USA vs France
Wednesday, September 11 at 9 a.m. EST at Dongfeng Nissan Cultural and Sports Centre
The USA vs France is a matchup of two of the top defensive teams in the FIBA World Cup. How each team responds to the others defensive schemes will determine who wins this match up.
Rudy Gobert has struggled so far and his ability to be an impact in the lane to prevent the United States from getting penetration will be a key indicator as to how this game will go. France is led by Nick Batum, Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier. They have yet to live up to their full potential in this tournament. Gobert in particular has been stymied and hasn’t looked his usual self. They have defended well as a team and Fournier has been excelling, getting baskets in crunch time. France has defeated Germany, Jordan, Dominican Republic, Lithuania, and lost by two points against Australia.
The United States has been derided for not having their usual star studded lineup as star player withdrawals throughout the summer plagued them. They still field a team that is probably the best defensively in this FIBA World Cup. The defensive talent that Gregg Popovich has at his disposal is impressive, even if they don’t have the top playmakers and scorers that we are used to.
Kemba Walker has used this opportunity to display that he is ready to be a superstar and they still have plenty of viable lineups where multiple guys can create their own shot. They still have the most depth on the international stage by far. USA has defeated Czech Republic, Turkey, Japan, Greece and Brazil.
USA has too much depth to be troubled by France. After opening at 8.5, the -7.5 line looks enticing as the US team is coming together and establishing their roles as the tournament progresses. Fournier will have difficulty as the United States has multiple wing defenders who are used to guarding players with his repertoire, which hasn’t been the case in some of Fournier’s other games. Gobert should still excel against the US bigs, but Gobert won’t be enough to hold off the USA from overwhelming the French with their athleticism. Lay the points and take the USA -7.5