So, what the hell are we going to do with ourselves? The season wouldn’t even have technically started yet, but it’s already exceedingly evident that the basketball universe is bored. Another nearly full calendar year of these internet tumbleweeds would be unbearable and, as such, we must find things to keep ourselves occupied. Here are some suggestions.

International Tournaments
The FIBA Americas and the FIBA EuroBasket tournaments are both on the horizon. While they aren’t going to whet your appetite to the fullest, and not for long, if you can find a source for watching the games, it’s a decent basketball fix.

The FIBA Americas Championship kicks off on August 30 and runs through September 11. The tournament features 10 teams vying for two 2012 Summer Olympics qualifying spots. While the USA has dropped out of the tournament, and other teams have struggled to attract NBA players due to insurance issues, the tournament is still definitely worth a watch.

Along with a decent pool of NBA talent, readers of this site may be interested in cheering for the team from Canada. Of course, Canada has no realistic shot at qualifying for the Olympics, but even a 3-1 record against the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Venezuela, and Brazil could be looked at as a positive for the program. NBA players Joel Anthony, Cory Joseph and Andy Rautins will try to lead a team that also features national team stalwarts Carl English, Denham Brown and NCAA players Murphy Burnatowski (U of Maine) and Kelly Olynyk (Gonzaga).

FIBA EuroBasket 2011 kicks off on August 31 and runs through September 18. The tournament features 16 24 European countries, with the top two teams being guaranteed a spot in the 2012 Summer Olympics. While most of the names will be unfamiliar, the usual Euro-suspects from the NBA will almost all be in uniform.

For our purposes of course, the focus will be on Lithuania and Jonas Valanciunas. After dominating in the Under-19s, we should all be very excited to see how Jonas stacks up against full grown big men in international competition. His group features Germany, Montenegro, and Belgium, which means he’ll face NBA-ish big-men like Nikola Pekovic, Nikola Vucevic, and DJ Mbenga, along with German studs Chris Kaman and Dirk Nowitzki.

Update: Thank you to commenter cesco, who pointed out that I had pulled the ‘group’ draws instead of the ‘pool’ draws. Lithuania is matched up with Portugal, Great Britain, Spain, Turkey, and Poland. My points remain valid, but the specific big men Jonas will test himself again are different (of primary note is that instead of Kaman and Dirk, it will be the Gasols, Serge Ibaka, and Omer Asik).

You can sometimes find decent streams of the games, but if not, they are almost always up on YouTube for full viewing within 24 hours.

Las Vegas League and the NBLC
Z covered the Las Vegas League a bit, but to reiterate, it is basically a short-form tournament being put on by Impact Basketball that is expected to draw in small handfuls of NBA talent over two weeks. If this thing gets some marketing and some internet streaming going, it could be the basketball highlight of the early fall. Here’s hoping Impact can attract as many NBA players for their tournament as they do for their training.

The National Basketball League of Canada is new, small, without heavy promotion, and relatively devoid of notable talent. While I like and respect the idea and may even try to catch a game in Hamilton Oshawa, this isn’t going to give you much of a fix as an NBA fanatic.

Watch Hockey
Not sure if my fellow Canadians have heard, but we’re just six weeks away from the start of the NHL season! Annnnd commence hating on me for suggesting it….now. In all seriousness, the NBA lockout probably won’t turn any Canadians towards hockey, since if you’re not a hockey fan in Canada yet, you probably never will be. However, it’s worth noting for the NBA that the NHL truly stands to gain from a prolonged lockout by being the only source of weekday sports available en masse.

  • cesco

    In the European Championship , Lithuania is in a group with Spain ,Turkey , Poland , UK and Portugal not the countries you mentioned . Germany is in a group with France  , Serbia , Italy and Israel , by far the toughest group to qualify for next round ( only three qualify ) and there are 24 teams not 16 as you said .
    The US have already qualified for the Olympics as world champions and there is a final qualifying tournament next year where 4 teams from Europe and 3 teams (i believe) from the Americas will try to qualify for the Olympics , so Canada still has a chance even if they do not finish first or second at the Americas tournament .

    • http://theondeckcircle.net Blake Murphy

      Wow, sorry. I looked at the ‘group’ draws instead of the ‘pool’ draws for the team breakdown, and was going off memory with 16 teams (they changed it to 24 last September).

