What a great game yesterday between Croatia and Germany at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying semi-finals. On the line was a guaranteed spot in Beijing next month. The game was intense, both teams played hard, and it came down to 2 OTs to decide the outcome. In the end, Croatia was the better team, they played much better together.

This play was very indicative of how well the Croatians played together. It's just read and react basketball. Going backdoor and great passing, you can tell they've been playing together for a while, which was the big difference in the game. Take a look at this great basketball play,

Go Backdoor:

This is just great basketball. If you run any Princeton offense, 5-out, etc... This is just basic read and react. The defense is in denying the wing pass, 1 pass away, so the Croatian wing player cuts backdoor. Also notice how the center starts on the other side of the lane, thus there is so much room for the wing to cut through,

Draw the Double, Dump off to Center:

Because of the backdoor cut above, it forces Chris Kaman to come off of his man and step up to help on the cut. The Croatian wing reads this and dumps off to the center who is sitting there waiting for the pass or a rebound,


I loved watching this game. You could see the emotion, energy, these men were playing for more than just money, or their club, or a city, they were playing for their country. Dirk Nowitzki was diving all over the place chasing down loose balls (I bet Mark Cuban was holding his breath each time). Germany is playing Puerto Rico right now, whom I believe they will beat, so the final 3 going to Beijing will be Greece, Croatia and Germany. Earlier last month I predicted, Brazil, Croatia and Germany to go on, I guess I was wrong about Brazil and Greece, but pretty close anyways. Have a great rest of the weekend...

If you want to learn to be a better wing player, take a look at Ganon Baker's DVD on Wing Development Drills. Discuss this and the rest of your favorite basketball topics at the X's and O's Basketball Forum.