Bjelica garners attention and more
And, going into Spain's quarterfinal game against Serbia, Rubio was perhaps the most intriguing player to Wizards fans, given all the excitement he generated at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. But after the game, Nemanja Bjelica emerged as another prospect to keep an eye on down the road.
The Wizards drafted Bjelica with the 35th pick last June before dealing him, and the 30th pick (Lazar Hayward), to the Timberwolves as part of a pre-arranged deal to get Trevor Booker and Hamady Ndiaye. And, while he has had a relatively quiet tournament, Bjelica -- a 22 year old point guard trapped in the body of a 6-foot-10 power forward -- made all five of his shots, including three three-pointers, and finished with 14 points in 14 minutes to help Serbia advance to the semifinals.
From Kurt Helin/ProBasketballTalk: Ricky Rubio is good, but until his shot falls more the legend part is on hold
From Kurt Helin/ProBasketballTalk: Do the Timberwolves have a Euro sleeper in Nemanja Bjelica?
So let's not talk about what Rubio did (or didn't) do in Spain's loss to Serbia on Wednesday. It took a last-second three to send the defending FIBA champs home. Unrelatedly, Ricky Rubio played 26 minutes, going 1 for 4 from the floor. That lone make was one of his two 3-point attempts. He also chipped in three boards, three assists and two steals, while turning the ball over twice.
All of Spain's other starters have proven themselves at the NBA level; they put up perfectly respectable numbers in defeat. Too bad that detail can't help us understand Ricky any better.