Wednesday, December 26, 2007

2007 Mundo’s Review – Basketball

The least to say, basketball was never disappointing for Argentina as this year it was just simply a great year for the Tall Argies.

Among the most notable highlights was the rise of Walter HERRMANN at the Charlotte Bobcats, from an almost disappearing act to a Bobcats star. Then there was the ever-improving Chapu NOCIONI at Chicago, until injuries hindered his progress. Carlos DELFINO was struggling as always with the Pistons system.

So in the end it was down to our prime duo at San Antonio Spurs.

Let me start with Fabricio OBERTO, well what can I say but it was a roller coaster season that ended on the right of the season. He showed plenty of improvement in his second year in the NBA. From deep reserve, his name will now be remembered forever as one of the starter in this Spurs championship winning team.



Then there was Manu GINOBILI, the one player that every coach dreams to have on his roster. Despite the fact that he was relegated to the bench by coach Gregg POPOVITCH, none of that seems to bother him. When needed the most he was always there for his team.

This was proven in the series against the Phoenix Suns, when he posted back-to-back game high performance to take the Spurs into the Western Conference Final. Another game high performance helps them to beat the Jazz in the Conference final. Once again it was his excellent performance in Game 4 of the NBA Finals that clinched Spurs 3rd title in four years.

Then suddenly the good news was coming to an end. National team coach Sergio HERNANDEZ was rocked by the news that several key players (especially NBA based player either due to physical condition or contract issues) will not be available for the FIBA Americas (which also serves as the 2008 Olympic Qualifier) to be held in Las Vegas.

In the end he had to take a relatively B-Sided team with DELFINO and Luis SCOLA being as the only star players. It was a mission that did look very unlikely from the beginning. But as the tournament progress the team was slowly showing its potential and found confidence in their game. In the semi-final win against Brazil all those uncertainty has been finally answered that the Tall Albiceleste will go to Beijing 2008.

That wasn’t the only good news as SCOLA bagged the tournament’s MVP Award for his effort and became the sixth Argie to play in the NBA when the Houston Rockets signed him. Though it has been slow start, he has showed some sign of promises in some games in which definitely will make him the star in the league.

DELFINO also had a great outing in Vegas was signed by the Toronto Raptors where he is showing some great performance from them.

2008 - What To Look Forward

Without a doubt it has to be Beijing 2008. The main goal is to defend the other gold medal we’ve won in Athens 2004. I know the task is never going to be easy considering that they type of quality our opponents (especially USA) will bring to the table. However there is no harm in dreaming that the impossible might just be possible.

Now that we have six aces playing in the biggest basketball league in the world, let’s hope that one of them will bring along their championship ring to Beijing as well. Or perhaps maybe we might have two of them playing for different sides in the Finals. Now that will be something.

3 comments:

halley said...

Oh so Carlos Delfino is an Argie, he's good!.. I love all the Argentinian players playing in the NBA, I hope they win on the Beijing Olympics. =) Happy Holidays!..

Elliot Cole said...

Always happy to see some Spurs coverage. Everyone in South Texas loves Fabricio and Manu...I wish every NBA player had their passion and knowledge of the game.

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