Hanga, Hungary on thin ice


AHFor San Antonio Spurs fans wanting to see more of 2011 NBA Draft pick Adam Hanga, Hanga and Hungary will have to take care of business in a must win game against Portugal today in the additional qualifying round for the 2011 Eurobasket.

In their first matchup last week, Portugal narrowly defeated Hungary 71 to 66. It was a close game throughout and even though Hanga struggled on offense, he still had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds when Hungary was down by three points. Hanga missed a hurried shot but there are some things which show a positive light for Hungary in the rematch.

For instance, Hungary shot 41% while Portugal shot 40% for the game. Portugal beat Hungary in the rebounding battle 33 to 29. Both teams were almost even in turnovers as Portugal had 13 and Hungary had 12 turnovers.

The major issue will be on Hungary’s defense where they allowed five players from Portugal to score in double figures.

Hungary can also use their 75 to 73 loss to Finland as motivation and a guiding factor. They barely lost that game but the numbers suggest they have a strong chance to defeat Finland in a rematch.

Looking at shooting percentages, both teams were very close (HUN 43%-FIN 46%.) Hungary even out-rebounded Finland 33 to 26. 18 Hungarian turnovers to 14 turnovers for Finland were a big difference in the game.

On Monday, Portugal and Finland faced each other and Finland won 68 to 56. Both teams shot tremendously poor and this bodes well for Hungary as they face Portugal today.

Looking at Hanga’s individual stats, he will have to be the one to step up today and throughout the rest of the additional qualifying tournament in order for Hungary to have a chance at making a comeback in Eurobasket positioning.

Vs Portugal: 11 pts, 4/10 FG, 3/6 3PT, 0/3 FT, 4 rbd, 4 ast, 2 TOs, 4 blk, 2 fouls, 33 minutes.

Vs Finland: 10 pts, 3/8 FG, 0/3 3PT, 4/5 FT, 7 rbd, 3 ast, 1 TO, 2 stl, 2 fouls, 38 minutes.

As you can see by his minutes logged, Hanga is a player the team relies on strongly. He will need to get to the free throw line more often and raise his 39% shooting percentage the best that he can.

Here are the current standings of each team going into today’s matchup.

  • Hungary 0-2
  • Finland 2-0
  • Portugal 1-1

If Hungary loses to Portugal today, then all hope is lost as only the top two out of three teams will qualify for Eurobasket positions.

If Hungary wins, they’d move to 1-2 and Portugal would move to 1-2 as well.

Hungary is set to play Finland again on Sunday. If they defeat Finland then they’d move to 2-2 and be in safe zone to secure a Eurobasket bid while waiting for the outcome of Finland-Portugal.

If Hungary losses to Finland, they’d move to 1-3 and they would have to hope that Finland can defeat Portugal in order to have a chance of earning a position.

So if you’re like me and want to see Hanga go against the likes of players likes of Spurs’ Tony Parker, Minnesota’s Ricky Rubio and Rudy Fernandez, the Gasol brothers, Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka, Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki, and Portland’s Nicolas Batum, you’d better hope that Hanga and Hungary can win out beginning today.

Looking at the latest results of Hungary’s past two games, running the table the rest of the additional qualifying round isn’t impossible. 

(Photo: NBAdraft.net) 

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Paul is an editor, writer and content manager for ProjectSpurs.com (@ProjectSpurs) and AnalyzingTheLeague.com (@ATLeague_NBA). Paul is also the host of the Spurscast (@TheSpurscast). Paul has been a credentialed media member covering the San Antonio Spurs and NBA since 2011. Paul has been featured on numerous radio, tv, online and podcast shows.