      Big mistake on my part, and thank you for the corrections. Luckily, my point still holds, though Jonas will obviously face different big-man competition in this case.

      As for Canada…I’m aware of the extra qualifying opportunities, my thought was more so that in general they don’t have great odds and are not expected to qualify.

      Thanks again, appreciate it.

  • Propaganda

    NFL and NCAA Football are beginning as well (I know they’re not basketball) and eventually NCAA Basketball will begin with a deep pool of talent.  As a Canadian I will continue to avoid all things hockey no matter how long the NBA lock out lasts :)

  • http://twitter.com/DJAG88 Big D

    Football would be my fix, then NCAA bball when it starts up

  • http://theondeckcircle.net Blake Murphy

    Yes, football is my primary option as well, just ran out of time a bit at the end to explore ALL options. I’d go football (though this only helps us Sun/Mon), then NCAA ball, then hockey to fill the void.

  • Juicey

    What do you mean catch a game in Hamilton? There are no teams in Hamilton, and the schedule shows none being played there.  Though, I would have liked a team in that location.  If you are west of the GTA, Oshawa and London are both somewhat long drives.  Plus nobody wants to cross the city with Oshawa as the reward.

    BTW, here are the full list of teams.  Looks like they all have team names now:

    Halifax Rainmen NSQuebec Kebs QCSaint John Mill Rats NBOshawa Power ONThe Island PEIMoncton Miracles NBLondon Lightning ON

    The Rainmen, Power and Mill Rats are weak names, but the “Miracles” has got to be the worst.  Would be funny if they sucked, so we could makes jokes about it being a Miracle anytime they win.  Also what the heck is a Keb?

    • http://theondeckcircle.net Blake Murphy

      Jesus, apparently I do not fact-check well on night shift. I must have looked at Halifax and thought Hamilton. Sorry everyone.

  • http://theondeckcircle.net Blake Murphy

    For a really good rundown of EuroBasket 2011 from The Painted Area – tinyurl.com/43w4gsc

  • Filthytwat
  • Filthytwat

    wow…what a great game.

  • Filthytwat

    wtf, no comments on our favorite raptor from the regular douchebags in here?…bargs is playin well and all i hear is crickets….i guess it needs to be a pickup game at the drew league full of screaming pre teen fangirls to get the fans in here excited.

    • hateslosing

      Any of you guys have a box score or highlights? I missed the game.

      • Kevin

        theres a thread all about his performance in that game in the forums

    • Pizzaman1

      Filthy you’re on the wrong site if you’re looking for someone to talk about how well Bargnani has been playing; yesterdays final against Greece in Greece 16 pts 11 boards.
      This site is strictly for the losers who think winning is about praising a shooting guard who cannot hit a three for his life, has horrible handles, cannot pass, but occasionally slams the ball, and a couple of grinders who get constant praise, while continually bashing the most talented basketball player on the team for his deficiencies, versus talking about his strengths and how the new coach might help him improve on the weaknesses.
      You are wasting time if you think these losers care, since they would rather watch a bunch of hogs play street ball in LA, than watch a Euro tournament with lots of passing and team play and players that like each other.

      • points

        ANDREA should be an all star next season with all this rebounding against these power house teams can’t wait for her to get back to the raptors so she can do the same ,it’s going to be her break out year  our Z  BO  yeppee

        • p00ka

          points: You really are that dumb to not realize just how pathetic you are.
          filthy: kudos
          Pizzaman: double kudos

          • points

            two of the 4 people plus the multi paul who want to talk about the pussiesss name ANDREA AND HER 19 REBOUNDS against the power house  team ,the bitch is the star ,the #1 pick ,leader got paid before doing any thing and last season led her team in only one (1) cat. scoring

