Phoenix Suns: Dario Saric bounceback leads Croatia past Great Britain – Valley of the Suns

MILAN, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 03: Dario Saric, #9 of Croatia, shooots the ball during the FIBA EuroBasket 2022 group C match between Great Britain and Croatia at Forum di Assago on September 03, 2022 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Emanuele Cremaschi/Getty Images)
After failing to make a substantial impact in Croatia’s opening game at Eurobasket, Phoenix Suns big man Dario Saric was arguably the best player on the floor in his team’s victory over Great Britain on Saturday.
Saric went scoreless against Greece the day before, with two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo leading his team to a four-point victory. In contrast, the Croatians took advantage of the lack of NBA-level talent on the Great Britain roster.
After a competitive first half, Croatia’s victory was launched by a dominant third-quarter where they outscored their opponents 35-9 to create a 32-point lead. Saric was a key component to the demolition job, displaying his versatile offensive skill set.
Dario Saric with a beautiful baseline bounce pass to hit a wide-open Bojan Bogdanovic for the corner three.
Could we see this combo in a Suns jersey 🔜🤔 @ValleyoftheSuns
— Peter O’Keefe (@POK252) September 3, 2022

It was arguably Saric’s most complete performance since returning from the knee injury that saw him miss all of the 2021-22 season. He finished with 15 points on 5-for-11 (45.5%) shooting, including 2-for-5 (40%) from three-point range. He added eight rebounds and five assists, showing off the playmaking skills that could forge an intriguing component of the Suns offense next season.
Saric was a game-high +35 in plus-minus, well above even those recorded by his teammates. The Brits won the fourth period 25-14, but it was all elementary by that stage as Croatia ran out comfortable 86-65 winners.
Can this performance form the confidence for Saric to make a defining impact for the remainder of the tournament? Suns fans should certainly be optimistic about his potential influence in Phoenix should he replicate these kind of outings against stronger opposition.
Croatia take on Estonia in their third game on Monday, with the team sitting third in Group C behind Ukraine and Greece.
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