Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Croats in NBA: Bogdanović Named Eastern Conference Player of the Week!

A brilliant week for Bojan Bogdanović was crowned with a prestigious NBA honor. 

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Ivica Zubac Makes Thrilling Debut for LA Clippers

Ivica Zubac made the Los Angeles Lakers realize what silly mistake they made by trading him for the LA Clippers this week after a thrilling debut for his new club. 

Friday, 8 February 2019

Croats in NBA: LA Lakers Trade Ivica Zubac to Clippers

Ivica Zubac is no longer a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. 

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Croats in NBA: Brilliant Bogdanović Leads Pacers to Another Victory

Bojan Bogdanović was the best scorer for the Indiana Pacers against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night, while Dario Šarić played his best match in the Minnesota Timberwolves jersey. 

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Croats in NBA: Phenomenal Bogdanović Carries Indiana to Victory

NBA team the Indiana Pacers celebrated at home against the Miami Heat 95:88, though what made the Pacers’ victory so special is that Croatian player Bojan Bogdanović was the one to carry them, reports HRT on February 3, 2019. 

The 29-year-old from Mostar was the best scorer of the game, nailing 31 points (shots in play 13/19, three-pointers 3/7, free throws 2/2) and even collected seven rebounds, one steal, and one block. The Pacers have thus ended their negative series of four defeats and managed their first win after the All-Star player Victor Oladipo’s season-ending injury. Darren Collison followed Bogdanović on the Pacers with 20 points and six assists.

For the Heat, Hassan Whiteside achieved a double-double, scoring 19 points and 14 rebounds, while Dwyane Wade scored 21 points in 27 minutes.

The Los Angeles Lakers, whose jersey is worn by the young sensation Ivica Zubac, lost to NBA champions the Golden State Warriors 101:115. Our Croatian basketball star spent 26 minutes on the court and managed to score 10 points (shots in play 5/11), nine rebounds, one assist and two blocks.

The Warriors were led by Klay Thompson (28 points), Kevin Durant (21 points, 11 assists) and DeMarcus Cousins (18 points, 10 rebounds). Brandon Ingram scored 20 points for the Lakers and Rajon Rondo scored 12 points with 11 assists.

Ante Žižić put in a modest eight points (shots in play 4/9) with six rebounds in Cleveland’s home defeat to the Dallas Mavericks 98:111. Once again, Slovenian player Luka Dončić was excellent for the Mavericks, scoring 35 points to equal his career record in the NBA league. He also collected 11 rebounds and six assists. The best for the Cavaliers was Jordan Clarkson who scored 19 points.

The Minnesota Timberwolves lost to the Denver Nuggets 106:107, with Dario Šarić only scoring 6 points in 19 minutes on the court. Dragan Bender did not come off the bench for the Suns’ loss to the Atlanta Hawks. 

Mario Hezonja scored 10 points (shots in play 4/8, three-pointers 0/4) in the New York Knicks loss to the Boston Celtics. Hezonja also collected three rebounds, and two assists in his 22 minutes on the court. 

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Monday, 28 January 2019

Croats in NBA: Zubac and Žižić Lead Teams to Victories

It was another excellent evening in the NBA for Croatia’s young basketball stars Ivica Zubac and Ante Žižić.

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Croats in NBA: Ivica Zubac Plays Game of Career for Lakers

The young Croatian center Ivica Zubac had the best night of his career against Oklahoma City Thunder where his Los Angeles Lakers celebrated 138:128 in extra time. The 21-year-old from Čitluk scored 26 points in the victory with 12/14 shots in play and 12 rebounds - and 16 of those points were achieved in the last quarter and extra time, reports T.portal on January 18, 2019. 

In addition to Zubac, who dominated in the direct duel with New Zealander Steven Adams (17 points and 15 rebounds), the best on the Lakers was Kyle Kuzma with 32 points and Lonzo Ball with 18 points and ten rebounds.

The best Lakers player, LeBron James, who was injured on Christmas, is still not ready to play, though he continues helping from the sideline with advice and support for the young players, including young Zubac.

