Argentina vs. Greece: Game Grades, Analysis for FIBA World Cup Matchup

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistSeptember 4, 2014

Argentina's Nicolas Laprovittola, center, in action with Greece's Georgios Printezis, left, and Nikos Zisis during the Group B Basketball World Cup match in Seville, Spain, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. The 2014 Basketball World Cup competition will take place in various cities in Spain from Aug. 30 through to Sept. 14. (AP Photo/Miguel Angel Morenatti)
Miguel Angel Morenatti/Associated Press

In a battle for Group B supremacy, Greece knocked off Argentina 79-71 on the final day of the 2014 FIBA World Cup's opening round.

Nick Calathes scored a game-high 18 points while Giannis Bourousis added 16 points and 15 rebounds. Greece shot an even 50 percent from the floor, building an early lead and holding on at the finish.

While Argentina was, as expected, paced by Luis Scola with 17 points, guards Pablo Prigioni and Facundo Campazzo chipped in 10 each. Three-point shooting hampered the Argentines, who suffered their second loss of group play.

Aided by a 21-5 run before and after halftime, Greece was able to outlast an Argentina squad that clawed its way back to within two points before falling short. 


Argentina Grades

Luis Scola: B
Pablo Prigioni: B+
Andres Nocioni: C-
Walter Herrmann: D+
Rest of Team: C-


Greece Grades

Nick Calathes: A
Giannis Bourousis: A-
Nikos Zisis: A-
Giannis Antetokounmpo: C
Rest of Team: B


Luis Scola: B

Miguel Angel Morenatti/Associated Press

The tournament's leading scorer entering the contest, Scola continued his offensive production with a 17-point night. He registered 26 consecutive minutes before sitting eight and seemingly losing his touch as the clock ran out.

Scola missed three of his final four shots, eliminating any chances at an Argentinian miracle. However, the amount of time he spent on the bench during the fourth quarter was perplexing.


Pablo Prigioni: B+

The 37-year-old point guard was disruptive on both ends of the floor, playing the majority of Thursday's contest and tallying 10 points along with three steals.

Similar to Scola, however, Prigioni spent too much time on the bench as Argentina cut into the lead and was ineffective upon re-entering the game.


Andres Nocioni: C-

Miguel Angel Morenatti/Associated Press

Former Chicago Bulls forward Andres Nocioni picked up two early fouls, which limited his immediate offensive impact. Nocioni tried to find a rhythm, proceeded to force a few shots and hurt the Argentines' chances at completing a comeback.

He did manage seven points by drawing a few fouls and heading to the charity stripe and snared five rebounds.


Walter Herrmann: D+

Although he did not commit a foul until the fourth quarter, Walter Herrmann was very quiet throughout the night, managing only seven points and five boards.


Rest of Team: C-

Miguel Angel Morenatti/Associated Press

Nicolas Laprovittola displayed one of the game's most impressive moves with a stop-and-go dribble to split two Greek defenders en route to an uncontested layup.

Facundo Campazzo missed eight attempts from the field before connecting on a three-pointer, capping a pivotal Argentina a 13-2 run. Likely caught in the momentum of the aformentioned run, Leonardo Gutierrez started firing from distance with limited effectiveness despite standing well behind the arc.


Nick Calathes: A

As heard on the ESPN 3 stream, broadcaster Mark Clark said Calathes had perhaps his "most complete game as a Greek national player."

A reserve for the Memphis Grizzlies, Calathes led the way with 18 points, five rebounds and four assists. Greece will need another game like this from Calathes to overpower a talented Serbian backcourt.


Giannis Bourousis: A-

Miguel Angel Morenatti/Associated Press

Bourousis slowly trudged back for defense on occasion, and Argentina subsequently capitalized near the rim. But otherwise, the center was fantastic.

He accounted for nine points and seven rebounds before halftime, then adding seven and eight in the latter half, respectively. Plus, Bourousis swatted three shots. His upcoming matchup with Miroslav Raduljica will be fun to watch.


Nokis Zisis: A-

Hidden behind Calathes' shooting and Bourousis' physicality, Nokis Zisis was quietly aggressive and earned six trips to the charity stripe.  His 13 points and five assists played a major role in fending off the Argentinian momentum.


Giannis Antetokounmpo: C-

Though the young Milwaukee Bucks forward struggled offensively, Giannis Antetokounmpo was a defensive nightmare as always. He played solid defense and used his ridiculous length to alter a few shots at the rim.

Antetokounmpo was so close to throwing down a tip-slam and alley-oop, but he just couldn't quite convert either. He ended with six rebounds, one block and numerous altered shots—a slightly below-average night.

Rest of Team: B

Though Georgios Printezis has a bizarre shooting form, he netted 15 points important points including a game-sealing layup with 44 seconds remaining.

Greece relied heavily on its starting five, so Kostas Papanikolaou, Ian Vougioukas and Kostas Sloukas saw only limited minutes. The trio combined for 13 points, six rebounds and three blocks.


Coming Up Next

Argentina (3-2) takes on Leandro Barbosa, Tiago Splitter, Anderson Varejao and the Brazilian team on Sunday, Sept. 7. Greece (5-0) will meet Serbia on the same day, which is not exactly a stellar reward for going undefeated in group play.