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DraftExpress :: The Daily Word
       
The DraftExpress Daily
       
  Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Sergio Rodríguez Stepping Up in ACB Playoffs
By Luis Fernández

An href=/profile//> excellent href=/profile//> performance href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> Sergio href=/profile//> Rodríguez href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> fourth href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> ACB href=/profile//> quarterfinals href=/profile//> series href=/profile//> played href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> Sunday, href=/profile//> leading href=/profile//> Estudiantes href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> victory href=/profile//> against href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Spanish href=/profile//> powerhouse href=/profile//> F.C.Barcelona. href=/profile//> This href=/profile//> also href=/profile//> meant href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> third href=/profile//> victory href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> team href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> place href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> semifinals href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Spanish href=/profile//> ACB href=/profile//> League. href=/profile//> This href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> confirmation href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> what href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Spanish href=/profile//> Magician href=/profile//> had href=/profile//> hinted href=/profile//> at href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> first href=/profile//> three href=/profile//> games: href=/profile//> Estudiantes href=/profile//> needs href=/profile//> Sergio href=/profile//> Rodríguez href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> court.

It's href=/profile//> not href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> important href=/profile//> if href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> misses href=/profile//> shots, href=/profile//> commits href=/profile//> too href=/profile//> many href=/profile//> turnovers href=/profile//> or href=/profile//> can't href=/profile//> keep href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> defense href=/profile//> up href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> par href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> teammates. href=/profile//> The href=/profile//> difference href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> terms href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> fluidity href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> team's href=/profile//> offense href=/profile//> when href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> court href=/profile//> or href=/profile//> off href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> just href=/profile//> too href=/profile//> obvious href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> ignore. href=/profile//> On href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> other href=/profile//> hand, href=/profile//> it's href=/profile//> another href=/profile//> proof href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> competitive href=/profile//> nature, href=/profile//> as href=/profile//> he's href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> guy href=/profile//> who href=/profile//> loves href=/profile//> big href=/profile//> games.

Sergio href=/profile//> has href=/profile//> been href=/profile//> steadily href=/profile//> improving href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> different href=/profile//> departments href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> throughout href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> season. href=/profile//> Even href=/profile//> if href=/profile//> he's href=/profile//> still href=/profile//> clearly href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> weakest href=/profile//> part href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> team's href=/profile//> defensive href=/profile//> structure, href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> looks href=/profile//> rather href=/profile//> improved, href=/profile//> particularly href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> man-to-man href=/profile//> defense. href=/profile//> Also, href=/profile//> he's href=/profile//> learning href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> share href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> ball href=/profile//> more href=/profile//> efficiently, href=/profile//> not href=/profile//> always href=/profile//> just href=/profile//> looking href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> either href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> assist href=/profile//> or href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> field href=/profile//> goal, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> instead href=/profile//> being href=/profile//> willing href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> be href=/profile//> another href=/profile//> cog href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> team's href=/profile//> offensive href=/profile//> flow href=/profile//> if href=/profile//> that's href=/profile//> what's href=/profile//> needed. href=/profile//>

Being href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> team's href=/profile//> regular href=/profile//> starting href=/profile//> point href=/profile//> guard href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> few href=/profile//> months href=/profile//> now href=/profile//> has href=/profile//> made href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> confidence href=/profile//> grow, href=/profile//> which href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> allowing href=/profile//> him href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> let href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> come href=/profile//> more href=/profile//> freely href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> him href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> rarely href=/profile//> feeling href=/profile//> frustrated href=/profile//> if href=/profile//> things href=/profile//> don't href=/profile//> go href=/profile//> as href=/profile//> expected.

But href=/profile//> still, href=/profile//> he's href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> same href=/profile//> old href=/profile//> wild href=/profile//> player href=/profile//> who href=/profile//> loves href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> have href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> ball href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> hands, href=/profile//> take href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> man href=/profile//> off href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> dribble, href=/profile//> make href=/profile//> flashy href=/profile//> no-look href=/profile//> passes href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> speed href=/profile//> up href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> tempo href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> game. href=/profile//> It's href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> nature href=/profile//> as href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> basketball href=/profile//> player, href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> hopefully, href=/profile//> he'll href=/profile//> never href=/profile//> change href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> while href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> continues href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> learn href=/profile//> how href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> maximize href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> skills href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> style href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> benefit href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> team.