      • points

        buddy at this stage in my shooting guards (DD) game i’ll be happy if he keeps on taking it to the rim and gets the three the hard way (the basket and one) not standing out in three point land like the little pussiesses name ANDEREA , we had another pussiesss who use to take it to the rim and we loved when she did it, but then she started to fall in love with the three and said DUNKING WAS OVERATED that pussiess name VINETTE so as long as my 5 count them JV DD AJ ED JB keep on taking it to the rim i don’t care if they ever take a three.The NBA is a game for men not for pussisess wtf we got our point guard and our center always playing out by the three point line (Jose and the pussy cats)…and i’m sure BC can find two kids from J and F pay them $50 and they would do more than these two pussiesss, its called put the ball in the basket and this 7ft pussiess name ANDREA wants to stand as far away from the basket to put the ball in the basket then tries to tell us dummies that he does the complicated stuff but i am not a dummy i think if your 7ft tall and your taller then most of the other players on the court i just think that the 7fter would try and do it the simple way by being closer to the basket wtf you do the math 

    • points

      i hope other NBA brass are watching how queen ANDREA is killing all the power house teams so far.SHE should be a 20 and 10 next season for sure and with the help of D.Casey should lead this team to the playoff

  • CalgaryRapsFan

    Thanks for the link, I watched the last 10 mins of the game yesterday and was impressed with the feed quality!

    As for Bargnani, I was surprised by his aggressiveness on offense and some pretty decent man-to-man defense.  There was one spin move he made with about 1:45 left in the game that should have been an ‘and-one’, but it was a brutal charge call (the defender’s foot was off the ground!)… good to see him not settle for long jumpers!

    Does anybody have a link to the box score, or could you just post his stats?  Greece is a decent team that always has quality bigs, so I’m definitely interested to see how he matached up and performed. 

    Perhaps somebody could post this as a new forum topic for discussion???

    • cesco

       http://galanissportsdata.com/default.htm

      Click on 81-82 of italy-greece the stats of the game are there .

  • Kevin

    The NBA chose the worse year to have a lockout, don’t wanna know what it’s gonna be like to come home from class and not be able to sit back to Raptor’s game.  The Falcons only play once a week just like any other NFL team so it may not be enough.  NCAA will help but I never usually watch for a team but to check out the top prospects.

  • Pesterm1

    GO JETS GO!         GO JETS GO!

    • points

      Raptors are a couple of peices away from being a playoff team and i think we should use ANDREA to help get at lease 1 of the peice that we need  H.Barnes

  • cesco

    Google : tournament acropolis greece italy
     
    15 minutes of the game on youtube

  • points

    i wish for BC to give ANDREA a fresh start somewhere sunny

    • GLAMITY

      i wish for your single mom to stop getting welfare cheques to pay for your internet.

      • p00ka

        and for his mom to give him long overdue hugs

        • OWND&PWND

          and for his mom to get off the drugs and come back and teach him some COMMON SENSE 

          • points

            tell me about JV putting it down and how many times demar goes to the washroom but all i want to hear about this pussiesssses name ANDREA is, is she gone yet and who did we get for her

          • points

            you got it wrong my daddy was the one on drugs he would take the money that he got from you MA who was his hore and your sister his wood washer and buy drugs and pay for my internet so as long has your MA keep horing and your sis keep on washing my internet is fine

        • points

          and POO POO you’er always talking bout hugs whats up with that you migh be needing DR. PHIL i think there is something deep going on here

          • p00ka

            Only as deep as you want to make it. One last time for the sake of a the pathetic, whining idiot. Sports is about FUN and entertainment. If the only fun you’re getting is to incessantly whine about one player every single day, find the fun somewhere else. I don’t know what to suggest, except perhaps don’t believe the hair on the palms thing and go jack off in the corner of your mom’s basement while playing video games. After you’ve relieved some of that tension, find a bball team that you can cheer for and have fun. Just trying to help you see brighter days kid.

      • points

        what what is this what this  site has become, where one can’t talk about there team and the wish they have for their team and the hate they have for the pussiessisse  on this team name ANDREA …and i don’t blame my mom for kicking my dad out ,the guy was out doing your mom and sis every night and came back with something on his mouth sounds like glamity are you my half brother 

  • Statement

    Sweet lord it’s a boring offseason.

    Come on the board and it’s the ususal stiffs trumpeting Bargs and 1 dude trying to annoy them.

    The season can’t come soon enough.

    • Juicey

      If there is no season, we’ll be reading “I hate Bargs”, “Bargs is a King” comments everyday for another year.  Should be completely unbearable.