Lakers coach Luke Walton commented on Zubac’s game:

“He was powerful in the game and was really good with his soft shot. His teammates were constantly looking for him. When he got the ball near the hoop was very good. But, he's growing and becoming more and more physically powerful. Everyone has made their contribution today. It is difficult to win here, because you’re playing against a team for the playoffs,” said a delighted Walton who has been increasingly using Zubac on the court. Hopefully, his future is guaranteed in Los Angeles. 

We should also mention that Zubac had a net rating of +35 (+/- rating) which, in the history of Lakers, was only done by a handful of players (and only Kobe Bryant is in front of him).

'The whole has been season great. Every time he has a minute, his contributions are huge. Today he got the chance and did not get tired at all. I'm proud of him,” said Zubac’s teammate Lonzo Ball.

In other NBA news, the Indiana Pacers were convincingly defeated by Philadelphia 120:96 at home. From the middle of the second quarter, the Sixers took control of the result and systematically increased their advantage by the end of the game.

Bojan Bogdanović did not have a great night and finished the game with 9 points and 3/11 shots in play. 

Dragan Bender stayed on the bench in the Phoenix loss to Toronto, and in the Washington and New York duel at London's O2 Arena, Mario Hezonja played for 19 minutes, caught six rebounds but missed all four shots.

Ante Žižić was the most effective for his Cleveland Cavaliers who lost to the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City, while Dario Šarič had yet another poor game in the loss of his Minnesota Timberwolves.

Žižić achieved a double-double in 35 minutes, scored 15 points with ten rebounds and had one steal and one block. Šarić played 28 minutes and scored only two points with 1/5 shots in play. He achieved seven rebounds and two steals.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Croats in NBA: Bogdanović Scores 18 Points, Šarić 15

Bojan Bogdanović and Dario Šarić were again great for their teams last night, though both the Indiana Pacers and Minnesota Timberwolves were unable to pull a victory. The Houston Rockets, on the other hand, have set a new NBA record for the number of three-pointers scored, reports HRT on December 20, 2018. 

The Indiana Pacers played away in Toronto where they lost 99-96 to the Raptors. Fred VanVleet scored 25.9 seconds before the end for the Raptors’ win.

Toronto came back from 17 points behind. The team was led by Kawhi Leonard who scored 28 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and four steals. Pascal Siakam added 17 points with seven rebounds, and Greg Monroe scored 13 points and eight rebounds.

The best for Indiana, who tallied their second defeat in a row, was Victor Oladipo with 20 points, while Bogdanović was the second best with 18 points in 33 minutes on the court (shots in play 7/13, three-pointers 3/6). Bogdanović added five rebounds, an assist and two steals.

The Minnesota Timberwolves were defeated at home 129-123 after the Detroit Pistons won in extra time. The best on the Pistons was Blake Griffin who finished with 34 points, and Reggie Bullock who had 33.

Andre Drummond, who scored 16 points and had the same number of rebounds, took the game to extra time after scoring in the final second of regular time. 

The best for Minnesota was Derrick Rose who scored 33 points and seven assists, while Robert Covington added 22. Dario Šarić, however, was excellent for the Timberwolves, scoring 15 points in 32 minutes on the court (shots in play 6/10, three-pointers 2/5), with six rebounds, two assists and one steal.

Mario Hezonja and Ante Žižić both had time on the court last night, while Dragan Bender did not play for the Phoenix Suns.

The New York Knicks suffered a defeat in Philadelphia, losing 131-110 to the 76ers. Joel Embiid led the 76ers with 24 points and 10 rebounds, which is his 28th double-double this season. Ben Simmons achieved his fourth triple-double with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

Tim Hardaway Jr. was the most effective for New York with 27 points, while Hezonja scored only two from free throws in four minutes on the court.

The Charlotte Hornets were better than Cleveland Cavaliers, winning 110-99 at home. The Hornets were led by Kemba Walker who scored 30 points.

The Cavaliers were led by Jordan Clarkson who scored 20 points, while Ante Žižić scored seven (shots in play 3/4) with four rebounds and two blocks in 16 minutes on the court. 

The Phoenix Suns played away in Boston to win 111-103. Not even Kyrie Irving could help the Celtics, who scored 29 points and ten assists.

The Houston Rockets set a new NBA record last night, according to the number of three-pointers achieved in a single game. In the 136-118 victory over the visiting Washington Wizards, the Rockets achieved 26 three-pointers out of 55 attempts.

