Had to go get some interviews after the USA-Slovenia game so I’m catching this one a little late. I had a pretty decent talk with Boki Nachbar which I’ll post today after the games. We pick up the action with Iran trailing 22-13 after the first quarter.
-Hamed Haddadi’s Iran’s go-to, no question about it. Sometimes, though, he tries a little too hard. If he’s in the post that’s one thing, but waving all your teammates off every time you get a touch might be a little over the top. Oh, and he just traveled.
-Say what you want about Davor Kus, but the man’s jumper is wet.
-Haddadi’s is slightly drier than Davor’s. Bricks a short-armed three from the wing, but Rok Stipcevic bails everybody out with a loose ball foul on the rebound.
-Kresimir Loncar looks like an overgrown Sasha Vujacic.
-Time to check myself before I wreck myself. My only comments on Haddadi in this post have been negative, yet he has 15 of Iran’s 22 14 minutes into this thing.
-The overgrown Sasha Vujacic just nailed another 18-footer from the top. Then kinda sorta blocked a shot. Hoop-ing. Croatia up 37-22.
-Bomber Bogdanovic hits a three and Croatia is hot from distance. My buddy Marko Tomas is 3/7 from long range and Bomber’s hit 2/3 now also.
-Ante Tomic just hit ’em with the okey doke. Fake pass and then a running baby hook from 7 feet out. Bottoms. If you don’t get a body on him you cannot stop him. I repeat: you cannot stop him. Get in his chest and he’ll struggle at the start.
-Croatia up 44-24 at the half. Damnit. Really could’ve used a good game right about now. Puerto Rico and Greece are on my TV screen tantalizing me with a 51-52 third quarter number.
Croatia: Roko Ukic 9, Ante Tomic 8, Davor Kus 6, Bojan Bogdanovic 5
Iran: Haddadi 15, Mahdi Kamrany 5, Saan Veisi & Javad Davari 2. And nobody else has scored. As in literally nobody.
-Kus misses the three but that was some of the best ball movement I’ve seen in Istanbul. Inside-out twice over to leave him with a clean look. Keep producing them and good things will happen.
-Why do international players always have to clench their elbows together in front of them when arguing calls? It looks uncomfortable.
-I’m still not sold on Marko Banic as the MVP of the Eurocup, but he’s a Hell of a guy to have on your team. “Little things” wise, there ain’t much he doesn’t do. Strong, too. Just not overly skilled.
-Arsalan Kzemi makes it a 10-point game with a double-handed flush. Please please please narrow the gap. I need drama in my life worse than Sam and Ronnie.
-Every time the CSKA cheerleaders come out on the court the Iranian government officials in attendance turn away from the action. Brilliant.
-Hamed Haddadi has the fundamentals down. Holds it high, no extra motion. He really does things the right way. It’d be nice if he had some help though: 25 of his team’s 48. Croatia has 64.
-Fourth quarter already winding down. Davor Kus gives Croatia their 11th three of the game on 25 attempts (44%). That sort of performance will win you a lot of games. Kus, Bogdanovic and Tomas all hit three, Loncar and Ukic picking up the remaining two.
-Game over. Croatia takes it 75-54.
Croatia: Roko Ukic: 13 pts, 6 rebs, 4 assists, 3 steals; Bojan Bogdanovic: 13 points; Ante Tomic: 12 points, 7 rebounds; Marko Tomas: 9 points on 3/7 3-pt shooting, 6 rebounds; Marko Banic: 7 points, 6 rebounds
Iran: Hamed Haddadi: 27 points, 9 rebounds; Arsalan Kazemi: 10 points, 5 rebounds
NEXT UP: Brazil vs. Tunisia