Returning href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> against href=/profile//> F.C.BarcelonaHis href=/profile//> stat-line, href=/profile//> while href=/profile//> good, href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> not href=/profile//> incredibly href=/profile//> impressive. href=/profile//> 8 href=/profile//> points href=/profile//> (3/7 href=/profile//> FG), href=/profile//> 2 href=/profile//> rebounds, href=/profile//> 7 href=/profile//> assists href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> 3 href=/profile//> turnovers. href=/profile//> But href=/profile//> here's href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> fact href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> can href=/profile//> better href=/profile//> explain href=/profile//> what href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> meant href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> team: href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> game href=/profile//> that href=/profile//> Estudiantes href=/profile//> won href=/profile//> by href=/profile//> 18 href=/profile//> points, href=/profile//> during href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> 28 href=/profile//> minutes href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> court href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> point href=/profile//> differential href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> +34 href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> Estudiantes' href=/profile//> favor.

Even href=/profile//> when href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> team href=/profile//> stockpiled href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> 22 href=/profile//> point href=/profile//> lead href=/profile//> late href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> third href=/profile//> quarter href=/profile//> (the href=/profile//> moment href=/profile//> when href=/profile//> Sergio href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> sent href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> bench), href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> final href=/profile//> run href=/profile//> by href=/profile//> F.C.Barcelona href=/profile//> reduced href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> difference href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> just href=/profile//> 13 href=/profile//> points href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> 4 href=/profile//> minutes href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> go href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> game. href=/profile//> This href=/profile//> forced href=/profile//> Coach href=/profile//> Pepu href=/profile//> Hernández href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> bring href=/profile//> Sergio href=/profile//> back href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> court href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> secure href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> final href=/profile//> victory. href=/profile//> That's href=/profile//> not href=/profile//> bad href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> an href=/profile//> 18 href=/profile//> year href=/profile//> old href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Spanish href=/profile//> league href=/profile//> playoffs.

Everything href=/profile//> seems href=/profile//> possible href=/profile//> now href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> this href=/profile//> year's href=/profile//> playoffs, href=/profile//> particularly href=/profile//> since href=/profile//> Tau href=/profile//> Vitoria's href=/profile//> starting href=/profile//> PG, href=/profile//> José href=/profile//> Manuel href=/profile//> Calderón, href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> expected href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> be href=/profile//> sidelined href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> few href=/profile//> weeks href=/profile//> after href=/profile//> suffering href=/profile//> appendicitis, href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> big href=/profile//> share href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> Estudiantes' href=/profile//> dreams href=/profile//> will href=/profile//> be href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> hands href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> young href=/profile//> Sergio href=/profile//> Rodríguez. href=/profile//> If href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> continues href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> display href=/profile//> these href=/profile//> kind href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> performances, href=/profile//> if href=/profile//> will href=/profile//> be href=/profile//> hard href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> Coach href=/profile//> Mario href=/profile//> Pesquera href=/profile//> not href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> pick href=/profile//> him href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> Spanish href=/profile//> senior href=/profile//> National href=/profile//> Team href=/profile//> this href=/profile//> summer.

I href=/profile//> don't href=/profile//> want href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> finish href=/profile//> without href=/profile//> mentioning href=/profile//> Carlos href=/profile//> Suárez, href=/profile//> surely href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> less href=/profile//> glamorous href=/profile//> player href=/profile//> than href=/profile//> Sergio href=/profile//> Rodríguez, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> kind href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> guy href=/profile//> every href=/profile//> coach href=/profile//> loves href=/profile//> to href=/profile//> have href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> his href=/profile//> team. href=/profile//> He href=/profile//> was href=/profile//> hustling href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> each href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> 13 href=/profile//> minutes href=/profile//> he href=/profile//> spent href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> court, href=/profile//> being href=/profile//> extremely href=/profile//> active href=/profile//> on href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> boards href=/profile//> (4 href=/profile//> captures, href=/profile//> which href=/profile//> is href=/profile//> pretty href=/profile//> good href=/profile//> for href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> 6-7 href=/profile//> 19 href=/profile//> year href=/profile//> old href=/profile//> SF href=/profile//> in href=/profile//> such href=/profile//> limited href=/profile//> playing href=/profile//> time) href=/profile//> and href=/profile//> very href=/profile//> effective href=/profile//> from href=/profile//> the href=/profile//> perimeter href=/profile//> (he href=/profile//> knocked href=/profile//> down href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> couple href=/profile//> of href=/profile//> treys). href=/profile//> He's href=/profile//> not href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> guy href=/profile//> that's href=/profile//> oozing href=/profile//> with href=/profile//> potential, href=/profile//> but href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> humble href=/profile//> hard-working href=/profile//> player href=/profile//> whose href=/profile//> excellent href=/profile//> effort href=/profile//> will href=/profile//> likely href=/profile//> make href=/profile//> him href=/profile//> a href=/profile//> wonderful href=/profile//> European href=/profile//> player.

 
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