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 Stein) reportedly 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 ;)