Donatas Motiejunas, Jonas Valanciunas fail to impress in EuroBasket opener

Feb 22, 2013; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas (17) pulls down a rebound against the New York Knicks at the Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Knicks 100-98. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Before EuroBasket 2013 officially tipped off, Lithuania was considered as one of the contenders to the championship. Wednesday evening Lithuania took on Serbia in what was projected to be a tight encounter, featuring two young NBA players in Donatas Motiejunas and Jonas Valanciunas. However, the Lithuanians came up short.

Despite the absence of Milos Teodosic, Serbia came out guns blazing, outhustling and outplaying Lithuania early and often. However, Lithuanian head coah Jonas Kazlauskas had an ace up his sleeve, right? The two NBA players on his bench? Not exactly.

D-Mo barely saw the court all evening, playing just three minutes registering practically no stats in the box score except for one missed shot. Valanciunas came off the bench but stayed on the court just 11 minutes, scoring 2 points and grabbing 2 rebounds. Perhaps it was the nerves, as Valanciunas quickly picked up the fouls and his frustration eventually piled over when he committed a hard fourth foul in the fourth quarter and was forced to take a seat.

Serbia ended up winning  the game, 63-56, and Lithuania will be going up against Macedonia Thursday evening. It will not be an easy matchup and Lithuania will have to make adjustments. The team lacks a true point guard, but has a very deep and strong frontline, something that they barely ever utilized against Serbia, which naturally led to very inefficient offense.

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