Slovenia recovered from its loss to Lithuania with a win over Dominican Republic, placing themselves as one of the top 8 teams in the world. Australia losing also helped. And the Phoenix Suns reportedly want more Dragons.

So much to tell:

Firstly, team Slovenia beat the Dominican Republic on Saturday. After that traumatic loss to Lithuania on Thursday Goran Dragic and his teammates managed to pick themselves up somewhere in the 2nd quarter getting the win and advancing to the quarterfinals. Full game stats can be found here. They face team USA next (Tuesday Sep. 9th, 12AM PHX time). Though there is little hope or rational expectation of a win in Tuesday's game, when asked what he expects of the game the Dragon himself said: "Victory!". OK, so this was said with a smile and a laugh, but he goes on: "I think (so :P) this will be a hard game, the Americans have a very athletic team. You get past one, and Anthony Davis is waiting there and blocks everything. When we penetrate, we'll have to find the open player and count on a good shooting night. Maybe Coach Zdovc will try zone. You never know what can happen. Maybe the Americans won't be having a good day, we will and something might come from it". Even Coach Zdovc said "they (USA) are not unbeatable".

Secondly, the Basketball Gods punished Australia on Sunday for allegedly tanking the game against Angola. I admit I kept one eye on the game, wholeheartedly cheered for the Turks in the 4th and had a good long laugh over the Aussie loss. That's not all the punishment they're getting; FIBA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Australia. Whether this was inspired by Goran Dragi?'s public dissatisfaction over the matter we'll probably never know. Either way steps should be taken to avoid these situations in the future. Oh, and by the way the Dragon has a sense of humor (if someone could explain the 3+5=7 part that'd be great) and is a bit clairvoyant (0:24).

Another interview can be found here.

Thirdly, there have been rumors going around that 3 NBA teams have interest in Zoran Dragi?, Goran's brother. This doesn't really come as a big surprise since he's been the epitome of effort and energy for Slovenia on offense and on defense. He is averaging (through 6 WC games) 13.2 points (53.6% shooting), 1.5 assists, 3.8 rebounds, 1.7 steals in 26 minutes and he makes a block every other game. What is a bit surprising is one of the teams (per ESPN' Marc Steinreportedly interested in Zoki are the Phoenix Suns. The Suns are currently pretty loaded at the guard position so I don't see how he would fit on the roster, especially since he has previously stated he'd "want to have an important role" if he left his Unicaja Malaga for the NBA. Of course if this whole Eric Bledsoe saga doesn't give us a favourable outcome, we'll have more to talk about. In the mean time, lets see how Suns fans feel about acquiring Zoran Dragi?.

Final thing, we all know Goran Dragic should have been an NBA All-Star last season. FIBA has their own All-Star FIVE voting, which anyone can participate in. Lets try to fix the injustice and get the Dragon on this All-Star team shall we? While we're at it we can also make him the MVP ;)

Poll
Do you want the Phoenix Suns to sign Zoran Dragi??

  267 votes | Results

Forget Philadelphia...Phoenix is the new City of Brotherly Love.

According to reports, the Phoenix Suns, who are already the most family friendly franchise in the NBA, may be looking to add yet another sibling to it's roster.

Marc Stein of ESPN was the first to report that the Suns are one of three teams interested in signing Goran Dragic's younger brother, Zoran Dragic, after the conclusion of the World Cup games this summer.

Zoran. the 25 year old brother of Phoenix-Phenom Goran Dragic, has been one of the best players this summer on the Slovenian national team.  In fact, Goran called his brother the "best player on the court" after scoring 16 points in Slovenia's loss the the U.S.A. basketball team in August.

But Zoran's play isn't coming out of nowhere.  Zoran has been on the NBA's radar for a while now.

In fact, you may or may not remember that Zoran played on the Houston Rockets' Summer League team in 2012, the same summer that Dragic eventually left to sign back with the Phoenix Suns.

In his stint with Houston, Zoran averaged only around 6 points, 1 assist, and 1 rebound in about 21 minutes of play.  However, since that time, Zoran has continued to develop overseas, and has made a name for himself for his international play.

Zoran Dragic had a PER of 18.3 last season. That would've been good for fifth out of all NBA Shooting Guards (Harden, Wade, Manu, DeRozan)

— Scott Chasen (@SChasenKU) September 8, 2014

Of course you can't really compare the PER of an international player to the much stiffer competition in the NBA, but it does indicate that he is playing well, regardless.

Zoran is a 25 year old, 6'5" 205lb shooting guard who is known for his ability to score by slashing to the basket, and his intense play and energy on both ends of the court (sound familiar?).

This past year, Zoran averaged around 10 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal in around 20 minutes of play, while shooting around 43% from the field overall.

While those numbers aren't stellar, they could be useful to the Suns who may just be willing to take a gamble on another Slovenian with a great pedigree.  Plus, having Zoran on the team certainly wouldn't hurt Phoenix's chances of re-signing Goran next summer if he opts out (which he will).

The one catch is that Zoran is currently under contract with Unicaja Malaga in Spain.  However, according to Marc Stein, a buyout may be possible if Zoran leaves before the start of the new season, and pays fees that would exceed one million dollars.

According to Larry Coon's NBA CBA Faqs, the Suns or any other NBA team could contribute as much as $600,000 of cap-free money to buyout Zoran, the rest would have to come out of his salary.

Will any of this materialize?  Who knows.  But if any team is interested in bringing Zoran over to the NBA, the Suns seem to make sense.  It would be a low-risk proposition that could not only pay off down the road from a developmental sense, but also in helping to keep one of the Suns' biggest stars happy in the short term, and more importantly, when it's time to sign his next contract.

