Big Shake-Ups on Day 4 in Turkey

ISTANBUL – Tuesday was a day off in Groups A and B at the 2010 FIBA World Championship. For the U.S., it was a true day off, as coach Mike Krzyzewski canceled practice after three straight days of games. So it was a day for sleeping late, relaxing by the pool and getting some laundry done.

In Ankara and Izmir, however, big things were going down as the two nightcaps in Groups C and D have truly shaken up the tournament.

In Group C, Turkey defeated Greece behind a huge game (26 points, 6-for-6 from 3-point range) from Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova. The win gives Turkey the inside track to finish first in the group, with Greece likely to finish second.

In Group D, Lithuania came back from 11 down at the end of the third quarter to shock Spain, with the Raptors’ Linas Kleiza getting the go-ahead bucket in the final minute and Marc Gasol missing two critical free throws on the next possession. Spain is now 1-2, and with both of the teams they lost to a 3-0, they can finish no better than third in Group D.

Check out the replay of Spain-Lithuania at 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday on NBA TV.

Spain has Lebanon (Wednesday) and Canada (Thursday) left on their schedule, so they are very likely to finish third.

In the round of 16, the third-place team in Group D plays the second-place team in Group C, which is likely to be Greece. And who would the winner of that game play?

If the U.S. wins its first elimination game, it would be them.

So we are looking at the very distinct possibility of Greece, Spain and the United States — the three favorites to win this tournament before it began — all being in the same quarter of the bracket, with two of the three being eliminated before the semifinals.

Buckle your seat belts.

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Who would be on the other side of the bracket, with an easier road to a medal? Argentina (A1, unless they lose to Serbia on Thursday), Brazil (B2, unless they lose to Slovenia on Wednesday), Turkey (C1, unless they lose to both Puerto Rico and China) and the loser of Wednesday’s France-Lithuania game (D2).

But imagine that Serbia beats Argentina and Australia in the next two days, while Slovenia beats Brazil on Wednesday. Then Argentina and Brazil would be on the Greece/Spain/USA half of the bracket too.

Also on that half will be the winner of the France-Lithuania game.

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The U.S. takes on Iran on Wednesday at noon ET on ESPN. There is some political significance to this game, because the two countries have never faced each other in basketball court. But there won’t be much to it from a basketball standpoint. Iran will be completely overmatched in terms of both size and talent.

It is a chance to see Grizzlies center Hamed Haddadi play something other than NBA garbage time. Haddadi is averaging 22.0 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.7 blocks through Iran’s first three games. He’s even shooting 33 percent (4-for-12) from 3-point range.

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The big game in Group B will be Brazil-Slovenia, which you can watch live on NBA TV at 2:30 ET. That one’s essentially for second place in the group and the chance to play on the more open side of the bracket.

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Turkish lesson of the day: Doğum günün kutlu olsun = Happy birthday!

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More USA Basketball coverage: Analysis | Blog

John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. Send him an e-mail or follow him on twitter.

39 Comments

  1. run run says:

    i also believe that Turkey will have the best chance of winning, better than the USA.

  2. run run says:

    i think Spain and even USA will fold up in the quarterfinals. these guys seem lost in pressure end games. I believe Turkey, Greece, Argentina and Lithuania will fight in the semis.

  3. John says:

    It’s a shame the U.S. will have to spoil Turkey’s dreams on home soil :)

  4. good game says:

    One thing is sure about this tournament, its the most competitive tournament probably ever. We really have no idea who will win, even who will pass 1/8 finals. Till now there was always 2-3 teams who were much better than others or USA when was with the best team and whole tournament we were waiting for 1/2 finals and final game, but now, wow almost every game even in groups is spectacular.

    Great tournament and good luck to Serbia :)

  5. cesar says:

    1-Turkey
    2-USA
    3-Lithuania
    4-Argentina
    5-Spain or Greece

  6. EZ says:

    ABSENT FROM THIS BLOG = SPAIN’s FANS!! Before this tourney began it was full of them claiming victory over the US of A. Please Stand Up!

  7. [...] brilliance in Turkey, for Turkey, in FIBA’s World Championships. In a game against Greece, the Bucks forward went off for 26 pts, 5 rebs, 1 stl, 1 blk on 64% shooting, and 6/6 from 3 point land, leading Turkey to [...]

  8. RJ says:

    I told everyone that Spain was a joke and Rubio and Fernandez and the younger Gasol were overrated…..I also said that regardless of who we (USA) play, Kevin Durant will not let us lose……he is the only UNSTOPPABLE player in the tournament……

  9. LTU says:

    Lithuania one of the strongest team in this tournament.

  10. Lietuva says:

    Lithuania happiness

  11. Rip Greenfire says:

    Let’s all remeber that Spain was the previous champions, so of course they’re going to talk about Spain more. Same deal in the NBA, you’re more likly to see that the Lakers are losing game after game then see that the Kings are on a 10 game win streak.
    On the topic at hand, this could be a pickle. All that can be said is the team that surivies that braket will have a great shot at winning it all. Some of the strongest competition will be gone, and all teams will start eyeing first after that braket has a winner. I think USA still got it though, but I’m a bit biased towards my country.

