The view from Istanbul - day 2 | The Boneyard

The view from Istanbul - day 2

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EricLA

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First, we saw a LOT of UCONN folks there at the game. Kalana Greene and Barbara Turner. Glory and Dewanna were back as well as CD and Jen Rizotti. It was fun seeing them.

Went to the game with Ken and Joan. Expected it to be closer but I still thought we'd have a good 20 point win. Well, we won by 20, but it was NOT comfortable.

First, not sure how it looked on TV, but Serbia is VERY physical. More than necessary. USA players were pulled, shoved, and the refs did a really poor job catching all the moving screens. Geno got a T for calling them out on it and I think Dee got a T as well.

Dee does NOT like the Serbia team. After the game, she shook hands with some of the players, and on some of the others, did a high 5 hitting their hand VERY hard. Noticeably so. Lindsay Whalen did not like the Serbia team either. She got super fired up at one point in the 2nd half and was really exhorting her teammates to give even more effort.

In much of the first half, the energy seemed to be missing. Not sure what the deal was but there was no sense of urgency, on offense or defense. I think the team was rather shocked when Serbia took the lead and kept it for several minutes.

I actually thought everyone on USA played well, and almost everyone made noticeable mistakes. Bird was uncharacteristically sloppy with the ball at times and made several untimely turnovers. At times team USA could not hold on to the ball. I've never been so frustrated with Tina's inability to make a shot right under the rim - but she wasn't the only one. But overall team USA played well despite what Serbia brought to the table.

Serbia is a total TEAM. They play great help defense and really kept USA from getting in to any kind of regular rhythm. Geno, Diana and Angel all lost their cool, and Lindsay almost did as well. Angel was just out of synch for most of the time she was in the game - she seemed like she wanted to change and "turn the tide' into UCONN's favor all by herself. she went for a steal, missed it, and fell apart after that.

Even Sue Bird got pissed mouthing expletives when she came off the court at one point. Brit was very calm even tho she was mauled a lot as well. You could tell she was pissed too. Dee played really well, notwithstanding her T, and Maya was terrific, par usual. Tina started well but fell off. Dupree stood out tonight as well. Siemone made some big shots. Nneka struggled with their size but still had an impact.

I actually thought the mid range jumper and 3 point shot was UCONN 's best friend tonight, but Griner had terrific footwork and made some shots that no other person could make (in one of them she was under the basket but was able to reach over her defender and lay the ball in).

#14 from Serbia had like 22 points in the first half, but whatever Geno drew up worked - she had 2 the rest of the game.

Overall, a tough game, but you don't win or lose based on style points. I think a game like this really highlights the lack of time Team USA spends practicing and playing together. A group of less talented individuals, like Serbia, who played better team basketball, really gave USA a tough game. BUT a game is 40 minutes of playing time. For those who said the game was "closer than it seemed", I say not really. It was close until midway into the 3rd quarter when USA started to pull away, and in the 4th quarter, when they really dominated.

For those who think the starting lineup should be change, you couldn't be more wrong. Maybe it looks way different on TV, but Tina was terrific for long stretches of the game and putting her on the court with Griner is fantastic. Honestly, if Parker was 100%, I'd prefer her starting over Tina because she has a greater variety of skills...
 
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Really great that you're getting this opportunity. Enjoy it all. Are you watching most of the other games or sight-seeing?
 

Wbbfan1

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Have you watched any of Spain's games? IMHO they are the most dangerous team for Team USA.
 

CTyankee

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Wonderful trip... Saw bits and pieces of Turkey's two games over the last two nights while sightseeing along the Mediterranean coast... They are the only games being shown here on a regular basis. Maybe there are others being shown, but while traveling and changing hotels and locations unfortunately we can't see the others as the various locations have different channel setups.

Went to some lesser known antiquities over the last week... Pirene, Miletos and Didya. Beautiful old Greek cities all linked together by a "Holy Road". You can check them out below if you are interested... Back to Istanbul on Tuesday night. Shopping in Istanbul on Wednesday. Then onto the finals on 3-4-5.

https://picasaweb.google.com/aribtro/PrieneMiletus

https://picasaweb.google.com/aribtro/DidumTempleOfApolloAtDidya
 
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It's a place that fascinates me as it seems like it changed hands over the centuries and the crusades. What a cultural and historical crossroads!
 
