Brazil vs Iran: Game Grades, Analysis for FIBA World Cup 2014 Matchup

John Dorn@JSDorn6Correspondent IIIAugust 31, 2014

Aug 16, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Brazil guard Leandro Barbosa (10) is defended by United States guard Derrick Rose (6) during the first quarter at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Iran did all it could, but there just wasn't any stopping Brazil on Sunday. Brazil took this group-phase match of the FIBA World Cup by a score of 79-50, pushing its Cup record to 2-0.

Iran did its best to come out firing and held a lead through most of the first quarter. But once Brazil shook its early-game doldrums, there was no looking back. Alex Garcia led the Brazilians in scoring with his 12 points, while Tiago Splitter filled the stat sheet in his limited time on the floor in this blowout.

For Iran, its bonafide talent, Hamed Haddadi, struggled all game long, and it shows in the final score. 

Brazil Grades:

Marcelinho Huertas: A-

Tiago Splitter: B+

Nene: B

Anderson Varejao: B+

Leandro Barbosa: A-

Rest of team: B+


Iran Grades:

Hamed Haddadi: C-

Mahdi Kamrani: B+

Arsalan Kazemi: B-

Mohammad Jamshidi: C+

Rest of team: D



Marcelinho Huertas: A-

Daniel Tejedor/Associated Press

Though his numbers didn't end nearly as glaring as they did in Brazil's first game, it's clear that Marcelinho Huertas is one of the more masterful point guards in the competition.

He has an incredible feel for where his teammates are, and it was evident on several plays, including a slick pass to Marquinhos Viera in the second quarter for a bucket, and a behind-the-back dish to Leandro Barbosa at the beginning of the third quarter for a three.

He finished with two points, six assists and two rebounds on 1-of-3 shooting. Though his scoring numbers don't do his game justice since he's such a pass-first point guard, the 31-year-old is a joy to watch. 


Tiago Splitter: B+

Often on the receiving end of some nifty Huertas feeds, Splitter was able to impact the game on both ends Sunday. He ended up posting 10 points, six rebounds, an assist, a block and a steal over his 16 minutes. 

He was frequently paired with Haddadi, a rare center who poses a size disadvantage for the Brazilian. A simple peek at Haddadi's final line, and the final score of this contest, tells you all you need to know about that in-game matchup.


Nene: B

Daniel Tejedor/Associated Press

It took Nene a while to get comfortable offensively with Iran's size in the middle, but he ended up posting an attractive stat line against them. He netted eight points on 4-of-6 shooting to go along with four rebounds over his 29 minutes. 

He was responsible for a rare steal in the open court during the second quarter, leading to a wide-open lay-in for the big man. 


Anderson Varejao: B+

Whether it be for the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Brazilian national team, Anderson Varejao rarely fails to bring spark and excitement to his team. Tonight was no exception. 

He took only three shots, connecting on two of thembut was responsible for several crafty passes, one monster block and an electrifying jam in the third quarter. He led the team in boards with six and posted a single-game plus-minus of plus-21He was part of Brazil's talented pool of big men that simply outclassed Iran's front line all game long. 

Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press


Leandro Barbosa: A-

He's been doing this for a long time now, and 31-year-old Leandro Barbosa put on a show for his Brazil team Sunday. He finished up shooting 5-of-6, connecting on four of his five two-pointers, and was the second-leading scorer with 11 points. He came away with four steals, directly leading to fast-break buckets for the Brazilians. 

He was on the receiving end of a few nice feeds from Huertas, and his touch from distance was superb. Combined with his prowess on the defensive end, Barbosa was perhaps the most impressive player from the Brazilian side tonight. 


Rest of Team: B+

This was a complete effort from Brazil, and the team received positive contributions from nearly every player to step foot on the hardwood Sunday. 

Alex Garcia thrived on both ends, wreaking havoc defensively and finishing as Brazil's scoring leader with 12 pointsMarcelo Machado, 39, helped out with eight points, including two three-pointers. Larry Taylor finished with seven points, and Rafael Hettsheimeir made three of his five three-pointers in 17 minutes. 



Hamed Haddadi: C-

DENVER, CO - APRIL 17: Hamed Haddadi #98 of the Phoenix Suns waits for the rebound against the Denver Nuggets on April 17, 2013 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using
Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

The Iranian team needs a consistent effort from Haddadi each time out in order to compete, and he didn't offer that tonight. He was held scoreless heading into the fourth quarter and finished with just four points, though he managed to grab seven rebounds. He turned the ball over six times.

Going up against Brazil's fleet of athletic big men, Haddadi couldn't get into any sort of rhythm offensively. He made two consecutive jumpers in the fourth, but with the Brazilian lead already in double digits, it was far too late to make any impact. 


Mahdi Kamrani: B+

Kamrani showed a lot of skill against Brazil, but there wasn't nearly enough around him to counteract all the Brazilian talent. He finished with 11 points on 4-of-10 shooting, and his zero assists don't do his overall game justice. With him off the floor, the offense was hardly able to function at all. 

Like Barbosa on the other side, he was able to come away with four steals of his own, though not as many were translated into points for Iran. 


Arsalan Kazemi: B-

Kazemi's final numbers aren't anything special (two points, three rebounds, one assist), but he was responsible for a few energizing plays for Iran early on. In the second quarter, he led the charge on a fast break that ended in a made bucket by Hamed Afagh. His defensive presence was felt sporadically, particularly with an impressive block in the second quarter. 


Mohammad Jamshidi: C+

Jamshidi logged more than 30 of the game's 40 minutes and led the team with 13 points, though it came on 6-of-14 shooting. He grabbed two rebounds and dished out a pair of assists, though his six turnovers were a microcosm for Iran's failures as a unit. The team turned it over 24 times all together. 


Rest of Team: D

Especially with its focal point, Haddadi, struggling to mightily, Iran wasn't able to stand a chance with how ineffective the role players were on Sunday. Of the eight Iranian players not graded above, they combined for 20 points. Perhaps the most damaging of whom was forward Sammad Nikkhah Bahrami, who shot 1-of-10, including 1-of-9 from the three-point line, to go along with one assist and no rebounds. 


Coming Up Next:

Brazil's next matchup in the group phase comes against the host, Spain, on Monday. Iran will attempt to grab its first Cup victory Monday against Serbia.