Quarter Finals! Slovenia!
Spain is now two steps from the final... and Slovenia is the team to beat to advance to the semifinal.
They’ve been playing just so so, but we can’t think it will be an easy game. They’ve got really good players, both inside and outside, and some of their bigs (Smodis, Lorbek) can create tough situations to stop for our big men.
They run different plays, and quite often they end up playing with one guy inside and four guys outside. Their high-low game is quite good, and also their inside – out passes. As I said, Lorbek and Smodis are very good shooters from mid range and also from three point distance, so they are dangerous when playing these situations. The outside players move well without the ball after they give the pass inside, and I guess there’s no need to talk about Lakovic’s quick release...
Boza Maljkovic has allways liked these staggered screens’ plays. The shooters have many options to read the defense and get some shots, and also the bigs to roll if their defenders hedge. In this play they finish with a hand off situation between their “4” and one of the guards (Lakovic, Dragic & Dragic, Muric, Osboltz...) They play triangles and can find multiple solutions reading the defense.
Another play they run is this “wheel” with the pointguard cutting and setting screens (which can free a wing or a center), to finally get the ball back. Once he gets it he can shoot (Lakovic is dangerous) or look for options (ball screen, pass inside...) I like how well they react when the defender denies the pass to the pointguard. They find the open man and play hand off.
Goran Dragic has shown us his skills along the tournament. I like the way he plays without the ball, how he read the defense, how he can finish in traffic. And of course, this guy is quick...