      I think at some point the idiots on both sides will eventually track each other down and get into some serious gang wars.  At least that’s all we can hope for.

  • Real Hoops

    You forgot the big showdown between Melo, Durant, LeBron and Chris Paul in two days.

    http://realhoopstalk.com/big-showdown-between-nba-all-stars

    Also, is the Canadian Basketball League going to be televised?

    • Filthytwat

      big showdown?….u mean nothing pickup game right?

      …EuroBasket 2011 (Aug 31st – Sept 18th

      some of the best basketball you’ll see outside of the nba.

      • points

        All i want to know is HOW JV IS DOING not the pussisesss name ANDREA

  • Filthytwat

    stupid people do and say stupid things and just stay stuck in their rut,they never evolve they stay set in their moronic views. smart people outsmart each other and make things better…we have a segment of our fanbase so dumb that you just cant argue with them because theyre just stupid…..lol, it makes me laugh.they shit on bargs every opportunity they get and think demar,amir or ed davis are better….lmfao.its hilarious…bargs is head and shoulders better then every player on this team. the players know this. management knows this. the fans with a brain know this. then u get the monkey motherfuckers who are loud,dumb,stupid,idiotic lemmings and as usual we gotta put up with it while they bitch n moan and promote their retarded views.

    lol.

    • points

      all i want to know is  IS SHE GONE YET!!!

      • p00ka

        Everybody gets the message. We don’t need it every day 6 times a day, but if ALL YOU WANT TO KNOW is that, then you can go away until he is gone. You won’t will you. You need the attention, even if over the internet.

    • UC

      Demar finished his sophomore season, Davis finished his rookie season, and Amir has proven to make this team better when he’s on the floor. Bargnani has been on this team for 5 dam years, so dam right he should be better hes got more years and experience on a lot of these guys but he hasn’t proven jack sht, he is a dam lazy ass useless slug. You’re like bargnani, you both don’t care about winning and care about useless stats. you’re talking out of your ass buddy.

      • Filthytwat

        ….another retard.he’s sure lazy playing organized ball as a starter for his country in the offseason in a major fucking tournament. how do you know he and i dont care about winning? you know me?u know him? youre just another fucking retard with baseless claims…..who’s talkin out of his ass u monkey motherfucker?

        • points

          no she is lazy when playing for the country,city ,team, employer toronto raptors and BC who took the CO. money and made it rain on the pussiess name ANDREA and so you know the pussiess only started playing a little better after the two real NBA players on his team B and G had their game at another level (NBA) more the one from DENVER

        • Nilanka15

          Just to play devil’s advocate Joshua Reynolds, there are plenty of people who show up to work everyday and are still super lazy while at work.  The fact that Bargnani is playing for Italy this summer doesn’t disprove his “alleged” laziness.

          But I must admit, his 19 boards vs. BYU was encouraging.  Hopefully it’s not another outlier (like the 17-rebound game vs. Indiana last year).

    • Juicey

      If these stupid people are incapable of getting out of that “rut”, if they are truely “set in their moronic views”, and if you spend your days trying to convince them of something they can’t learn, how intelligent does that make you?

      Being completely honest here, I am neither a true believer of Bargs, nor a hater of him either.  But looking across that fence I’m seeing a lot of idiots on both sides of it.

      • points

        so fruit which side of the fence have you been sitting on for the last five years watching this pussiesss name ANDREA ” I’m neither a true believer nor am i a hater of her ” please !

        • Juicey

          Like most people I had hoped he would put all of his talents together and live up to the expectations we had for him when he was made the #1 pick.  Or at the very least make the most of the opportunities he has been given.  Unfortunately I don’t feel I have seen that from him.  And as great as he can be, I have yet to see proof that he can put it together in this league (thus solid international play, same old same when the season starts back).  I dont cheer against him, he is a Raptor, and before anything else I am a Raptors fan.

          While I am unconvinced by his strong play in these games.  I see no reason to piss on all of those who are excited by these games.  Bitching and whining on either side of the fence is useless. And we spend all of this time obsessing on one player, when there are 11 others on this team.  Man, it’s going to be a long lockout.

