G. Krapikas – about the national team’s three-pointers, I. Brazdeikis and positions in basketball

The basketball players of “Žalgiris” Kaunas, who are not playing with the national team this summer, will gather next week for the first training camp in preparation for the 2022-2023 season. for the season. He will lead the preparations of Žalgiris Amber Krapikasreplacing Kazis Maksvytis, who is working with the Lithuanian national team.

Before the upcoming work, G. Krapikas stopped by to share his thoughts about the “Žalgiris” equipment, preparation and the national team’s game together with “Žalgiris Insider” presenter and basketball commentator Ryčias Kazlauskas on the “Žalgiris Insider” webcast.

“The initial concern about the game of the Lithuanian national team was due to faltering shooting from a distance. We saw how correct and important this is when Rokas Giedraitis opened the game with Spain with two three-pointers. The whole team got up, even though the players were already on their feet, tensed like a spring. They were well tense, and it showed in the players’ body language. That problem of long shots in the match “took off”.

Opponents had to defend our shooters all the way to the three-point line. A space opened up for Jonas Valančiūnas and Domantas Sabonis. Dom had a hell of a solid game. The fears were right and we saw how important it is to hit for our national team”, – the specialist commented on the recent victory of the Lithuanian national team against the Spaniards on Tuesday.

When the talk turned to the newly completed composition of “Žalgiris”, G. Krapikas assessed the game of the new player from Žalgiris, Ignos Brazdeikis, who joined the national team perfectly. The versatile player who scored 19 points in the Spanish basket quickly became one of the pillars of K. Maksvytis in the national team.

“I think he answered all the main questions about how he will look when he comes to play in Europe, for the Lithuanian national team. It took 2-3 games to show that he can really play, has a lot of positive qualities that allow him to compete at a very high level. The last matches of the national team showed how well he can play.

I’m not talking about Berod’s 19 points scored, that’s a huge number, but also Igno’s defensive efforts. He tries, even if he makes a mistake, and his body is ready to play contact defense. Don’t avoid it. Not to mention that offensively he doesn’t avoid contact, he looks for it because he has a very strong body. The contact does not knock Igno off balance, on the contrary, it pushes his opponent out of a good defensive position, standing firmly on his feet. We are very happy that he is helping the national team perfectly at this stage,” asserted G. Krapikas.

The former long-time legendary player of “Žalgiris” and the current representative of the coaching staff G. Krapikas also gave his opinion about the nominal position of I. Brazdeikis in the Kaunas club. Iggy, who mostly plays on the wing, will spend a lot of time in the Kaunas club as an attacking defender. According to the coach, this is not really a problem.

“I think we are too focused on the positions of the players. Big budget teams have that classic offensive lineman who can score. Many teams play two combo guards who can substitute for each other. We spend so much time arguing about which position a player will play – ‘first’, ‘second’ or ‘third’. If necessary, he will play in “first”, “second”, and “third”.

The best players have to play at crucial times. Of course, this needs to be improved. A good offensive lineman must shoot well after coming out of the double block. We will have to work on that, but Ignas has a shot. As individual parts of the combinations are honed through training, that position will naturally change. We will need specific training adapted to our combinations”, said the coach.

All subscribers to the MVP plan of “Žalgiris Insider” can see the entire almost hour-long conversation with G. Krapik.

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