But there is something I don't quite understand about EuroBasket, or specifically, the friendlies that lead up to the start of the tournament. It seems strange to me that teams who are preparing to face off in the preliminary rounds of the tournament would play against each other just weeks before the start of group play, but that's exactly what they're doing. For instance, Rudy Fernandez, Victor Claver and the rest of Team Spain are participating in a series of tuneup games in Seville against the three other teams in their EuroBasket group. I guess there's not much competitive advantage if everyone is playing everyone else, but for a team like Spain, the odds on favorite to win gold, it seems like an unnecessary risk. It would be like playing a few practice games against the Rockets prior to the start of last year's playoffs.
But from the looks of the results, the Spaniards are getting by just fine. Yesterday they beat Slovenia, a team boasting the likes of Sasha Vujacic, Beno Udrih, Bostjan Nachbar, Goran Dragic and Primoz Brezec, 89-71 in Seville. Neither Fernandez (eight points, five rebounds) nor Claver (seven points, six rebounds) lit up the gym, but I imagine Sergio Scariolo, head coach for the Spaniards, is taking it easy at this point.
Spain plays Linus Kleiza and the rest of the Lithuanians today before taking a week off.
In other EuroBasket news, France, featuring Nic Batum, will face Belgium in a best of