Notes from Slovenia 87, Australia 58

Nachbar didn't play a big role in this game, but he was ecstatic with the result. (Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images)

ISTANBUL – This should have been one of the better matchups in the round of 16, but it was a totally one-sided affair. Slovenia cruised to a 87-58 victory to reach the quarterfinals.

Australia had the sixth best defense in pool play, but they were just average offensively. And on Sunday, they were just awful. They failed to score on their first 10 possessions of the game and had just 21 points on 34 possessions in the first half.

Slovenia really opened up the game with a barrage of threes early in the second quarter. They were 6-for-10 from downtown in the period and had a 42-21 lead at halftime without Bostjan Nachbar scoring a single point.

Australia’s offense finally showed up in the third quarter (24 points on 19 possessions), but they just couldn’t get any stops. Slovenia hit five more threes in the third to put the game away.

Before pool play began, Nachbar told me that his team’s goal for this tournament was to make the top eight. Well, they’ve done that, and they won’t necessarily stop there. Slovenia is 5-1 at the World Championship with an impressive win over Brazil, and with their only loss coming at the hands of the U.S.

After Sunday’s game, Nachbar said that the goals and expectations haven’t changed, no matter how well his team has played. And the win over Australia gave the Slovenians somewhat of a championship feeling.

“We’re going to play more relaxed now,” he said. “We’ve achieved our goal. You have to realize this is our biggest success in our basketball history. To make the top eight in the world is amazing.”

Some more notes…

  • For the game, Slovenia was 16-for-33 from 3-point range. They shot just 33 percent (15th among the 24 teams) from downtown in pool play.
  • Slovenia’s Uros Slokar aggravated a sprained left ankle that he suffered in pool play. He limped off floor with 5:22 left in the third quarter and did not return.
  • Patty Mills had his usual burst of speed for Australia and got to the rim pretty easily on a couple of occasions, but he shot just 1-for-7 from 3-point range, finishing with 13 points and three assists.
  • Raptor center David Andersen shot poorly (2-for-7) as well.

Slovenia will play the winner of the France-Turkey game.

***

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

13 Comments

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  3. seiko says:

    a Spanish fan talking about the Slo-Tur matchup and commenting on the hope for Slo win shows how Spanish are afraid of us (Turks). It is really good to consternate. And we deserve this by our almost perfect team

  4. apachi stayla says:

    santi calm down dude and enjoy the silence. you know after the match… as the jkb says amuhagoruz uleyyn!

  5. Jaka says:

    SLOVENIJA is the best!!! However a few of our key players stayed at home. We could be much stronger. Hope we will eliminate Turkey! MI, SLOVENCI!!!!! KDOR NE SKACE NI SLOVENEC!!!! :)

  6. thaBongo says:

    Game Highlights:

    http://www.fibatv.com/page/Video/0,,12805~1645901,00.html?tabb=highlights&pnumber=1

  7. thaBongo says:

    Alright Marko! I agree: next please!

    Go Slovenia : ).

    It is nice to see Slovenia featured on NBA.com. But it seems like no one on NBA.com noticed that Slovenia starting 5 features 4 NBA or exNBA players (Dragic, Nachbar, Slokar, Brezec).

    Go Slovenia : )

  8. Iztok says:

    Hja Santi, what can I say…we will go for a win of course……I really do trust our guys now and all the stuff, especially Memi, he’s really done a perfect job here, but Turkey are really really good…don’t want to say anything in advance but if won’t shot the ball well, like 50% or more from downtown, I think we’ve done and done more than enough for this worlds…:)) bravo fantje, svaka cast…;)

  9. jkb says:

    Hey Santi do you really think Slevenia is better than Turkey?? First advance to semis and you will be beaten by us.

    All I can say to you is:
    Do not underestimate Turkey yoksa senin amınakorum…

  10. Bash says:

    John’s observations are spot-on. Australia’s offense was pretty poor against the Slovenenians and the team’s defensive strength went mising as we were trying to claw our way back into the game. Our coach outlined our situation pretty well when saying we need good team D to be competitive as we aren’t as fast or athletic as most of the other nations.
    Goodluck to Slovenia for the rest of the tourney. You really have got nothing to lose because you have never been this far before so keep jacking up them threes.

  11. Volki says:

    We`ll beat Slovenia and then we`ll beat Santi

  12. Santi says:

    Please, Slovenia, beat Turkey. We (Spain) will beat Serbia, and want to play you in the semis. After all, winning is only interesting if you do it against the best.

  13. Marko says:

    Next please! :)