Timofey Mozgov and Kosta Koufos met up in the second phase of Eurobasket 2011, with Mozgov and Russia getting the best of Koufos and his Greek squad, 83-67. Still, the two most productive players on the court for either team that night played for the same team: the Denver Nuggets.
Now in the Group F and E stages of the Eurobasket tournament (essentially the second round), things are starting to heat up as the original field of 24 is narrowing down at a rapid pace. On Friday, Sept. 9, Russia and Greece — two of the better teams in the entire tournament — squared off only to see Denver Nuggets Kosta Koufos and Timofey Mozgov finish as the top two scorers in the game. Though the 16-point final score discrepancy indicates a blowout, that was hardly the case as Greece trailed by only seven entering the fourth quarter. However, Mozgov and Russia kicked their game into high gear leading to a 10-0 run near the end of the fourth quarter that essentially sealed the deal. Russia will now move on to face Macedonia, who’s also undefeated, in order to see which team will place first in Group F.
The last time we checked in on Mozgov the most minutes he had logged in Eurobasket 2011 was 24; he had 32 against Greece. In both of those games when seeing a heavy dosage of court time Mozgov hasn’t failed to impress, scoring 15 points then a game-high 19. Needless to say, Mozgov has been given the opportunity to prove he belongs at a very high level of competition and has succeeded in fulfilling this ultimatum (thank God). There’s now little doubt he will become an integral part of Russia’s run for the title in the upcoming weeks of competition.
Mozgov’s final stat line: 19 points (game high) on 7-8 from the field and 5-5 from the line, five rebounds, three blocked shots (game high) and one assist.
Ironically enough, Koufos’ situation is almost a mirror image of his own teammates’. Relegated to the bench and an inconsistent amount of playing time for the majority of Eurobasket 2011, Koufos hasn’t disappointed when given the chance to succeed. Although he too scored 19 in 28 minutes of action against Montenegro, his team-high 15 against Russia came in an extremely efficient 18 minutes of time, which was actually more productive than Mozgov’s outing.
Koufos’ final stat line: 15 points (team high) on 6-9 from the field and 3-4 from the line, three rebounds and one steal.
Gary Forbes now owns the Nuggets top two records for the most points scored this summer after notching an astonishing 39 against Canada in the FIBA Americas Championship. Just like in the Pan-Am game when he scored 78, Forbes was extremely efficient, going 8-13 from 2-point range, 4-7 from 3-point range and 11-13 from the line. Forbes also had five rebounds and six assists. Although it’s not the most lucid, there is some video of Forbes’ performance that you can find here.
Kenyon Martin is reportedly attempting to “one up” J.R. Smith as the highest paid player in Chinese Basketball Association history. (Yes, you read that correctly.) Just days after J.R. initiated talks with the Chinese basketball club, Shanxi, Kenyon Martin is fielding offers of his own that, should he accept, would deem him ineligible to partake in NBA action for entire year (or until at least February).
Honestly, I don’t even know what to say at this point in time. At first when it was just Chandler, I felt like kicking something really hard. Then when it was J.R. and Chandler, I couldn’t understand what was going on; I was baffled. Now, all I can do is laugh. We’ve officially crossed the line into complete and utter obscurity and I’m not even going to attempt to rationalize what going on. However, if Nene signs in China, I will probably punch a hole through my computer.
Danilo Gallinari plays basketball in shoes. You can find the ones he’s currently playing in here. I’m admittedly not a shoe junkie, but I know “fresh kicks” when I see them, and these aren’t half bad.
J.R. Smith has also been known to wear shoes… a lot of shoes. SLAM Magazine recently chronicled this timeless shoe collection spanning his entire NBA career. If you’re a fan of J.R. like I am, this is a must read — errr — see.
Al Harrington has officially decided to give up basketball to peruse his lifelong dream of sailing around the globe in nothing but an innertube with flippers. (Obviously I’m kidding, but you have to admit, after reading the headlines of Big Al all summer long you probably believed that at first, right?)
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