At least one of them, anyway. Spain won the gold medal over Greece 70-47 at the 2006 World Championships with their leader Pau Gasol on the bench with a broken foot. They easily dispensed with Greece, limiting them to 33% shooting and the game wasn’t even as close as the score indicated. Gasol was named the MVP of the tournament, and many of his teammates credited him with getting them that far. However, the effort extended far beyond Gasol, as Spain has multiple NBA players (such as PG Jose Calderon and F Jorge Garbajosa) that stepped up with Gasol gone. Gasol’s younger brother Marc provided a big presence on the boards,
So The Memphis Grizzlies, who are 0-12 in playoff games in their 11 year existence (5 of them in Vancouver), now have a winner on their team. Too bad he’s now hurt. The Grizzlies just can’t get any breaks, can they?
P.S. The United States defeated Argentina for the bronze medal, but for Americans who are disappointed over any non-first place victory, this was surely some kind of artificial ‘stain’ on American basketball. I say it’s not…we simply just don’t have guys play together for YEARS, and get to know each other on defense. And I view the loss to Greece as a fairly isolated incident. They simply couldn’t get by some of their picks (which is Carmelo Anthony’s huge flaw on defense) and if the US and Greece were to play 5 games in a row I would put all the money I had on the US. The coaching staff simply wasn’t prepared.
Top scorers for the tourney:
- Yao Ming (China) 25.3
- Dirk Nowitzki (Germany) 23.2
- Paul Gasol (Spain) 21.3
- Carlos Arroyo (Puerto Rico) 21.2
- Elias Ayuso (Puerto Rico) 21.2
- Carmelo Anthony (USA) 19.9
- Dwyane Wade (USA) 19.9
- Fadi El Khatib (Lebanon) 18.8
- Igor Rakocevic (Serbia & Montenegro) 18.3
- ‘Tiago’ Splitter (Brazil) 16.4