Friday, August 1, 2008

Boomers Cough Up 19 Point Lead

Scola's play allowed his team to hang around and come back from 19 down to win.

Very similar to the game against Greece at the 2006 World Championships, the Australian Boomers gave up a 19 point third quarter lead, losing by four to Argentina.

The 95-91 final score doesn't show how much the Aussies got outplayed in the second half. Coach Brian Goorjian would not have been happy after the game, especially conceding 60 points in the second half.

The first quarter was played at a blistering pace and offense was not a problem for either team. When the quarter ended the Aussies had their nose in front, 25-21. Few shots were missed in this 10 minutes but there was no way this scorching pace could continue.

In the second quarter the Boomers continued their hot shooting while their defense stifled the South Americans and limited them to 11 points in the quarter. The half time score saw the Boomers head to the lockerroom with a 47-36 lead.

After half time it seemed like a formality the Boomers would coast to their second Diamond Ball Championship. Their offense continued to click and the Argentina team looked like they wanted to get to Beijing, quickly.

But then Luis Scola and Manu Ginobili decided they might as well win this game, since they were there.

Scola (32 pts, 28 in the 2nd half)) was unstoppable on his 13/18 shooting. Whether it was offensive rebounding or finding the gaps for lay ups around the basket, Scola dragged his team back into the contest.

Manu (24pts) was just as tough. He came up with many timely threes or knifed his way to the hoop with the shot clock winding down.

On the other hand, the Aussies turned over the ball too much and started looking around to see who was going to get it done.

If I was to pin point a section of play that cost the Aussies the game it was with about four to five minutes remaining in the game.

My boy Brad Newley missed a couple of free throws that would have really steadied the ship had he have made them. Going the other way the Argentine team scored and got fouled. They missed the free throw and Scola put the offensive rebound back in.

Although the Boomers held a slim lead (4-5 pts) this passage of play just saw the game's momentum change and favour Argentina now.

The game went down to the wire but the Boomers strategy down the stretch has to be questioned.

The clock became the Boomers enemy, but they seemed to be in no hurry to foul and send the opposition to the free throw line. It seemed like they were happy for the game to end.

I looked at this as a great opportunity for the team to work on a late game situation, especially with the Olympics starting next week.

As a fan we can say it was great to see how well the team competed against one of the better teams in the world, but how will this leave the team mentally?

The Boomers have one game left before the Olympics begin. This game is against Team USA and if they continue to play the way they did against Lithuania tonight, the Aussies will head to the Olympic Village with two loses from their last two starts.

Not ideal if you are trying to go into the Olympic tournament with some momentum.

Results From Diamond Ball

Angola (6th) vs Serbia (5th)

China (3rd) vs Iran (4th)

Argentina (1st) vs Australia (2nd)

Other Results

USA vs Lithuania

NBL News

Homicide back in town.

Aaron Bruce to eat pies (and play basketball) with Scott Ninnis.

Julius Hodge has given two teams a verbal agreement.

1991 NBL All Star Game - courtesy of NBLBBALL

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