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Great Britain NT 2011
#1
Quote:[size="4"]Britain Still ‘New Kids On The Block’[/size]



One never knows just how strong a national team will be each summer because of player availability issues.



There is one guarantee for Great Britain, though, as they look to make it back to a second-straight EuroBasket.



A different coach will be in charge.



Chris Finch will still hold the reins, but it will be a different Finch, one with new ideas and perhaps a bolder approach, a transformation that has happened following his departure from Dexia Mons-Hainaut in Belgium's top flight for the Houston Rockets' NBDL side, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.



After a lot of careful consideration and advice from colleagues like another NBDL boss, fellow American Nick Nurse - the Great Britain assistant coach - Finch felt it was time to stretch his comfort zone.



"I was always too conservative," Finch said in an interview with the BBC's World Service.



"I am more of a practice coach, a preparation coach.



"I like the routine European basketball had playing twice a week.



"But Nick was right.



"He said it (joining the Vipers) would help my game and it has.



"I feel much more comfortable in game situations than before.



"I was a little reluctant to do or try things but now I realize there's nothing to lose."



The Brits lost all three games they played at the EuroBasket last year but that wasn't surprising and for different reasons.



They played in Group C, the toughest of the tournament with opponents Slovenia, Spain and Serbia all advancing to the Semi-Finals and two of them - the Spanish and Serbians - making it to the title game.



Another setback for Britain was the absence of leading man Luol Deng due to injury and that, Finch has revealed, also led to fellow NBA star Ben Gordon from making his British bow.



"Ben is saying all the right things as he always does," Finch said in a tone of frustration.



"I really believe with Ben, he would have played last year had Lu played."



Gordon was born in London but grew up in the United States and does not have a strong connection to anyone other than his former Chicago Bulls teammate Deng in the British team.



"People need to understand that Ben has very little familiarity with the team in what we do," Finch said.



"We have a good relationship with him. It's a good one, it's open, and honest.



"He just said ‘I don't feel like going over there as such a major piece of the puzzle without having some familiarity.'



"You know, Lu provides that and it's all the more important that Lu commits, comes and helps with the integration of Ben."



Another factor that worked against Britain was their inexperience, and not just in the tournament but also the preparations.



This is something that Finch, Nurse and the rest of British Basketball have been looking at since the end of their EuroBasket campaign.



"We do a lot of debating about the things we've done in the past," Finch said.



"We really are critical of ourselves to make things better."



So what needs to happen for Britain to be competitive again and have a chance to reach the EuroBasket?



"The first thing we've got to do is set our schedule," Finch said.



"This summer is tougher than ever because the competition's moved up into the summer calendar.



"It's going to affect our guys' off-seasons. We need to make sure they are fresh and prepared."



This means the players will not be together as long as Finch would like before they start playing.



"We'll have two to three weeks of preparation period, closer to two, playing four or five games in there," he said.



"But we'll have the benefit of having worked with our guys for the last three or four years. We didn't have that before.



"And we also have an early bye. After we play our first game, we'll get some quality practice time and that allows us to keep building after the competition starts."



Finch said something that all of the players and fans need to understand is that this summer is like starting over.



"The biggest thing," Finch warned, "is we need to guard against entitlement because we were there last summer. We have to prove ourselves all over again. That's really the biggest mission statement we have for our guys.



"We can't be spoiled. We're still new kids on the block."

http://www.fibaeurope.com/coid_tgmeh41jH...de_on.html
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#2
Quote:[size="3"]Brits Get Commitment From Ben Gordon For Qualifiers[/size]



Great Britain were without their star player one year ago at the EuroBasket when Luol Deng failed to make the trip to Poland because of an injury.



This summer, the team will not only have Deng but also Detroit Pistons sharpshooter Ben Gordon when they play in qualifying games for EuroBasket 2011.



Gordon, a former teammate of Chicago Bulls forward Deng, will help the Brits when they go up against Hungary, Ukraine and FYR of Macedonia in Division A, Group B.



"I am delighted to have committed myself to GB for this summer and beyond," the London-born Gordon said in a statement by British Basketball.



"I have heard a lot from Luol about the team and where we are going, so I am excited about the prospect of pulling on the GB vest.



"I have been in discussion with British Basketball for a while now, but various things have stopped me being able to fully commit.



"However, I am now settled with the Pistons and the time is right."



Gordon, who spent his first five NBA seasons with Chicago, is a career 40.4% shooter from long range but in his first season in Detroit, he buried just 32.1% of his attempts from behind the arc.



The 27-year-old's 13.8 scoring average was also less than his career 17.9 points per game.



Brits Take Important Steps



Great Britain have enjoyed a dramatic change in fortune the past several years in basketball following the awarding of the Olympic Games to London.



Unlike ever before, there has been a sense of urgency to put a competitive basketball team on the floor with the hope of having a side that is strong for London 2012.