  12. jose says:

    Scariolo is the worst coach for us. Now, Spain don’t run and in the more important part in the game… we played without our best players… I can’t believe it. When Lithuania was 10 points from us, he must use one time-out and use our best players… Of course Pau and Calderon and very important for us but i think that we can win to anyone in this tournament without both of them… if we wake-up… It is the same situation in EuroChampionship the last year, we woke up in the final rounds and we won the gold-medal, but the difference is USA in quarter-finals… uf

    • marc gonzalez says:

      And remember, USA doesnt have 10 of their best players playing in this tournament so no excuses bout people not playing for other countries

  13. BasketballFan says:

    I don’t understand why people talk just about Turkey, Greek, Spain and so on, and they never even mention Lithuania? Well, maybe some of them haven’t ever heard about this kinda small country with less than 3.5 million citizens. However, even though Lithuania is small but it has really good basketball players who I think they have a lot of chance to reach the top places of whole champion. Yesterday’s match with Spain prove with. Of course, I have to confess, yes, Lithuania almost 3 quarters got behind with Spain and their deposit was kinda big (even 17) but they caught themselves and finally showed that they can do better than Spanish. I hope that this small spark of hope will lead Lithuania into the victory with France today! Go Lithuania!!!!

  14. TheOne says:

    Look at Rubio and Fernandez reaction after loss to Lithuania http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zt4i2s8YGc&feature=related

  15. sneak says:

    Still no love for France, playing without Tony parker, Jo Noah and Beaubois, and 3-0 anyway. The big story seems to be Spain loosing most of their games, I guess that’s more interesting than talking about the teams that did beat the spaniards.

  16. gravediggerTokyo says:

    USA,Spain,Argentina,Serbia,Greece
    true players are in those teams

  17. Way says:

    Lithuania always was strog team.
    Fiba ratio 6.
    Spain always was arrogant ass.
    USA always was most respects team adn one of the strongest.
    Serbia,AUS,TUR,ARG…
    This chempionship becoming better and better.
    xD

  18. marko says:

    see how Kalnietis tricks Rubio during 2010-08-31 game LTU-spain,
    type in Youtube: Mantas Kalnietis inbound pass off Ricky Rubio’s back :)

  19. Australia says:

    any respect for Australia? playing well, went down to Argentina by 2, missed a 3 to win it, not saying we will win it all, but surely we are worth a mention, but maybe i am speaking too soon

  20. nice says:

    Ltu go for the medals!

  21. basketballer says:

    The host, Turkey, will certainly be the New Champion.

  22. ZACH says:

    What a victory for Turkey and what a game man! They were really good. Maybe I can bet for Turkey too:) Greece and Spain,it seems no chance for a new title for them. we’ll see guys..

  23. antawn says:

    This only means that the early rounds of the knock-out eliminations will be exciting to watch, with three or maybe four of the Medal favorites slugging it out early on.

    …Spain sure wish Pau was on their team, the difference he makes even translates to an NBA level, just ask Kobe and the 2007 Lakers.

    • marc gonzalez says:

      i agree with you 1000 pct on everything you said. thats the 1st time thats ever happened reading peoples comments

  24. Geddy Lee-thal says:

    USA!

  25. Chris says:

    Still no love in your articles for the 2-1 Australia hey Johnny? Could have easily been 3-0 after only going down by a bucket v Argentina!

    • good game says:

      Australia is solid team, but now is 2-2, Serbia is the most dominant team in that group no doubt, now with their 2 best players (Krstic and Teodosic) again on court, they are dominant, no matter they are the youngest team on tournament (Krstic is the oldest player and he is 27)

  26. xanat says:

    Lithuania FTW!!!!!

  27. shkafas says:

    Ltihuania was down by 18 in middle of 3rd quarter…

  28. Turkey says:

    cok guzel! turkiye heyencek!

  29. aj lee says:

    i think it would be a big task for team USA if this scenario happens, but this would test their character and prove to the world that basketball is still their game, their ranked #2 in FIBA behind Argentina so this may potentially put them #1 again, Good luck

  30. El combo de P.R. says:

    arroyo no sirve saquenlo de ese equipo usa will win

  31. unknown says:

    What a mess have done spain and greece.Greece letting the host take first position and spain the defending champion unable to do nothing without pau gasol.The finals will be the first and second rounds.And we can’t understimate serbia.Serbia is better team than argentina.So I expect serbia winning that group.That team has alway been the wild card.The have lost one game but 92 diferential point in those two wins, a 50 point blowout win and one loss by one point.This team can go in a shooting spree.The only doubt I have is turkey.Is that team really that good?59 point diferential undefeated vs Usa 52 point diferential.The way I see turkey may win this tournament, no doubt about it.China is a easy win and Puerto rico is random win or lose and I know it, because they always lose when they don’t need it.So turkey may be the new world champion I’m gonna bet my money on that.