In these lockout times, Eurobasket 2011 and the rest of the Olympic-qualifying tournaments may be the best basketball we see in a while. And much more appealing than whatever summer pick-up stuff is going on domestically.
And we kinda had an open thread on Wednesday! Three Bulls were playing throughout the day in Lithuania:
In his first action since suffering a fractured left fibula in the Eastern Conference Finals, Omer Asik recorded four points, three rebounds and four blocked shots as Turkey cruised over Portugal.
Luol Deng, was the only member of the trio to lose, putting up 25 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two apiece of blocks and steals in Great Britain's defeat at the hands of the host country.
Joakim Noah, whose squad won a closer-than-expected matchup with Latvia, recorded 10 points and seven rebounds for France, which was led by Spurs point guard Tony Parker's 31 points and seven assists.
SBNation bro-site The Dream Shake has a brief run-down of each game. As Mike McGraw reminded me, Bulls draftee and symbol of future salvation Nikola Mirotic did not make the tournament favorite Spanish squad.
Now lets do this more properly. You can view the full upcoming schedule at this snazzy page (via Skeets). Asik and Deng's squads will be facing off at 9:45 AM (CDT) Thursday, and like all games they'll be streaming at ESPN3.com, which is pretty neat.
If you want to familiarize yourself with the tournament, The Painted Area (he best source for this type of information) has some in-depth group play previews. NBA Playbook goes even deeper (via BlazersEdge) in some select team previews (including those of Turkey and France).
And finally, thanks to Crossover Chronicles, here's a lengthy video interview with Noah before he began his run with Team France. He really is the best.