunas takes his roster spot.

Saras is another story. He played really well for his age and Lithuania has very limited options. The play that knocked Lithuania out of the tournament was Songaila's horrible pass to Saras which FYROM intercepted. Lithuania had the game won and Songaila decided to throw a cross court pass to Saras rather than just hold onto the ball. It was poor decision making and the pass was bad. I don't fault Saras on that play, do you?

Kalnietis bailed Lithuania out at the end against Slovenia and hopefully this will help solidify his position as a clutch PG for late game situations.

Lithuania as a whole was extremely sloppy with the ball throughout Eurobasket and the turnovers were unacceptable. Saras led the team (3.0 per game) but I don't think that we can give guys like Valanciunas (2.6), Pocius (1.7) and Kalnietis (2.1) a free pass either.

I don't mind if Kemzura brings Saras because even Saras at 3 turnovers a game is still likely a better net positive to relieve Kalnietis than any other option that Lithuania has available. Kemzura does need to get better control over the team and when players take unnecessary risk that gives the ball away in a close game then they need to sit down immediately (this also needs to hold for Kalnietis, Pocius and Valanciunas).
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#3
Quote:Yes, looks good. I thik that Motiejunas should be in a battle with K. Lavrinovic and Petravicius (assuming he gets back to health). I'll take the best performing player out of those three. Motiejunas is young but if he is not performing better than K. Lavrinovic or Petravicius why should he get the nod? I can't blame this summer's failure on either Lavrinovic or Petravicius but considering Kemzura barely used Lavrinovic it probably won't matter if Motiejunas takes his roster spot.

Saras is another story. He played really well for his age and Lithuania has very limited options. The play that knocked Lithuania out of the tournament was Songaila's horrible pass to Saras which FYROM intercepted. Lithuania had the game won and Songaila decided to throw a cross court pass to Saras rather than just hold onto the ball. It was poor decision making and the pass was bad. I don't fault Saras on that play, do you?

Kalnietis bailed Lithuania out at the end against Slovenia and hopefully this will help solidify his position as a clutch PG for late game situations.

Lithuania as a whole was extremely sloppy with the ball throughout Eurobasket and the turnovers were unacceptable. Saras led the team (3.0 per game) but I don't think that we can give guys like Valanciunas (2.6), Pocius (1.7) and Kalnietis (2.1) a free pass either.

I don't mind if Kemzura brings Saras because even Saras at 3 turnovers a game is still likely a better net positive to relieve Kalnietis than any other option that Lithuania has available. Kemzura does need to get better control over the team and when players take unnecessary risk that gives the ball away in a close game then they need to sit down immediately (this also needs to hold for Kalnietis, Pocius and Valanciunas).

I don't want Petravičius anymore. With all respect, the team looks stuck even when he delivers. No a good passer, can't drive, can't shoot from distance, poor rebounder (because undersized). Can play only center and there is no room if Javtokas and Jonas is here.

Lavrinovič is great when he's in shape, but only Siena's fans can tell us about unfortunately. He's too injury prone and somehow is in a bad shape since 2008 when playing for NT. We'll see how things be going on the season though. Motiejunas will come at least a little bit improved most likely, while Lavrinovič is not getting any younger.

Šaras ruined Kemzura's authority, took leader ship on his shoulders and totally fucked things up for Lithuania in crucial game (lost the ball in no situation, started to coach, ect.). Let's face it Smile Off course, Kemzura has to take response for that, but since he's staying, I don't want to see this mess again. Šaras needs to retire. Šaras can't be just a role player for Lithuania. Even if he would not even play and would "sit" at the bench Smile

However, that doesn't deny the fact that he's the best thing which happened to Lithuania since Sabas and Marčiulionis.
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#4
Good post. Question, are you really comfortable with any of the young point guards you named? Second question, can you see them beating out Delininkaitis in Kemzura's mind?

Delininkaitis is one of my favorite players, I even have a Delininkaitis autographed Lietuvos Rytas jersey Rofl.

Nevertheless, he has no business being on the national team. I've always thought that he played better off the ball and isn't a true a PG. He can cover sufficiently but he is not good enough to face elite competition.

While he has peaked an his maximum ability is nothing to get excited about, you know what you're getting with him. He is a somewhat safe selection which leads me to believe that if Kemzura takes your roster, he would be Kemzura's pick for backup PG.

