Jordan’s FIBA Picks: 1-1
Australia vs. Canada
I figured after the Australians upset the United States in an exhibition that their ATS stock in this tournament would go from good to average or even a no play. However, as they showed against the U.S., even without Ben Simmons, this team is very good and very deep at multiple positions.
Aron Baynes and Andrew Bogut are way too much to handle for the Canadians as a center tandem. Khem Birch is very good and I expect him to beat up on Baynes some in this one, but as zoom as Birch gets into foul trouble, or gets taken out of the game, the Australians will have a big advantage down low and driving to the bucket.
Even without Simmons, Patty Mills can get into the paint, while also being a deadly shooting threat from distance. Cory Joseph is still a solid defender on Mills, but the problem with that is if Mills isn’t getting his shots off, Matthew Dellavedova or Joe Ingles can step up and handle the ball equally, if not better.
It’s basically a pick your poison issues for the Canadians. Do you allow Mills to probe the paint and play pick and roll with impunity, or do you force the ball from his hands and allow two other capable NBA players to beat you on the perimeter?
Either way, I think this line should be closer to 10 than 5 points. At -6.5 right now I still think it’s at least a half or full point undervaluing the favorites here.
Germany vs. France
Other than the Americans and the Australians, the French have some claim to being a contender in this tournament. They have a stacked roster anchored by arguably the best defensive center in the world, Rudy Gobert.
Combined with the pick and roll ability of him and Evan Fournier or Frank Ntilikina and you have a troublesome matchup for the Germans. Add in a healthy Nicolas Batum playing good defense and it’s going to be almost impossible for the Germans to score in this game.
Even the Frenchmen’s backup front line is imposing. Not only do they go 6’10 and 7’2 in their starting lineup, but Vincent Poirier and Louis Labeyrie are both 6’11.
Compare this to the Germans, who have 6’9 Daniel Theis and 6’11 Maxi Kleber starting in their frontcourt. If one of those guys gets into foul trouble early in this game, it could be a long game for Germany.
I really like Dennis Schroder and I think he could be what keeps the Germans in this game. If he is going off and dropping 20-plus points, the Germans will cover this one.
However, I think a better way to attack this game is in the total and its derivatives. This is already pegged to be one of the lower scoring games on Sunday and I think most of that will come from the Germans.
With that in mind, I like a play at 5Dimes on the German’s team total of 72. It would not surprise me at all if the Germans failed to score 70 points in this one.
Kleber and Theis are no slouches on defense either, so I think there is value in the full game total too. However, Germany’s team total is a little safer.