USA (7-0) vs Lithuania (7-0) – WOW. Though I did say Lithuania was better than the 40/1 odds against them to start this tournament, I cannot say that I anticipated them doing this. They just clobbered Argentina, who was a favorite to win this tournament in the eyes of many, and Linas Kleiza is the sole reason why. He showed years ago in Denver that he has the ability to shoot lights out and sometimes take over games coming off the bench, but in this FIBA tournament he has shined as a starter. Through 7 games he is averaging 19 ppg and also leading the Lithuanians in rebounds, as well. It is always strange how seemingly average NBA players take over these tournaments, and Linas has just been one of many to do it.
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Russia has appeared strong in this tournament despite being without versatile forward Andrei Kirilenko. Their other former NBA player, Victor Kryhapa, has not been playing either. Their only loss, to Turkey, came as no surprise, as Hedo Turkoglu, Ersan Ilyasova, and the rest of the Turkish team has been great playing in their home country for this tournament. Sasha Kaun has been a bright spot for Russia, as well. He went late in the second round of the NBA draft, but has looked to be worth much more in play throughout. His lanky and gangly frame allows him to squirm his way for open looks. Thus far he is averaging 11.5 ppg.