The Brits won their EuroBasket 2009 qualifying group that included the Czech Republic, Israel and Bosnia and Herzegovina, but then lost all three games last summer in Group C to eventual gold medalists Spain, silver-medal winners Serbia and semi-finalists Slovenia.



Without their talisman Deng, and in the face of such experienced opposition in international basketball, the Brits played hard but had to write off the summer as a tough learning experience.



Great Britain coach Chris Finch says the commitment by Gordon, a very explosive scorer, is a positive development for the country.



"The news of Ben's inclusion is great for the team as he will bring considerable experience to the group," Finch said.



"Over the last few years with the Bulls and more recently the Pistons, he has excelled in the NBA, so it's great to be able to include him in the roster.



"We have always been aware of this desire to play for the team, but unfortunately things didn't quite come together, however this year everything has worked out.



"We have a challenging summer program ahead, so myself and the rest of the coaching team will be looking to get Ben settled in the team as quickly as possible to enable him to bring his considerable talent to the team.



"For me the inclusion of Ben is just another great example of the progress British Basketball has been making in the last few years, and I truly believe we are pulling together a very talented roster of players."

http://www.fibaeurope.com/coid_ttZicFmCG...tpage.html
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#3
Good news, there is a passion for basketball amonst the English, I've played there for some years now university/national league level, and there is some good effort put behind many teams. I just think they shouldn't idolize NBA basketball and instead create their own identity as a team. Bringing up the European level in basketball can only be a good thing.



Hopefully Italy follows suit soon enough <img src='http://www.talkbasket.net/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tongue.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Tongue' />
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#4
Is there a reason that FIBA believes each sentence needs to be a new paragraph?



No.



FIBA is just being crazy.



I could not even make it through reading the entire articles.



"This is really annoying to read."



<img src='http://www.talkbasket.net/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/bag.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Bag' />
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#5
[quote name='skangles' date='10 June 2010 - 05:07 AM' timestamp='1276135677' post='21750']

Is there a reason that FIBA believes each sentence needs to be a new paragraph?



No.



FIBA is just being crazy.



I could not even make it through reading the entire articles.



"This is really annoying to read."



<img src='http://www.talkbasket.net/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/bag.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Bag' />

[/quote]

I guess the person who writes the articles wants to make them look larger by doing that. Maybe his wage depends on that? <img src='http://www.talkbasket.net/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Biggrin' />
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#6
It's easier to read article like that. That's just my opinion. <img src='http://www.talkbasket.net/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' />
Bench-Warmer.net - my new web blog! ||| lt.bench-warmer.net - lietuviška blog'o versija! ||| I'm on twitter
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#7
Hello,



If some great britain fans are planning to come to Lithuania, to Panevezys to watch group phase games and have problems finding hotel or other place to stay then you can contact me, maybe i could help you to find some place.
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#8
What is everyones opinion on the state of GB basketball? How well do you think GB will perform in this tourney?
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#9
[quote name='Raze Lupin' timestamp='1298650269' post='29154']

What is everyones opinion on the state of GB basketball? How well do you think GB will perform in this tourney?

[/quote]



They have good players but it will depend on players who will play for them and of course on their opponents. Lithuania, Spain and Turkey are surely above them but it's possible to win.
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#10
Everything will depend on the players that will be on the team. If Deng,Gordon and Mensah-Bonsu are on the team they have three great leaders. They also have a couple of young talented players in Daniel Clark, Eric Boateng and Matthew Bryan-Amaning. Reinking and Sullivan are two good veterans. Great Britain has a good team but I think that it will be very difficult to win against Spain,Turkey and Lithuania. But everything can happen. If they play hard and play good defense maybe they could make an upset.
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#11
[quote name='Kenneth23' timestamp='1299156431' post='29229']

Everything will depend on the players that will be on the team. If Deng,Gordon and Mensah-Bonsu are on the team they have three great leaders. They also have a couple of young talented players in Daniel Clark, Eric Boateng and Matthew Bryan-Amaning. Reinking and Sullivan are two good veterans. Great Britain has a good team but I think that it will be very difficult to win against Spain,Turkey and Lithuania. But everything can happen. If they play hard and play good defense maybe they could make an upset.

[/quote]



They really have players to choose, solid Euroleague's players like Arhibald also. But the chemistry and the lack of international game experience will be crucial. I doubt they will pass the group.
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#12
[quote name='straight forward' timestamp='1299412303' post='29344']

They really have players to choose, solid Euroleague's players like Arhibald also. But the chemistry and the lack of international game experience will be crucial. I doubt they will pass the group.

[/quote]

You could be right about this. It will be very hard to win but everything is possible in basketball.
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#13
They'll also have home court and the refs on their side. Never underestimate the power of the refs!
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#14
[quote name='skangles' timestamp='1300658683' post='29782']

They'll also have home court and the refs on their side. Never underestimate the power of the refs!