On that note, Kalnietis was a young unproven talent when he first joined the national team and he played fantastic straight away so Kemzura doesn't have to look far for an example of a high risk high reward player.
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#5
Unfortunately none of young point guards could be ready this summer, specially having in mind Kemzura's mind. Even if Šaras will retire, Delininkaitis will probably be here. In 2010 Delininkaitis was able to deliver as a back up PG (In Lith NT standardsSmile) very well, if he could do the same in 2012 it wouldn't be the worst case.

But the fact is that if you want to have PG in NT, you have to go with some young talents. Current "philosophy" that youngsters will play when they'll be ready doesn't work, IMO. As Kazlauskas said once, it took time and a lot of patience till the moment Å aras and Co. started to dominate in Europe. Who knows where Kalnietis would be if not Sireika's balls in 2006.

I would gladly see some more liberal coaches in NT, ready to take some risk.
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#6
Kaukė—nas injured. It might be the end of his season.
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#7
Kaukė—nas is out for about a half of the year. Kšistof is out for a long time as well I think (2-3 months).

http://www.talkbasket.net/6123-lithuania...tback.html
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#8
The injuries to Rimantas Kaukenas (34) and Ksistof Lavrinovic (30) in unfortunate. Still their is a positive outlook. I observed from post in basketball forums that some Lithuanians would like coach Kę™stutis Kemzūra to select a younger team. These opportunities may force Kemzūra hand to choose from 90' to 92' generation. Donatas Montiejunas and Jonas Valanciunas will come to the forefront of the national team. Lavrinovič has a twin brother if there is desperation for another tall body. I am admittedly ignorant of Lietuva prospects but I think you guys can find another 6'5 shooting guard to replace Rimantas Kaukenas (34). Hmmm Sonny Weems is 6'5 maybe US can loan you him for one year replacement (only joking) Agree Who are the next best shooting guards besides Martynas Pocius?

Any current news on how Linas Kleiza injury healing? Is he projected to play this season for professional/national team?
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#9
Quote:The injuries to Rimantas Kaukenas (34) and Ksistof Lavrinovic (30) in unfortunate. Still their is a positive outlook. I observed from post in basketball forums that some Lithuanians would like coach Kę™stutis Kemzūra to select a younger team. These opportunities may force Kemzūra hand to choose from 90' to 92' generation. Donatas Montiejunas and Jonas Valanciunas will come to the forefront of the national team. Lavrinovič has a twin brother if there is desperation for another tall body. I am admittedly ignorant of Lietuva prospects but I think you guys can find another 6'5 shooting guard to replace Rimantas Kaukenas (34). Hmmm Sonny Weems is 6'5 maybe US can loan you him for one year replacement (only joking) Agree Who are the next best shooting guards besides Martynas Pocius?

Any current news on how Linas Kleiza injury healing? Is he projected to play this season for professional/national team?

We have shooters - Pocius (Real), Gecevičius (Olympiacos), Seibutis (Rytas), Delininkaitis (Žalgiris). This position is solid enough, specially if Pocius will play as he did in WC 2010 and Gecevičius will come up with his potential. Kleiza is already healthy and preparing for the season. From all interviews I predict that he'll be ready after about one month.

My biggest wish is to see healthy Kleiza, Motiejūnas and Valančiūnas this summer. As some posters in Lithuanian boards wrote - it's Lithuanian BIG Three Laugh We have to go with young, fast and athletic team. I'm pretty sure.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M_To7nQySE
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#10
Quote:We have shooters - Pocius (Real), Gecevičius (Olympiacos), Seibutis (Rytas), Delininkaitis (Žalgiris). This position is solid enough, specially if Pocius will play as he did in WC 2010 and Gecevičius will come up with his potential.

Yeah Martynas Pocius is great. I'm a fan of his. The others I'm not as familiar but I'm looking at videos of them now. Thanks for the info.

I feel the same about Kleiza. Here's to good health Thup
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#11
Quote:Yeah Martynas Pocius is great. I'm a fan of his. The others I'm not as familiar but I'm looking at videos of them now. Thanks for the info.

I feel the same about Kleiza. Here's to good health Thup

Gecevicius should have been on the Eurobasket team. He's not too athletic but he has an absolutely deadly shot and is still quite young.
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#12
Surprisingly Lithuanian NT has another candidate for Olympics - Deivydas Dulkys (NCAA). Good shooter, athletic defender. Highly inconsistent in terms of scoring. Could be somewhat of a new Pocius.

