The NBA aims for Doncic .’s European crown

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Antetokounmpo, Jokic and Gobert, leaders of Greece, Serbia and France, compete with Slovenia for a Eurobasket with no medal ambitions for Spain

34 NBA players, surpassed only by the ACB’s 50, will meet in the Eurobasket 2022 which kicks off this Thursday at 1:30 p.m. (four) with Spain-Bulgaria. More than thirty references from their national teams who have convinced their franchises to play in an open championship with one favorite (Slovenia) and three clear contenders (Serbia, France and Greece). Luka Doncic defends the crown he won in 2017 once he came of age. Five years later, more mature, winner, leader, deadly when he steps back and penetrates with his slow gait from height… just to see the genius without having to get up early or stay up late at night it’s worth.

But the Eurobasket has enough incentives, putting the winners of the last four NBA MVPs on the payroll: Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic. They recently met in a World Cup qualifier and it made for a great show. Serbia won in the eyes of the world. I needed more. More motivation. France has more muscle than anything is the current Olympic runner-up. Or what is the same, the best European team of the last championship. Gobert, center of yesteryear, three-time winner of the Defensive Player of the Year in the best league in the world, doesn’t draw as much spotlight but can be just as decisive.

That would be a first review of the favorites in a group that isn’t Spain for the first time in a long time. The team has medaled in 9 of the last 10 Eurobaskets (‘failed’ in 2005) played since 1999. Three golds included. But a lot has changed in the past five years. The Scariolo team is undergoing a complete regeneration with the Hernangómez brothers as banners in which it is useful to avoid comparisons and lower the expectations of yesteryear.

It is to his credit that he has an affordable swimming pool. Turkey is the main rival and arguably the favorite for first place. Larkin (Efes) with the handle, the good hand of Korkmaz (Sixers), Cedi Osman (Cavaliers) as leader and the young Alperen Sengun (Rockets) in it. With wardrobe background also with Hazer, Mamutoglou (Fenerbahçe) or Sanli (Barça). And Ataman on the couch, for better or for worse. He sued Ömer Yurtseven for not standing up to the Heat and answering his call. The group is completed by a weakened Montenegro without Vucevic but with Dubljevic and Kendrick Perry (Unicaja), Georgia, with Shengelia injured in the shoulder during the preparation but with a remarkable inner strength with Shermadini (Tenerife), Mamukelasvhili (Bucks) and Goga Bitadze (Pacers).), the Belgium of Ismael Bako and the Bulgaria of Sasha Vezenkov (Olympiacos).

Important to always be the first, but more this year. In the round of 16, they are paired up with the group of death. France (Heurtel, Okobo, Fournier, Yabusele, Poirier, Gobert), Lithuania (Jokubaitis, Brazdeikis, Grigonis, Giedraitis, Sabonis, Valanciunas), Slovenia (Doncic, de Dragics, Prepelic, Blazic, Cancar, Tobey), Germany (Schröder, Lo, Weiler Babb, Wagner, Voigtmann, Theis), Bosnia (Nurkic, Musa) and Hungary (Hanga). There is nothing.

There are also three good teams in Group C. Greece. With Antetokounmpo and the two brothers (Kostas is doubtful), to which we add Calathes, Papanikolau, Sloukas, Papapetrou, Papagiannis (the three between cotton) and finally the figure of a gunman like Dorsey to open spaces. The Greek has collapsed against tight defenses in his forays into FIBA ​​basketball, although he is now a new player. Less abuse of his power, with a better shot (41% in triples in the four pre-season games) and the same hunger (30.3 points and 7.3 rebounds). He won’t stop until he plays metal with the country that watched him grow up and nurture him.

The thing doesn’t stop there. There is Italy, which shone at the Games, but the loss of Gallinari hurts them a lot inside. At least they have Fontecchio, Melli and Polonara in top form. Croatia has a great squad as usual. Bogdan Bogdanovic, Dario Saric, Ivica Zubac, Mario Hezonja, Krunoslav Simon… but they tend to crash at the first substitution. They are joined by Ukraine, with Alex Len (Kings) and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (Raptors) and the weak Britain and Estonia.

Group D is monopolized by Serbia. Pesic has deemed it necessary to exclude Teodosic, the captain, from giving Micic all the stripes. Inside is Jokic (and Milutinov), Kalinic on all sides and they have waited until the very last minute for the unchanging Bjelica. Although they have no talent. Mainly the deadly pulse of Bojan Bogdanovic, the huge Marjanovic (2.21), the inexperienced Aleksej Pokusevski and Nikola Jovic… Along with them the Czech Republic (Satorasnky and Vesely), the opposite of Croatia, Poland (with the mess of the brothers Ponitka and the resignation of Jeremy Sochan (Spurs), Finland (Markkanen), Israel (Deni Avdija) and the Netherlands, the weakest team in one of the highest Eurobaskets.

Source: La Verdad

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