    • points

      yes our GM needs to out smart other teams GM and unload the pussiesss name ANDREA and make things better.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jtshoopsblog Jeffrey Thompson

    The things about European games is that we never get a chance to see them in North America.  Team Canada does seem to look better with Corey joseph and Andy Rautins

  • points

    hay BC PLEASE NO MORE PUSSIESSS ON THE RAPTORS AND DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT AUSTIN RIVERS CAUSE HE’S ANOTHER PUSSIESSS we’ll be fine with studs jv, ed ,aj .jb and dd taking it to the rim and not worried about breaking a nail like you know who 

  • Filthytwat

    bargs is lookin sharp. like a man amongst boys.

  • Filthytwat

    lmfao…bargs laid that kid out…then belli usin the screen to hit a 3 was sick.

  • http://theondeckcircle.net Blake Murphy

    Hahaha old pic, no idea how to update it.

  • Filthytwat

    check out bargs new gf…..wowzers. shes slamming….maybe bargs is stepping up the d and rebounds for his new piece of ass.

    http://pallavoliste.freeforumzone.leonardo.it/discussione.aspx?idd=9066077

  • BigChris

    Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  • points

    good lord  almighty

  • Kingraptors

    Then why the hell are you reading this forum, with the # of readers this website gets,  they don’t need people like you. I can understand your criticism if you actually pay something to read these articles but you don’t pay JACK-SQUAT. 

    If your not satisfied with an end-product common-sense should be telling you don’t keep coming back for it.

  • points

    demar and jv the future ANDREA she on her way out with her 19 rebounds against that power house team the other day lets talk about who we can get for this pussiessses ARUJO with a three . THE pussiesssse could score 80 points i don’t give a ——- all i want to know is is she gone yet

  • points

    what does that tell you noooobody wants to hear about the pussiesss name ANDREA .what did SHAQ say about the pussiesses name ANDREA she will never ever be an allstar in the NBA  I can’t wait until the bitch is ARUJO back to ROME . JV JV JV JV

  • points

    what the kids are putting up a fight against queen ANDREA

  • Dumfugs

    are you retarded?…he’s here because this is a toronto raptors forum and andrea bargnani is a toronto raptor. he’d like to come here without faggots jumping him everytime he says something good about a player on the raptors….you get it. u fucking retard?

  • Joe.R

    He only says good things about Bargnani, and Bargnani is terrible, I don’t care if he drops 50 in these tournaments, the guy is a stiff.

  • Kingraptors

    How sad that was weak.You are a pathetic internet troll.

    It’s been 5 seasons and there simply hasn’t been any development in terms of leadership from Bargnani, leading your team in scoring sadly doesn’t make you a leader and it does not cut it. 
    To be a leader on the court you have to be the best player on your team every night on BOTH sides of the court, and right now he is not the best player on BOTH sides. Offensively despite being an inefficient scorer, give him the ball and he’ll probably give you 2 points.. he is the best threat to score for this team at the moment, defensively he’s garbage.

  • Filthytwat

    …another fucking retard.

  • points

    you must be one of the MULTI PAUL which one are you ? filt,  what 50, no filthy 

  • Filthytwat

    when i read what you wrote i read it in a broken english,stuttering,ebonics slang to mock you.

  • points

    filt you can read it any way you want to broken ,slang stuttering like you mother when when she was getting wood from my crack daddy

  • points

    maybe she should step up the rebounds for the team that is paying him millions and not only for her country and her girlfriend

  • Dumfugs

    man, youre dumb….lol

  • Joe.R

    filthytwat, dumfugs, p00ka, glamity, ownd&pwnd, are all the same person. It’s really only 1 guy on here that loves Bargnani, and he’s trying to make it look like 20.

  • p00ka

    Doh. Whoever the others are, I’ve no idea. I’m not some child that fucks around as such, or imagines such conspiracies. And attempting to dissuade little kids from whining all day long, or even trying to present a balanced view does not mean “love Bargnani”. It doesn’t take a genius to see Andrea’s weaknesses. I see them as well as you, along with weaknesses of every other player on the team. It does take a dumbass to focus solely on him as the reason for all that as bad in bball/raps land, every fucking day!!!! pffffffffffffft, fucking unhappy idiots. Go out and play. Bring some sunshine into your pathetic life.

  • Mcdonaldsean11

    I think you look dead sexy!