Kravtsov swats six in Ukraine's win over Italy
While Suns teammate Goran Dragic has gotten plenty of notice for his play and status as the star of EuroBasket 2013 host Slovenia, Viacheslav Kravtsov has quietly become one of the more dependable big men in the tournament for surprise top-six finisher Ukraine.
Phoenix acquired Kravtsov in a trade with Milwaukee last month, and the early returns across the pond have been promising. The 6-11, 245-pound big man turned in six points, six rebounds and came up with an impressive six blocks in Ukraine’s win over Italy on Friday.
The performance gave him a tournament-high 20 blocked shots in 10 games heading into Saturday’s fifth-place game against, ironically, Dragic and Slovenia. The win also secured Ukraine a spot in the 2014 FIBA World Cup.
Kravtsov was just as impactful in the previous game against Croatia. He finished with 15 points , four rebounds and three blocks while holding a breaking-out Ante Tomic to just six points and four rebounds, well below his tournament averages.
The Ukrainian big man is now an increasingly intriguing option in the middle along with Marcin Gortat, No. 5 overall pick Alex Len, and recently acquired center Miles Plumlee.