Little overview on possible roster:

PG: Kalnietis, Šaras*
SG: Pocius*, Gecevičius, Seibutis
SF: Jasaitis, Mačiulis
PF: Kleiza, Motiejūnas, Jankūnas
C: Valančiūnas, Javtokas

*Šaras convinced me he's still an elite player in terms of pick and rolls and ability to organise half court offense. The important thing to replace him when it's a need.

*Pocius is the starting SG if Kaukė—nas won't recover, if he does - Seibutis and Gecevičius should compete for the spot.

Potential starting line - ups:

PG Kalnietis
SG Pocius
SF Kleiza
PF Motiejunas
C Valanciunas

PG Kalnietis
SG Pocius
SF Maciulis
PF Kleiza
C Javtokas (Jasikevičius and Valančiunas coming together from the bench).

First line-up could be the most athletic one in Lithuanian BB history. I think this team has potential to live with Olympic tradition Smile

Players that should not be invited:

Songaila, Brothers Lavrinovics, Petravicius, Delininkaitis (unless Šaras is out).
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#13
I like the idea of Saras making the roster but it seems quite risky to take Saras as your second PG without having a third option. Yes, Gecevicius can play some PG but I would think that one of the SGs would be cut to make way for a third PG.
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#14
Quote:I like the idea of Saras making the roster but it seems quite risky to take Saras as your second PG without having a third option. Yes, Gecevicius can play some PG but I would think that one of the SGs would be cut to make way for a third PG.

Martynas as a PG?! Huh
[Image: panathinaikos-basket-opadoi.jpg]
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#15
Quote:Martynas as a PG?! Huh

Yeah, he was used sparingly as a PG in Lietuvos Rytas. He can definitely handle the ball in a jam but your reaction is exactly why I think that Lithuania should bring a third true PG if they plan on having a 36 year old as their second option. It puts too much pressure on Kalnietis.
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#16
As you see there was report on Motiejunas today saying that he might miss NT because of contract issues. Obviously it was denied as he still has contract with Treviso and there won't be any problems with insurance. On other hand, Polish league finals might end only in the midle of June and having in mind Motiejunas' fresh NT "experience" he might very well decide to take a part of NBA summer camp...And you can barely blame him.

On the positive note - Kemzura makes more or less open statements that there is a place for Motiejunas in NT this year so I think he should be there.
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#17
Quote:As you see there was report on Motiejunas today saying that he might miss NT because of contract issues. Obviously it was denied as he still has contract with Treviso and there won't be any problems with insurance. On other hand, Polish league finals might end only in the midle of June and having in mind Motiejunas' fresh NT "experience" he might very well decide to take a part of NBA summer camp...And you can barely blame him.

On the positive note - Kemzura makes more or less open statements that there is a place for Motiejunas in NT this year so I think he should be there.

Hopefully Motiejunas will be with the national team. In my opinion the NBA summer camp is a bit overrated for European players. Sure it's an opportunity to start working out with the coaching staff but in terms of the pace of the play it is hardly representative of what they'll face when the NBA season kicks off. I think that the Pre-Olympic qualifying tournament and potentially the Olympics is a far better avenue to mature as a player over a month long period.
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#18
Quote:Hopefully Motiejunas will be with the national team. In my opinion the NBA summer camp is a bit overrated for European players. Sure it's an opportunity to start working out with the coaching staff but in terms of the pace of the play it is hardly representative of what they'll face when the NBA season kicks off. I think that the Pre-Olympic qualifying tournament and potentially the Olympics is a far better avenue to mature as a player over a month long period.

No doubt, skangles. I've seen less talanted players than DM pretty much dominating NBA summer camp. Off course we can think he would work with good coaching staff and that's important, but it's a freaking Olympics - that means going against best players in the WORLD. And even just NT camping is very useful - playing among Kleiza, Valančiūnas, Javtokas, Jankūnas and playing with Šaras. You can't compare that with NBA summer camp...

Since he has contract with Benneton I think there won't be problems with insurance. On other hand, Motiejunas might sign with Rockets in July 1 and qualification starts at July 2. I wonder if they can solve insurance issue in one day than...

