Whoever came up with the phrase shooters shoot definitely told it to San Antonio Spurs’ Davis Bertans.
Through three games at the FIBA U-19 Championships taking place in Latvia, the Spurs draftee is averaging 13.7 points per game and 6.7 rebounds per game. He also has helped lead his team advance to the second round of the tournament, which wasn’t expected for the host country. But he’s also shooting 29 percent from the field and 23 percent from 3 point range. In Game one, Bertans was limited by foul trouble but still managed to score 13 points in 23 minutes on 4/6 shooting from the field and 5/6 shooting from the free throw line. However, he did miss all six of his three point attempts. Playing out of position at the center spot, Bertans also pulled down seven rebounds in Latvia’s 85-67 win over Chinese Taipei.
Game two was pretty much the exact opposite of Game one. Bertans shot the lights out from three in Latvia’s upset 78-68 victory over Australia. He was 6/9 from three but only 1/7 from two and went 2/2 from the free throw line. Game three against Argentina was terrible for Bertans. Six points on 3/19 shooting including 0/11 from three. Yikes! Couple of things about this game. Latvia had already secured its spot in the next round while Argentina had to win to advance. Basically the number three ranked team in the world put their foot on the gas when had to and dominated the number 34 team in the world. These things happen.
What you should take away from this first round of games is Bertans can score a lot of different ways, he shoots a ton and hasn’t put together a complete game yet. Next up in the round of 12, Latvia plays Brazil. Stay tuned to Project Spurs for updates on Bertans at the FIBA U-19.
Speaking of Brazil, center Lucas Nogueira, who was a hot topic on Project Spurs until he pulled out of the draft, is having himself himself a pretty good tournament, especially on defense. “Bebe” as he’s known in both Brazil and Europe is averaging over eight rebounds per game and a dominant 3.3 blocks per game. He is also the team’s second leading scorer at 12.3 points per game on 46 percent shooting.
Team USA is 3-0 going in to the quarterfinals. They destroyed Egypt 115-60 in Game one, had a closer than expected Game two against Serbia, but still won 80-78 and soundly beat China 82-66 in Game three. Memphis point guard Joe Jackson leads the team in scoring 14.3 points per game and UConn swingman Jeremy Lamb is averaging 13.3 points per game. North Texas big man Tony Mitchell, Jr. is pulling down nine rebounds per game and Arizona State point guard Jahii Carson is averaging 3.3 assists per game to lead the team. They’ve America, Jr. – Canada – coming up Monday