Harrison is Canadian, so I apologize in advance for the spelling of “Labor” — Joe
Happy Labour Day!
On this Labour Day, we got to see Kristaps Porzingis do Kristaps Porzingis things for Latvia and where we get to see Willy Hernangómez continue to be productive off the bench for Spain.
Today, KP absolutely balled in Latvia’s 97-92 win over Great Britain in Istanbul, Turkey. Willy Hernangómez also had a very good game in Spain’s 91-50 blowout win over Romania in Cluj, Romania, but was outplayed by his younger brother and Denver Nuggets’ forward Juancho.
Whatever, who cares.
Latvia 97, Great Britain 92:
Latvia needed all of KP’s 28 points, 8 rebound and 2 block game to beat a Great Britain squad they probably should have crushed on Monday.
Throughout his 26 minutes of game time, he was aggressive defensively. He continuously affected the way Great Britain attacked the basket, and even when he was away from a play, the threat of him coming over to block shots changed the flow of their offence. Despite that, he only had 2 fouls in the game! Yes!
Kristaps was accurate from deep, connecting on 3 of his 4 attempts from beyond the arc. He also attacked a closeout that prompted GB big Dan Clark to make the BEST business decision of 2017:
For his efforts, EuroBasket has him at a +16 +/-, and an efficiency rating of 32. He was unicornin’.
Spain 91, Romania 51:
So, Spain kept rolling along and Hernangómez certainly had a lot to do with it! Oh what’s that now? The other Hernangómez had a better game? Well, based on this tear-jerking note that Juancho wrote for Willy that SB Nation Nuggets affiliate Denver Stiffs graciously translated for us, I’m sure Willy is fine to share the limelight with his lil’ brother.
Juancho balled, dropping 18 points, picking up 12 rebounds and dishing one assist in 27 minutes of play. I’m including this video because bloodlines:
Also, if you go to the 0:43 mark, you’ll see a Willy-to-Juancho dish that is very, very encouraging.
Willy had a super solid game, himself. He score 9 points, had 13 rebounds, that very fraternal assist and two steals in 26 minutes on the floor. He also stayed out of foul trouble, committing just one in the game. This is the exact type of performance we’d all be happy to see from him on a nightly basis for years to come.
Here are the highlights for the game:
Spain will put its 3-0 group C record on the line against fellow undefeated Croatia in a battle for first place in the group Tuesday at 10:45 AM ET. Winner of that game will likely win the group and clinch an easier draw in the knockout rounds.
Latvia will also be in a heavyweight fight tomorrow as they take on Russia, who sits atop the group D standings at 7:15 AM ET. For Latvia, a win would give them the same 3-1 record as the Russians, but would put them in first place by virtue of having the head-to-head advantage.
Let’s get those W’s!