Hopefully Kemzura will be flexible enough to let him understand he is needed this year. Otherwise he might go right away to NBA and to work with better coaches...
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#19
Quote:LTU - Jasikevicius in, Motiejunas doubtful for Lithuania

VILNIUS (FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament) - Sarunas Jasikevicius decided to suit up for Lithuania for another summer, with hopes of qualifying to London 2012, which would make it the fourth Olympic Games in a row for the 36-year-old guard.

The player was included in the 19-man shortlist, which was announced by the national team's coach Kestutis Kemzura on Tuesday morning in Vilnius.

'€œSarunas is ready to come and help the team. I didn'€™t need to persuade him. I just told him that he would be useful and Sarunas understands that it is his last chance to get into the Olympics. His only doubt was whether his body could take the strain,' Kemzura said in the press conference.

The shortlist does not include Ksistof Lavrinovic from Montepaschi Siena and Martynas Gecevicius, who just recently won the Euroleague title with Olympiacos Piraeus.

'€œMany good players didn'€™t make the list. It€'s not only Gecevicius or the Lavrinovic twins that are missing. It was my choice and that is the vision I have of the team,'€ the coach explained.

According to Kemzura, a number of players will join the camp after the domestic championships finish in the countries they are playing. Rimantas Kaukenas, Jonas Maciulis, Sarunas Jasikevicius and Martynas Pocius are in the list, which could potentially arrive later.

The doctors also advised to give some extra rest time to Robertas Javtokas, who played a big role in Zalgiris dominating Lietuvos Rytas in the LKL Finals.

'€œI was thinking of inviting 15 players to the first training camp, but because the seasons are so long in Italy, Spain and Greece, there will only be 13 players,'€ Kemzura said.

Despite some good news about Jasikevicius, some sorrow was gulped as well, as Donatas Motiejunas, who looked set to make a debut in the national team after two years of not making the roster, will most likely miss this summer, with chance to see him in the national squad at a minimal.

The 21-year old big man has a contract with Benetton Treviso, but has plans to move to the NBA. However, he would only be able to sign a deal with the Houston Rockets from 1 July.

'€œI spoke a lot with Donatas, he really wants to play, but hasn'€™t signed a contract yet. He would be risking his NBA contract in case of an injury. He told me that he could only come on 2 July, but that would literally be the day before the Olympic Qualifying Tournament starts,' Kemzura told reporters.

'€œI told him to be ready just in case, but there's no hiding it ' if we were to make it to the Olympics, it wouldn'€™t be fair to cut any of the players and include Motiejunas instead.'

Mindaugas Balciunas, the general secretary of the Lithuanian Baskebtall Federation (LKF), explained that the situation is quite difficult and that there was not much likelihood to see Motiejunas in the national team.

'€œThere'€™s nothing simpler than insuring an NBA contract, however nobody wants to take the risk of insuring a potential contract. Meanwhile, Jonas Valanciunas already has a contract with the Toronto Raptors and will be ready to help the team,' Balciunas explained.


Lithuanian preliminary squad for FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament: Tomas Delininkaitis, Deividas Dulkys, Paulius Jankunas, Simas Jasaitis, Sarunas Jasikevicius, Robertas Javtokas, Adas Juskevicius, Mantas Kalnietis, Rimantas Kaukenas, Antanas Kavaliauskas, Linas Kleiza, Tadas Klimavicius, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Jonas Maciulis, Donatas Motiejunas, Martynas Pocius, Renaldas Seibutis, Darius Songaila, Jonas Valanciunas.

http://www.fiba.com/pages/eng/fc/news/la...wsid=51674

Seriously why not send somebody else to Venezuela and Motiejunas to London if they qualify? Who cares about being fair? Send one of these kids to Venezuela who will otherwise be cut, it'd be good for them. Or list Motiejunas to the 12 man squad and travel with 11 players. If Lithuania needs to go 12 deep in Venezuela then it won't be looking too good for them.

I'm shocked that Gecevicius didn't make the 19 man roster. Not sure what Kemzura has against him.
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#20
Quote:I'm shocked that Gecevicius didn't make the 19 man roster. Not sure what Kemzura has against him.

Kemzura can't use him properly at offense and he's not a best defender around. That's why he better takes Dulkys, the guy who hasn't play a shit proffesionally. I hope he'll do good however, but it's a strange decision to say the least.

Also, agree on Motiejūnas part.
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