I’m not going to lie. This was a true beatdown. It may not have the impressiveness of Team USA’s 114-55 beating of Finland, but I think Spain has already made their presence felt in the 2014 FIBA World Championship Tournament.
Although the odd thing about the victory is that Serge Ibaka was one of the only 2 players on Team Spain that didn’t record a single minute. Although that decision may have something to do with the fact that Ibaka himself admitted his calf wasn’t quite 100% earlier in the month. With that story, I’m beginning to think that he overheard a physician who jumped the gun with the term “complete rupture”, only to find that the rupture itself was merely partial. He would have needed crutches or a wheelchair for about a 2-month minimum if his calf had ruptured entirely.
But Team Spain had the Gasol Brothers, and Pau ended up being the game’s MVP with 33 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 2 assists. His brother Marc lead Team Spain in rebounds with 10. Ricky Rubio had one hell of a game as well, adding 5 assists and 5 steals to Team Spain’s bottom line.
Iran’s player of the game, Mahidi Kamrani finished with 18 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 assists. Hamed Haddadi logged 15 rebounds, and Samed Nikkah Bahrami led Team Iran in assists with 4.
As much as I was disappointed to see Ibaka sit out the entire game, a friend of mine was nice enough to point out to me that the fewer minutes he plays in the 2014 FIBA World Cup, the less he opens himself up to potentially aggravating the injury. After seeing it from that point of view, I’m not quite so disappointed. Heck, I’m rooting for Team USA to win it all anyway, so I’d like to see Ibaka on Spain’s bench as much as absolutely possible. If he hurts himself seriously to only end up with a sliver medal as projected, he will be incapable of helping the Thunder win an NBA Championship in the upcoming season.
But I wouldn’t mind your take. Would you rather see Ibaka sit through the 2014 FIBA World Cup, or do you want to see him put on shows here and there?