Just because Slovenia has been knocked out of the medal round doesn’t mean we’re going to stop caring about them here at ValleyoftheSuns. You knew that, right? From a Suns perspective, it...

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Robin Lopez Agrees - Not Yet 100%

Go ahead and find your panic buttons...and then please hide them far away from your jittery hands.


Hedo Turkoglu only scored 10 points and knocked down just a pair of shots, but along with some hot shooting from Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova he’s the reason Slovenia had no shot at stopping...

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Get it? Practice practice report?

Whatever.

  • Still no Jason Richardson, but other than he, all present or accounted for.
  • There were a couple of very happy Suns coaches of Serbian nationality having just watched Serbia defeat Spain in a thrilling game. This whole World Championship thing might not be a big deal in this country, but you better believe the Serbs are celebrating like they reconquered Kosovo beat Spain in a big basketball game.
  • Suns GM Lance Blanks was on-hand watching the fun today.
  • Jared Dudley might not think Robin Lopez is 100%, but he looked fine to me. Now, he might only be 98% or he could be closer to 99.5% or he might in fact be 100% or perhaps even 102%. It's not an exact science. Regardless of his percentages, he looked good and continued to show more offensive moves than we saw last season. He also continues to play with all the intensity and focus that makes Robin so lovable worthy of our respect. And out of respect, I didn't talk to him today.
  • Grant Freakin' Hill. It's really hard to fathom how good of a basketball player this guy would have been had his prime years not been stolen by that damn ankle injury. Today, he jumped straight-up from a flat-footed position under the basket to block a charging Robin Lopez's two-handed dunk attempt. Hill went sprawling, but the ball never kissed rim. Grant also somehow managed to be on the wrong end of a three-on-one fast break and still come up with ball. Lesson for the kids? Do not mess with Grant Hill.
  • Josh Childress gets his hands on everything. Tips, deflections, rebounds and he can get to the rim and finish. Folks, I think you are going to like him.
  • Don't get too excited here, but Earl Clark continues to hit all those open mid-range shots we saw him miss last season. He also backed down that old man Hill into the mid-block and hit a sweet turnaround J over him. The talent is there and I am really hoping he can show some of it in preseason competition. I'm not overly optimistic, but for now will stay on the Bright Side of the Earl.
  • Hakim does have a little Amare-lite in him. He puts the ball on the deck and next thing you know he's dunking it. But we already knew that. He also has kind of a long goatee but we already knew that, too.
  • Jared is testing out his new, lighter frame, doing some things with the ball that might in fact be quicker. He had a nice floater in the lane that I don't recall seeing before. He was quite vocal on the floor, calling out defensive assignments, etc.
  • In the great Matt Janning vs. Zabian Dowdell battle (which will have everyone on the edge of their seats right up through final roster cuts if not considerably sooner), the edge in my mind clearly goes to Janning. He plays with a lot of confidence for an undrafted kid out of Northeastern. He was willing to take (and hit) clutch shots. "Clutch" being a very relative term for early September voluntary workouts. He also likes to put the ball on the deck and can find open guys in traffic. Something Mr. DJ Strawberry never showed. Zabian is solid but didn't stand out in any way. At least not today.
  • I am not going to say who or give any more details, but a certain player's girlfriend was present. That I mentioned this much should tell you all you need to know.


Hedo after a big shot in the FIBA World Chmapionships

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Hedo after a big shot in the FIBA World Chmapionships

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Two Phoenix Suns squared off today, and only one of them left with a smile on his face.

Hedo Turkoglu's squad laid waste to Goran Dragic's little (by comparison) Slovenians this afternoon in the quarterfinals of the FIBA World Championships.

Fran Frascilla - a long-time coach and now international scout/reporter for ESPN - had some very nice things to say about Hedo and his 7-0 Turkey team.

"On the court, Turkoglu is such a great facilitator of (coach Bogdan) Tanjevic's offense because if you put a smaller guy on him he can post up, he can shoot it, he's a great playmaker, and most importantly, what I've seen tonight, is the team feeds off his confidence. I'm watching these guys' faces, and it's like being in a back-alley street fight with Mr. T on your side. You can see that there's a reverence for him among his teammates that creates great confidence for them as a team."

Not a bad guy to have on our side this year, huh?

About Turkey's home court advantage:

"The one intangible factor they've got going for them is they're playing in front of this incredible home crowd. The energy level of the team is boosted by the fact that these fans, they don't wait for the team to make things happen, they implore them to make things happen. The team is playing off the fans more than the fans are reacting off the team."  

Turkey has a good shot to face Team USA in the Finals on Sunday. They will face Serbia (who knocked off Spain earlier) on Saturday. Turkey should win that game.

Goran Dragic did not have a good game. I'm sure Blaz13 can give us better insight than I could. Goran's Slovenian team now gets to fight for the 5th spot in the loser's bracket.

Here is a game recap, with link to the boxscore and such on the fiba.com website.

Both teams, Turkey and Slovenia, will be done end of day Sunday.

After that, Hedo and Goran will likely celebrate rest before heading overseas to Phoenix and a 9-month NBA preseason, regular season and playoff schedule. 

I would not expect either player to show up for voluntary pickup games before camp starts. They've each played about 20 games now since the end of the NBA season.


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