Argentina vs France
Friday, September 13 at 4 AM EST
Dongfeng Nissan Cultural and Sports Centre
Argentina and France square off for a spot in the FIBA World Cup Finals. Each team is coming off an upset win and has their sights set on Gold.
South American Surprise
Argentina is definitely the surprise semi-finalist. After eliminating Serbia, the Argentinians attempt to continue their dream run and get another upset against French. Argentina has been the epitome of team basketball using motion, teamwork, and solid defensive rotations to win as a team.
Unlike the other teams left in the tournament, Argentina does not have a big name NBA star. They have former Houston Rockets role player Luis Scola. Scola, 39, is performing quite the swan song and playing like a dream for the Argentinians.
The French are coming off their elimination of the United States. The upset was led by the clutch shooting of Evan Fournier and the solid interior defense of Rudy Gobert.
Gobert, in particular, had one of his best games of the tournament so far with 21 Pts and 16 Reb and impacted the game on almost every play even by doing the things that don’t always show up in the box score.
Batum provided solid wing defense. Frank Ntilikina has reminded everyone why he was a top 10 NBA draft pick and a favorite amongst draft experts. The French rotate well and bring a nice blend of NBA and International talent.
They are taking advantage of the International format and they are riding their 3 stars. They have constructed a balanced team. They have well-defined roles. They have athletic players coming off the bench and they’ve been able to hit the 3 point shot which has been key to their victories.
Taking the Points
Argentina will continue to surprise here this tournament. They don’t have big names. They will use tough-minded teamwork to keep things close. A 6 point spread is fantastic here and the I like the Argentinians to keep it close or maybe even pull another surprise upset against the athletic French team. I’m taking Argentina +6
Pick: Argentina +6 at 5Dimes