Welcome back to the Madhouse!  Good times this week as the NFL kicked off its season (and Antonio Brown took that figure of speech a little too literally).  The Arizona Cardinals make their debut tonight on Monday Night Football against the San Diego Chargers.  Check out Revenge of the Birds for all your Cards' coverage.

In other news, Guardians of the Galaxy continued to dominate the worst box office weekend in 13 years, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie finally tied the knot, ISIS continues to be the international villain of the year.

What's got you hyped this week?  Let us know in the Madhouse!

It their first WNBA Finals Game Brittney Griner made history while Elena Delle Donne had to thrown in the towel...

WNBA Finals -- With 13,263 fans on hand at U.S. Airways Center history was witnessed as the Phoenix Mercury are now just two wins away from a third WNBA Championship.

Coming into this series it was almost as if the Team of Destiny was battling the team of destiny with parallel storylines colliding with only one able to reach their destiny. A lot of times the championship is contested between one team that has a feel of destiny behind them and another team is there to serve as a trivia answer down the line.

The Phoenix Mercury were pit as a Team of Destiny last year, but injuries and other variables cut that narrative off at the knees before this years historic run.

They broke all the records, won a ton of games, and became the team to beat from the standpoint of being a dominant force to be reckoned with. On the other side of tracks the Sky are the team of destiny as that team that will not die and should not be where they are. Typically teams that are 15-19 in the regular season and went through the embattled season that they have are getting ready for the draft not Game Two of the WNBA Finals.

"There was a lot of focus on Delle Donne" Candice Dupree on the series preparation for the team. "One teammate said that we cannot 'overfocus' on her because they are still going to have four other people on the court. We did prepare a lot for the plays that they do run for her and when she was in the game, we played her well, she had like two points. That was the biggest thing."

With the Sky at half strength in both regular season contests where the Mercury won both and looked great this is a series of far too many unknowns to take those games too serious.

This is a series that unlike any other before has two teams of some form of destiny and where everything we have seen from these teams this season is a complete wash away. Not relevant in the slightest.

Game one the Mercury's destiny was stronger.

From the opening tip to the closing buzzer the Mercury controlled and dominated the game. With a 9-0 to start the game where Brittney Griner became the WNBA's single game playoff leader in blocks for a quarter (6) limiting the Sky to only 8 points total. The first quarter has been where the dominance has shown through the strongest for the Mercury the most in the playoffs holding teams to 15.6 points per game (34.6% FG) in the first period.

Ironically earlier in the season one of the primary concerns for the Mercury was poor starts and having to play catch-up against inferior teams.

IT'S THERE LENGTH. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SWARMING AND LENGTH. THEY GIVE YOU A STEP AND THEY MAKE UP WITH THEIR LENGTH-Sky Coach Pokey Chapman On The Mercury Team Defense


That is now a thing of the past as the Mercury are leaving the first quarter with an average of a +3.7 advantage on the scoreboard setting the tone for the game. Defense was the catalyst for them in game one with six blocks (five from Griner), one steal, two 24 second shot-clock violations, and forcing six turnovers as a whole. The length was on full display shutting down the Sky's offense on every possession.

Allie Quigley (1-10) and Elena Delle Donne (1-4) were not able to get into any rhythm through three quarters and the two most important offensive players for the Sky finished with 15 points on 5/19 shooting from the field.

Sylvia Fowles (19 points 11 rebounds) had good surface value numbers, but needed 20 shots and had to play nearly every minute to get there.

Defensively the Mercury took the away everything the Sky tried to do with 11 blocks, 7 steals, forcing 16 turnovers (resulting in 20 points for the Mercury), 31.9% from the field, and 14.3% from three. The length was disrupting and the rotations were so crisp that whether the Sky went for ball movement or traditional pick-n-roll they were not able to get any offensive momentum.

Unfortunately for the Sky their star and leader Delle Donne was only able to log 10:24 in this game, all in the first half, and felt she was more of a negative impact on her team.

"I told coach to pull me," Delle Donne said after the game about her injury. "I'm not able to move. I'm not able to do anything that is helping the team. If I want to play the rest of the series maybe resting here will help with the next game."

So the white flag was raised and going into the second half the most dynamic player on the Sky was no longer a factor for the Mercury defense.

All of that led to, for the Mercury, more records were broken, but for the Playoffs and the WNBA Finals.

Diana Taurasi (19 points 11 assists) had the most assists in a half with 7 in the first half and tied for most in a game. Griner had the most blocks in a quarter (5 in the first), in a half (6 in the first half), and in a game with 8 blocks. As a team the Mercury gave up the fewest points in a half (20 in the first) and shot the highest percentage from the field (58.5%) in a single game. When this team walks on the court they make history.

Heading into Game Two on Tuesday, again at home, the Mercury did all the little things at the end to thwart any potential momentum by the Sky a la the Minnesota Lynx at the end of Game One of the Western Conference Finals.

"Yes, definitely," Coach Brondello on playing the starters deeper into the fourth quarter to stop the Sky from gaining any momentum.

"I wanted to finish playing well. We have two days off in-between so it is not a big deal for us and they kept their starters in so no real disadvantage in that regard. And just staying in rhythm. That is what it is all about. The season is not done so it is about staying in rhythm."

Starting quarters strong and closing out games is the marker of a championship team. With this win the Mercury are two more games of similar quality away from raising another banner as the Champions of their sport once again.

Serbia got its biggest game of the FIBA World Cup from Phoenix Suns draft pick Bogdan Bogdanovic on Sunday to push it into the quarterfinal round. Bogdanovic led his team with 21 points on 7-of-11...

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