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Great reporting. Thanks so much for the feel of the games. On TV the crowd seemed kind of sparse and less spirited than UConn games. This was a great game, good test for US team. Serbia was good and real physical. But we have MM and DT.
 

RadyLady

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ericsandiego said:
First, we saw a LOT of UCONN folks there at the game. Kalana Greene and Barbara Turner. Glory and Dewanna were back as well as CD and Jen Rizotti. It was fun seeing them.

Went to the game with Ken and Joan. Expected it to be closer but I still thought we'd have a good 20 point win. Well, we won by 20, but it was NOT comfortable.

First, not sure how it looked on TV, but Serbia is VERY physical. More than necessary. USA players were pulled, shoved, and the refs did a really poor job catching all the moving screens. Geno got a T for calling them out on it and I think Dee got a T as well.

Dee does NOT like the Serbia team. After the game, she shook hands with some of the players, and on some of the others, did a high 5 hitting their hand VERY hard. Noticeably so. Lindsay Whalen did not like the Serbia team either. She got super fired up at one point in the 2nd half and was really exhorting her teammates to give even more effort.

In much of the first half, the energy seemed to be missing. Not sure what the deal was but there was no sense of urgency, on offense or defense. I think the team was rather shocked when Serbia took the lead and kept it for several minutes.

I actually thought everyone on USA played well, and almost everyone made noticeable mistakes. Bird was uncharacteristically sloppy with the ball at times and made several untimely turnovers. At times team USA could not hold on to the ball. I've never been so frustrated with Tina's inability to make a shot right under the rim - but she wasn't the only one. But overall team USA played well despite what Serbia brought to the table.

Serbia is a total TEAM. They play great help defense and really kept USA from getting in to any kind of regular rhythm. Geno, Diana and Angel all lost their cool, and Lindsay almost did as well. Angel was just out of synch for most of the time she was in the game - she seemed like she wanted to change and "turn the tide' into UCONN's favor all by herself. she went for a steal, missed it, and fell apart after that.

Even Sue Bird got pissed mouthing expletives when she came off the court at one point. Brit was very calm even tho she was mauled a lot as well. You could tell she was pissed too. Dee played really well, notwithstanding her T, and Maya was terrific, par usual. Tina started well but fell off. Dupree stood out tonight as well. Siemone made some big shots. Nneka struggled with their size but still had an impact.

I actually thought the mid range jumper and 3 point shot was UCONN 's best friend tonight, but Griner had terrific footwork and made some shots that no other person could make (in one of them she was under the basket but was able to reach over her defender and lay the ball in).

#14 from Serbia had like 22 points in the first half, but whatever Geno drew up worked - she had 2 the rest of the game.

Overall, a tough game, but you don't win or lose based on style points. I think a game like this really highlights the lack of time Team USA spends practicing and playing together. A group of less talented individuals, like Serbia, who played better team basketball, really gave USA a tough game. BUT a game is 40 minutes of playing time. For those who said the game was "closer than it seemed", I say not really. It was close until midway into the 3rd quarter when USA started to pull away, and in the 4th quarter, when they really dominated.

For those who think the starting lineup should be change, you couldn't be more wrong. Maybe it looks way different on TV, but Tina was terrific for long stretches of the game and putting her on the court with Griner is fantastic. Honestly, if Parker was 100%, I'd prefer her starting over Tina because she has a greater variety of skills...

Great stuff Eric but you're going to have some people up in arms if you keep referring to them as UConn and not USA ;) :p :D
 

Blakeon18

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Fantastic job Eric...now just be sure to keep it up!
I have seen all of the 2 games on TV and think that Sue has not been sharp at all.

The physicalness you describe did not come thru to my eyes anyway...sloppiness seemed to be our 6th man.
 
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I think Serbia's players got a little "P"ed off when the blonde guard got hit on the head and knocked under the table at the end of the court on that layup at the start of the game. IMO that set the tone for the rest of the game.

It was a very physical game but Serbia played some great defense against the best female basketball players in the world. I thought it was a fantastic game until Serbia fell behind in the second half.

I think the two Serbia players who were hot in the first half just plain ran out of gas after playing most of the first half. All their shots were coming up short in the second half. The girl who plays for the Mystics looked really good. That bodes well for them next season.
 
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