Australia vs Czech Republic
Wednesday, September 11 at 9 a.m. EST at Dongfeng Nissan Cultural and Sports Centre
The Australians are converging as a team with their eyes on the title. The Czechs have had some setbacks but are still alive. Who will advance to the FIBA World Cup semifinal?
The Australian team is coming together. Patty Mills is playing like a superstar, Aron Baynes has been provided solid contributions, Joe Ingles is an elite shooter, and they have been playing like a formidable team. Australia has beaten Canada, Senegal, Lithuania, Dominican Republic and France so far. They haven’t lost a game, despite playing respectable competition. They have a good chance to win this tournament, as they are maximizing their potential. Playing an unselfish team game and executing crisply, the Australians have been a formidable foe so far.
The Czech Republic is led by Tomas Satoransky and has been playing good team basketball. Even though they don’t have a lot of big names, the team is providing solid performances every game. They suffered a 19-point loss to the US, a seven-point loss to Greece, and defeated Japan, Turkey, and Brazil. The most concerning performance was the loss to the US, where they were outscored in all four quarters. They competed fairly in the loss to Greece, who was clearly trying to pour it on, needing a 12 pt win to advance.
The Czechs are getting 10 points here, which is a great price. Beware of assuming Australia will cover because they have looked so good. We are getting value here with the Czechs. Grab the 10 points because the Czechs are going to play a tough game and keep it close. The key will be Satoransky. He needs to continue to lead his team. Satoransky has provided a nice star presence and has given the whole team an identity. He is someone to get the ball to in crunch time and in tough situations. I do believe Australia will win, but they haven’t been blowing teams out so far. The Czech Republic has enough gumption in their game to keep this close and to cover the spread of 10 points against Australia.