[/quote]



You mean next year probably <img src='http://www.talkbasket.net/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/rolleyes.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Rolleyes' /> I'm pretty comfortable with bias refs this summer though <img src='http://www.talkbasket.net/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/crazy.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Crazy' />
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#15
[quote name='Raze Lupin' timestamp='1298650269' post='29154']

What is everyones opinion on the state of GB basketball? How well do you think GB will perform in this tourney?

[/quote]



If they manage more wins this time and get themselves deeper into the tournament, this will be a big plus for the NT. If they, as a team, managed to be taken more seriously by other more traditional powerhouses, then this can only be another feather in GB's cap.
[Image: paok0bw.gif]
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#16
If they manage to beat one of the big three teams in their group that would give them some much needed confidence. Deng has obviously elevated his game. If Gordon shows up who knows what they can do. Like Zeus said GB could use a few feathers in their cap.
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#17
With the addition of more teams to the Eurobasket, I think GB will muster a qualification for the games every time. In relation to this, GB's international experience can only be built little by little, and by more English players managing to play in the Euroleague, together with the NBA talent, something good may come out of this chemistry, with building experience that will allow GB to become a better and more dignified contender. I don't see them really causing any upsets against Spain or Lithuania. They've only recently entered into the premiership of international basketball and have a looooong way to go.
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#18
[quote name='ZEUS' timestamp='1306878830' post='31340']

With the addition of more teams to the Eurobasket, I think GB will muster a qualification for the games every time. In relation to this, GB's international experience can only be built little by little, and by more English players managing to play in the Euroleague, together with the NBA talent, something good may come out of this chemistry, with building experience that will allow GB to become a better and more dignified contender. I don't see them really causing any upsets against Spain or Lithuania. They've only recently entered into the premiership of international basketball and have a looooong way to go.

[/quote]



I agree <img src='http://www.talkbasket.net/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cool.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Cool' />



For the start British clubs should play in European competitions. <img src='http://www.talkbasket.net/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thup.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':thup:' />
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#19
One key name, who was missing from the qualifiers last summer, is Joel Freeland. He was one of the premier big men in Euroleague this past season, and the rumours around him going to Barcelona speak for themselves (even if they don't turn out to be true). A starting five of Mensah Bonsu/Freeland/Deng/Gordon/Lenzly would give some teams some problems. I think British fans are realistic, but quietly confident.



Of course, there are weaknesses - the backcourt particularly, even with Gordon, if he plays (I hope he does, but I will believe it when I see it) - Mike Lenzly played for Nymburk in the Eurocup/Adriatic League (he also missed the qualifiers) Nate Reinking is a veteran who can still knock down some shots, but won't be able to contribute many minutes, then you're into Flinder Boyd and some guys who've had decent US college seasons, but realistically could be in over their heads. Compared with the guards for some of the other teams in the group, there's a difference in talent and experience.



Off the bench upfront though, everyone knows about Robert Archibald, and Dan Clark has had a decent season with Estudiantes... the starters will have to play heavy minutes, which is a weakness, but the quality is there.



Two things I would worry about are playing against zone (but Ben Gordon would help massively with that) and perimeter defense - I would expect Luol Deng to be given the opposition's best 2, 3 or 4 to guard, maybe even some time on 1s at the end of games (he ended up having to check McCalebb in the home qualifier against MKD because literally nobody else on the team could stay with him)



As I said, I think fans are realistic about GB chances, but quietly confident at the same time.
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#20
[quote name='Rob Scott' timestamp='1307574052' post='31492']

One key name, who was missing from the qualifiers last summer, is Joel Freeland. He was one of the premier big men in Euroleague this past season, and the rumours around him going to Barcelona speak for themselves (even if they don't turn out to be true). A starting five of Mensah Bonsu/Freeland/Deng/Gordon/Lenzly would give some teams some problems. I think British fans are realistic, but quietly confident.



Of course, there are weaknesses - the backcourt particularly, even with Gordon, if he plays (I hope he does, but I will believe it when I see it) - Mike Lenzly played for Nymburk in the Eurocup/Adriatic League (he also missed the qualifiers) Nate Reinking is a veteran who can still knock down some shots, but won't be able to contribute many minutes, then you're into Flinder Boyd and some guys who've had decent US college seasons, but realistically could be in over their heads. Compared with the guards for some of the other teams in the group, there's a difference in talent and experience.



Off the bench upfront though, everyone knows about Robert Archibald, and Dan Clark has had a decent season with Estudiantes... the starters will have to play heavy minutes, which is a weakness, but the quality is there.



Two things I would worry about are playing against zone (but Ben Gordon would help massively with that) and perimeter defense - I would expect Luol Deng to be given the opposition's best 2, 3 or 4 to guard, maybe even some time on 1s at the end of games (he ended up having to check McCalebb in the home qualifier against MKD because literally nobody else on the team could stay with him)



As I said, I think fans are realistic about GB chances, but quietly confident at the same time.

[/quote]



Good post and welcome. <img src='http://www.talkbasket.net/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' /> I may be wrong but I think about one year ago I've read somewhere in Great Britain's basketball covering website that Archibald retired from national team?
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