James Harden finished the game with 35 points, of which six were three-pointers. Chris Paul scored 21 points with eight assists, and Clint Capel scored 20 points with 12 rebounds. The best for Washington was Bradley Beal with 28 points.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Croats in NBA: Dario Šarić Plays Best Game Yet for Minnesota

The Phoenix Suns, the worst team in the NBA league, have achieved only six wins in 30 games this season. One of them, unfortunately, was against Dario Šarić's new club the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday (107:99), reports Index.hr on December 16, 2018 

Croatia national team representative Dario Šarić finally got a chance in the starting lineup - the first time for his new club - and used the opportunity to play the best match since his abrupt move to Minnesota last month. The young Šibenik native was able to achieve a double-double, scoring 15 points with 11 rebounds, and was 50% for shots in play. Despite Šarić’s superstar effort, however, the Wolves entered their fourth consecutive defeat in their fourth straight away game. 

The Suns celebrated thanks to the return of their best player, Devin Booker, who missed six games due to lower back problems. Booker did not have any restrictions on his performance and scored 28 points during his 35 minutes on the court. He also added seven rebounds with just as many assists.

Šarić was given a chance in the starting lineup because Taj Gibson, the favorite of coach Tom Thibodeau, had to miss the game for personal reasons.

However, considering that he entered the game from the bench two games before this, Šarić is receiving more than 30 minutes on the court on average, and if we count this match, Šarić has, in the last three games, averaged 15.3 points and 8.3 rebounds, meaning he should continue to get good playing time at his new club. 

In other NBA news, Bojan Bogdanović scored 18 points, with five rebounds and two assists, and started the turnaround of the Indiana Pacers, who celebrated 113:101 away in Philadelphia - even though the 76ers had a 10-point advantage in the second half. 

It was the 20th consecutive match in which Bogdanović achieved a double-digit number of points and his seventh game in December alone. In December, the Pacers completed six wins, and Croatia’s best basketball player averaged 20.5 points.

To read more about Croats in the NBA, follow TCN's dedicated page

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Bojan Bogdanović Talks Season of his Career, Fate of Croatia

Croatia’s best basketball player Bojan Bogdanović is shining this season in the Indiana Pacers jersey, though things for his beloved Croatia team and their chances of going to the FIBA World Cup in 2019 are getting slimmer, reports T.portal on December 11, 2018. 

This season, 29-year-old Bojan Bogdanović picked up his game to an even higher level. He is currently averaging 16.6 points (the highest in his career), 3.9 rebounds, and is shooting 49% of three-pointers (3rd in the league) - and we also have to remember that a dozen or so games have been without the Pacers' best player, Victor Oladipo. But, despite Indiana's problems, they are currently fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

"I have the confidence of my teammates and we can say that this is the best season of my career," Bogdanović told Eurohoops.net.

However, it seems that Bojan and Dario Šarić have not been adequately exploited in the Croatia national team jersey, who, after several defeats in the 2019 World Cup qualifiers (ratio 4-6), are in a very tough position. 

Again, with Croatia’s recent defeat to Lithuania (79:62) and Poland’s win over Italy (94:78), Croatia will no longer decide their fate in the remaining two qualifiers at the end of February (against Hungary away and Poland at home). The chances of going to the World Cup are now reduced to theory. Particularly, Poland now has two more wins than Croatia, which means that beating Poland at home is still not enough for Croatia -  they will also need the Netherlands, the weakest team in the group, to pull an upset against Poland. 

Unfortunately, because Bogdanović and Šarić have obligations in the NBA league, they will miss the final two crucial FIBA World Cup qualifiers in February, 

"We are far away from the tournament, but I still hope we will be able to secure our place and play there next year," Bogdanović said.

Asked what he thinks about the qualifications for the 2019 World Cup and the fact that many teams could not play with players in Euroliga and the NBA, Bogdanović answered sincerely:

“It really does not make sense, not that way. Slovenia, who is the current European champion, will not be at the World Cup in China. And probably several strong national teams like Turkey and Croatia will miss out on the World Cup. We are far away from playing in China, and I repeat that it does not make sense to play it this way,” Bogdanović, the best shooter in the history of the Croatia national team, said truthfully. 

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