EuroBasket - Round 2 Gets Underway

VILNIUS, LITHUANIA - SEPTEMBER 07: Chris Kaman (L) and Steffen Hamann of Germany (R) defend against Marco Gasol (C) of Spain the EuroBasket 2011 second round group A match between Germany and Spain at Siemens Arena on September 7, 2011 in Vilnius, Lithuania. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

I did not manage to watch the games today. Mainly because Spain-Germany was on at 5 AM or some such, so that wasn't happening.

As the second round got underway, Germany's hole got a little deeper. They kept it close against the defending champs, pulling within three in the final three minutes, but Spain eventually put them away, led by los hermanos Gasol (Marc 24 points, Pau 19 all in the second half). Chris Kaman had a pretty good game (15 points, 12 rebounds, 2 blocks) - until you notice the 5 turnovers. Yikes. Three of those were travels, where the international refs may be watching his pivot foot more closely than NBA refs do. And what's with the free throw shooting? Always decent from the line for a big, Kaman is barely over 50% (11 for 21) in the tournament.

In the other two games, France beat Turkey and Lithuania beat Serbia. That Lithuania win dampens Germany's hopes of advancing that much more. The Germans weren't really expected to beat Spain, but now they trail Lithuania by two full games. If they can win out, they will finish ahead of Turkey, currently sitting on 2 losses. But the second two loss team is Serbia thanks to Lithuania's win. Unfortunately for Germany, Serbia also owns the head to head tie-breaker, so they probably have to finish ahead of Serbia to advance - tied probably won't do it. Remember, four of the six teams in Group E will advance to the knockout stage - that means that Germany has to finish ahead of two teams to move forward.

Germany's not eliminated - yet. But it's getting pretty serious. Obviously they have to win their last two games, against Turkey and Lithuania. They also need for France to beat Lithuania on Friday. There are other ways for them to advance, but that's the most straightforward, and really, the tough part is winning out. If they do that, they probably advance. If they don't, they don't deserve to.

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