Thoughts after the first games
The first 3 days of the Eurobasket have confirmed the impression that the technical level is high and that a group of great players is already standing out.
There have been no major surprises in the results, perhaps only the defeat of Croatia vs. Macedonia, despite the fact that many games between teams of supposedly different level have been more even than expected: Lithuania vs. Great Britain, Spain vs. Poland, Serbia vs. Israel, Russia vs. Georgia, the defeat of Croatia against Macedonia. This shows, as we all know, that the European average is growing.
I've seen a couple of good games (Lithuania vs. Turchia the best of them all, so far) and I'm following, obviously with interest, the good work that Fotsis, Bourousis, Cook and Mancinelli, all players that from the end of September will be in my team in Milan, are doing in their respective teams.
Spain is progressing well. We are getting used every day more to our new offensive system vs. a static defense, and understanding how to set ourselves on the court taking advantage of the space with the new team structure, with two big men and three external players. This sometimes takes away some fluidity, but it is compensated by being much more powerful inside the area.
Defensively we are making progress. We just need to be a little bit better in attracting the defense outside, away from the basket, through a higher accuracy in shooting.
Obviously what we like is to try to run every time we get a chance. In the third game we have corrected the gap in defensive rebounding shown in the first two games, essential aspect in order to start our fast break.
It is true that we are not having good shooting percentages, but our shots are almost all very well constructed, very well chosen, taken with a lot of advantage, and with a little more relaxation and form I am sure they will begin to enter.
Today is a day off games, dedicated to analysing the first three games, to studying the other groups, and to the training in which we have prepared tomorrow's game against Lithuania, which is the first one in which we will face a rival favourite for the final victory in the Eurobasket.
The atmosphere within the team is very good, all players are concentrated, even those who have not been particularly brilliant so far, and they are all keen to start playing against opponents with a big name as in this group will be Lithuania and Turkey.