Danny Granger and Team USA kick it up a notch this weekend with a full dress rehearsal for the FIBA World Championships which tip off next weekend.
On Saturday, Team USA takes on Lithuania in Madrid followed by a showdown with host Spain on Sunday at La Caja Magica ("Magic Box") which is a sweet name for a hoops arena.
BallinEurope.com has been ranking the WC contenders leading up to the big tournament in Turkey and currently slots Lithuania at #6 pending how they show up against the U.S. team. The game tips off at 3:00PM EDT and will be shown on ESPN.
On Sunday, Team USA challenges Spain, considered in the BiE rankings as the #1 team heading into the World Championships. That game also tips at 3:00PM EDT and will be shown on NBA TV. You'd have to think that both teams, especially España, would save some of their game plan for a medal round matchup in Turkey, but the game should still be plenty entertaining.
While Spain will be without Pau Gasol, to 2008 silver medalists will still have several players familiar to NBA fans that have plenty of international hoops experience, including Jorge Garbajosa, Jose Calderon, Rudy Fernandez, Juan Carlos Navarro and Marc Gasol. Hyped up point guard phenom, Ricky Rubio also plays for Spain so we know Minnesota GM David Kahn will be tuning in with drool bucket in hand.
FIBA.com has everything you need to know about the World Championships and the teams involved.
Nice to have some good hoops action to follow in August and even better to have Danny Granger included in the action. Bruno's latest Caught in the Web shares his thoughts and those of Larry Bird on the benefits of Granger getting as many reps as possible with Team USA this summer.