Australia vs Lithuania by RageBlade
Hello everyone, this one is from Olimpic basketball Quater-finals. I pick Lithuania pick against Australia. I post this as early as I can, because odds are already dropping. Odd wich were released are suprise to me. Yes, Australia is playing really good in these Olimpics and Lithuania had nightmare against Spain and Croatia, but not everything is how it looks like and I thought that bookies will now that. I guess they don't. We also must bear in mind that Lithuania was TOP 3 suggestion before Olimpics start.
Well, let's start from bottom. Those 2 Lithuania losses (109:59 to Spain and 81:90 to Croatia) could be intentional. Coach Kazlauskas is known for his mathematical skills. He is proven genius. He did this tactic 6 years ago, when he coached Greece. I talk about intentional loosing to get opponents you want. Yes, it's ugly and not fair at all to try to make yourself opponents wich you want, but probably Kazlauskas just did that. Those 2 losses mean that Lithuania will avoid Serbia at Quaters (Lithuania always struggles against Serbia) and will meet USA just in Finals if Lithuania reach it. We can see it by actions of coach. Kazlauskas, who are really emotional just sat down all game against Spain. On timeouts there was no needed angry Kazlauskas as we tend to see. This tells a lot. Against Croatia, he sats down his best defender Seibutis just when he gets hot. He sat down everybody, exept Kalnietis, who made 1-2 straight baskets. You could tell me, that everything I talk is big pile of BS, but it is what it is. Just look how Argentina reacted. They put official statement saying that Lithuania will lose to Croatia before game even started...
Consiracy theories are done, so let's talk about things from basketball side of view.
First of all , let's look at Australia. They showed impresive results in group stage with 4 wins and 1 lost. Certainly, nobody expected this kind of basketball from Australia. They showed great ball movement. Patty Mils is in TOP 5 scoring. Andrew Bogut anchors their defense and what I really like about him, facilitates as floor general with assists, even playing at center position. They don't have a lot of rotation, but there is 8 decent guys who are playing over their expectations. Exacly. Australia is over-performing and this can't last all tournament. They look really good on Offense, but from games I saw, their defense is not so good when playing without Bogut, with Anderson instead. I think that Lithuania will pound on that.
I don't want to extend too much about Lithuania, but there is main fact. They started these Olimpics with 3 W and all of them were not so hard. And then there was those 2 losses as I talked about earlier. Talking about player, Mantas Kalnietis is TOP1 point guard in all RIO2016 without doubt. Who scoring almost 20 points and dishing 9 assists per game. He is completely difrent from what we saw last summer. He makes all good decisions and doesn't shoot stupid shots. When build-up play breaks down he improvises really well. I think we will see another one great game from him, even with Dellavadova defending him. Other key players for this game will certainly be Jonas Valanciunas. Guy, who should be Lithuania leader is only putting 13 points from 15 trys against Croatia.. He is doubled and tripled teamed a lot this summer and he still tries to make everything by force. But he needs to look back at last summer. He was lighter then and made a bunch of points because of his agility and quickness. I hope to see more of transision and semi-transision PnRolls for him, because he seems to have problems in build-up post plays. One of Key factors in this game to me will be how good Seibutis handles Patty Mills. As I talked earlier, Seibutis is pretty one sided player and is known for his defense, not offense. But it must be said, that he scores almost everything he shoots. If he hits just couple of shots and be as active as he is with his constant movement, this will make Mills tired out and he should start missing shots, because of energy left on defense. Lithuania still have some reserves as they played really weak squads against Spain and Croatia. Yes, rotation is based most of times only for 10 players, but in this high tempo game I see all 12 playing just to be as active as it can be on defense.
All in All, coach Kazlauskas wanted this mach-up. He is more experienced than his opponent and we should see briliant plays and moves from him. He certainly have some unfold card under his sleeve. These two teams met before and Lithuania won 81:68 without any major problems. Lithuanians are just better team and these odds are made from last two games. We must consider, that after all, Lithuania is TOP 3 in Fiba rankings. Odds are rapidly dropping but I think we should catch value until end of this day and maybe tomorow morning. Good luck.
|Lithuania win||Bet365||2.40||9||90-64 LOST (-9 units)|
* Odds as of post published time and are subject to change.