Fresh off signing with the Houston Rockets just a month ago, Spanoulis will be a key player for the first time with his National team, after two summers in which he saw limited playing time due to a lack of necessary experience in major club competition.
However, his excellent Euroleague season with powerhouse Panathinaikos, where he was at times the team's best perimeter player and was a 2nd-team All-Euroleague selection, proved that Spanoulis not only will be able to contribute in a bigger role for the Greeks in this World Championship, but that he is NBA-ready and will likely be there to fight for a spot in Houstons rotation.
Spanoulis can very well be introduced to the fans of Houston Rockets, as this will be the first tournament that he will be mature enough and will have the confidence to showcase his skills for the Greek national team. He is an up-tempo combo guard with very good ball-handling skills, outstanding lateral quickness, a good shot off the dribble, a nice first step, notable athleticism and the ability to take advantage of his individual talents, especially when the team needs his perimeter shot. Although he is not Greece's best and steadiest shooter, he is a daring guy, even if he is quite streaky--little aspects of his game that have lately improved his leadership skills. He lacks a fear or failure and can sometimes be blocked in a slashing attempt or release a untimely three, but most of the times he is creative enough and is a helpful tool for his team.
On defense, he makes excellent use of his size. Due to his ability to follow most point guards in the international game and guard players even after their first step, he is a very sound defensive player and can be a factor in those strict defensive 3-guard systems that Greece almost always uses to strangle their opponent. His defensive positioning is excellent, allowing him to draw offensive fouls very often, while his smarts and strength are not easy for any opponent to overcome.
He might not be mature enough to be a leader of such an experienced team yet, but Spanoulis should continue his excellent season with Panathinaikos and then be an immediate factor off the bench for both the Greece team and the Houston Rockets next year. He will need to show that besides being talented, he is also a patient and stable role player.