Five weeks ago Tony Parker, Boris Diaw, and Serge Ibaka all shared the same NBA floor together as the Oklahoma City Thunder eliminated the San Antonio Spurs from the playoffs in game six of the Western Conference Finals.
On Tuesday evening in Madrid, Spain, Ibaka got the best of Parker and Diaw once more as Spain defeated France 81-65 in an exhibition match. Both teams were missing key players as Ricky Rubio sat out for Spain, while Nicolas Batum sat out for France, while Parker played just around six minutes and scored two points for Les Bleus.
Spain was just too much for France as their dominant frontcourt of the Gasol brothers combined for 17 points, as they along with Ibaka got France’s big men in foul trouble early, and the Spanish built a big first quarter lead and carried it throughout the game.
Diaw finished the game with 5 points in limited action, while Spur-to-be Nando De Colo led France in scoring with 13 points. Sergio Llull led Spain in scoring with 15 points, but the Spanish had just too much depth for France in the end.
Without Chicago Bulls’ Joakim Noah playing in the Olympics, the French are going to have a tough time defending the post against teams with frontcourt size as Diaw and Ronny Turiaf are the two players who man the paint for France.
Parker once again wore his new goggles to keep his eye protected, and he’ll eventually get back to playing major minutes, but for now the French coaching staff is making sure to ease him back into playing form game-by-game.
When the game started, De Colo was playing shooting guard alongside Parker. Once Parker left ot the bench in the first quarter, De Colo took over point guard duties for the remainder of the game. This is the plus of De Colo the Spurs can surely use, he’s a combo guard who can play both positions with ease.
One area De Colo needs to improve on in the NBA will be his decision making on defense. He likes to do what ManuGinobili does, try to gamble on steals by leaving his man or going too far into the paint, and thus he leaves his man open for a three pointer.
France will play Belgium on Thursday in France as Les Bleus continue to train for the London Olympic games.