Whenever Croatia needs a big play at a crucial point in the game, it seems as though they can always look to Dario Saric to come through. After hitting a free throw on the other end to extend the lead to two against Spain, Saric denied NBA veteran Pau Gasol right around the rim just before time expired, sealing the win for the Croatians.
This is a pretty remarkable play by the 22-year-old. Saric’s assignment is supposed to be Chicago Bulls power forward Nikola Mirotic, and he does the smart thing by running under the screens in order to try and cut off the potential pass from Sergio Rodriguez on the baseline. Once Bojan Bogdanovic comes to help, Saric basically assumes the role of free safety. A fantastic job by him to recognize the play at the rim, and to put a stop to it.
Saric is hardly known for his rim protection abilities either. He had just 22 blocks over 61 games last season. But big time players make big time plays, and Dario is slowly building a reputation for himself with clutch moments like this at the international level.