Gortat, Dragic continue to show well in Eurobasket “friendlies”

As Eurobasket 2013 approaches, the Suns continue to represent well in the exhibitions leading up to the event itself.

Marcin Gortat was the headliner over the weekend, putting up 20 points as Poland downed Belgium on Day 2 of the European Basketball Tour. Gortat’s outing is a great sign after returning state-side to have his foot examined. All signs, medically and now production-wise, point to good health, which can only be a good thing with Phoenix hoping Gortat can become the Polish Mentor for No. 5 overall pick Alex Len.

One of Gortat’s teammates may intrigue Suns fans. Maciej Lampe, who played for Phoenix in the 2004-05 season, scored 11 points on Sunday to finish second in scoring behind Gortat. Lampe currently plays for Spanish league powerhouse FC Barcelona when he’s not donning a Poland national jersey.

Meanwhile, Goran Dragic continues to provide leadership and consistency in close games for the Slovenian national team. A week after hitting the game-winning shot over Turkey, Dragic notched 11 points to help push Slovenia past Russia, 84-80. Former NBA talent Bostjan Nachbar led Slovenia with 18 points. Nachbar is teammates with Lampe on FC Barcelona.

Dragic’s Twitter feed is a good way to get the behind-the-scenes glimpses of his time overseas. Immensely proud of his involvement with the national team, Dragic frequently posts pictures and comments while traveling/practicing/playing.

Dragic buzzer-beater lifts Slovenia over Turkey in Eurobasket exhibition

Suns point guard Goran Dragic is getting an extra dose of competition, conditioning and, perhaps most importantly, leadership as he and the Slovenian national team prepare for Eurobasket 2013.

For those who aren’t familiar with Eurobasket, think of it this way: it’s soccer fan fever transferred to the hardcourt, where it’s nation vs. nation rather than club vs. club. The two-week tournament will be well worth following come mid-September, when the real games start.

For now, most of the Eurobasket teams are participating in “friendlies”, exhibitions that serve as tune-ups heading into the real deal. As a standout NBA player, Dragic is already being billed as one of the marquee players of the field.

The Suns’ leading scorer lived up to that billing over the weekend, hitting a game-winning shot in a sequence that has become familiar to Suns fans: a twisting, contorting layup that leaves the defense leaning one way while leaving Dragic with a sufficient opening for a contorting layup, which he sank with 2.5 seconds left over Turkey.

Don’t forget, Turkey, not Spain, was the world’s heaviest punch against Team USA back in the 2010 World Championships. Dragic’s crunch-time chops showed up against a quality opponent, an experience that should only help Phoenix in the upcoming season.