There are only a few days left for the Basketball World Cup. The fans are already through the entire pre-season and ready to support their teams, and the short duration of the tournament only adds to the degree of intrigue. The World Championship (or World Cup, as the International Basketball Federation now calls it) is an equation with many unknowns. A path that can sometimes be interrupted by an imprecise launch or a perfect loss.
“Championship” has already analyzed in detail the tournament groups, the starting five and the favourites. But now let’s try to answer, probably, the main question: who can stop the American team?
Americans traditionally have NBA players. Every one of Steve Kerr’s 12 guys is a major option (and sometimes even a full-blown star) on his team. It’s almost certain that on any other team, all of the team’s interactions would be based on every single player on Team USA. Or almost everything. But that is if you think hypothetically.
Without Giannis and Jokic, but with Doncic and Gobert. FIBA World Cup 2023 Preview
wait but The best rookie in the NBA last season, Paolo Banquero, looked like he was going to become the most important piece of the Italian team and help this team in particular. But unexpectedly for many (including the Italian Basketball Federation), this summer it turned out to be on the American app. It is not yet clear how exactly this little scandal will affect the player and his team. But, you see, if the paths of Italy and the United States suddenly cross, this confrontation will be interesting to watch.
The main problem of the US team is not, not the difference in the rules and interpretations between the NBA and FIBA. Although, of course, this is also very important and definitely worth talking about. But first of all it is convenient to address the problem of motivation. Young basketball players with big contracts are used to the fact that the whole world in the club championship revolves only around them. Here, for all 12 people, there will definitely not be enough game time. In addition, this same time will be eight minutes less than in the NBA. Are all the players in the Stars and Stripes squad capable of sacrificing themselves? We will know very soon.
Actually, the leadership of the team at the World Cup will be assumed by an experienced newcomer coach (what?) Steve Kerr. In fact, the Warriors coach has seen a lot in his basketball career. He won championships, received the best coach of the season award, managed to effectively share the ball between Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and Clay Thompson, but it is as a coach of the national team that he participates for the first time. And these, you know, are two big differences. Don’t you think? Just ask seasoned Greg Popovich.
So who can stop Team USA in the end?
Team Canada in a friendly match with the Dominican Republic
Photo: Fermín Rodríguez/Getty Images
The Canadians made a powerful team, but lost Andrew Wiggins and Jamal Murray along the way. The North Americans will definitely miss two full-fledged NBA stars, who have long been heavily selected against their neighbors to the south. Canadians have shown with all their looks in recent tournaments that while hockey is by far the number one sport in the country, they know how to play basketball there, too.
Any team can envy the composition of the Canadians, and the main star will probably be the leader of Oklahoma, Shay Gilges-Alexander, who scored more than 30 points per game on average last season in the NBA. But the most important thing is that the Canadians have assembled very high-quality players. Kelly Olynyk, Dwight Powell, Dillon Brooks and Philip Scrubb won’t qualify for a huge number of shots, but they can put in some tough work for more than five.
Josh Green on the attack
Photo: Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images
The Australian team traditionally symbolizes really tough basketball. There is no doubt that none of the 12 players will avoid physical contact. Here is experience, talent, youth – everything that is needed for the distance of a two-week tournament. Currently, the Australian team ranks third (after the United States and Spain) in the strength ranking prepared by the International Basketball Federation. But of course, a particular party can decide many things. Suffice it to remember how the intransigent Greek team managed to eliminate the young LeBron James and Dwyane Wade from the 2006 World Cup.
The French team is one of the main favorites of the World Cup
Photo: Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images
One of the main favorites of the tournament. Automatic entry to the local Olympics is unlikely to reduce his motivation level. Veterans from Colo and Batum appeared on Vincent Collet’s team, and the absence of Victor Vembanyama even seems to favor the entire team, which was eliminated from the need to enter the newly created first pick in the draft.
The French have size. The mere presence of Rudy Gobert in the three second zone can create a lot of problems. Also, under FIBA rules, a burly, long-armed Gobert can spend as much time in the “paint” as he wants on defense.
Germany team in a friendly match with Canada
Photo: Mathias Renner/Getty Images
A team that grows from tournament to tournament. The talented generation led by Dennis Schroeder is capable of causing great sensations and craves great victories. The recent match between the Germans and the Americans was indicative, in which during the second half the rivals of the Americans had “+16”, but thanks to the miraculous rescue of the name of Anthony Edwards, the US team not only successfully ran to the chase , but also won in regulation time. Actually, this match left a lot of questions. Chief among them is: so which of the US national teams is the real deal? The one who was almost 20 points behind the Germans or the one who easily recovered them?