The 2023 males’s FIBA World Cup is loaded with NBA expertise everywhere in the discipline. The US is in search of redemption after a disastrous seventh place end on this event in 2019, and a younger roster impressed in group play by ending undefeated.
Staff USA is a championship menace, however are they the favourite? That’s what we’re making an attempt to determine because the event strikes into the second spherical of group play that reduces the sphere from 32 groups to 16 groups.
The second spherical of group play will trim the sphere from 16 to eight groups. Every group will play the 2 groups of their group they didn’t face within the opening spherical. The highest two groups from every second spherical group will advance to the quarterfinals in a single-elimination event. Comply with each outcome from the 2023 males’s World Cup with our reside tracker.
Let’s rank the groups nonetheless standing within the World Cup by their probabilities of profitable all of it.
A blowout loss to Spain didn’t maintain Brazil from advancing in Group G after routing Iran and Ivory Coast. Former Raptors first rounder Bruno Caboclo is the most important identify right here as a 6’9 ahead who can drive his option to the foul line and management the glass. The actual star is Yago dos Santos, a tiny 5’10 level guard who has been on fireplace as a pull-up three-point shooter and lead creator. Yago’s 24-point, 12-assist effort in opposition to Ivory Coast punched Brazil’s ticket to the second spherical.
Thomas Walkup first gained notoriety as Stephen F. Austin’s March Insanity hero again in 2016. Now he’s Greece’s bodily and emotional chief as a troublesome level guard who hounds ball handlers and may make a shot contained in the arc. Former Kings lottery choose Georgios Papagiannis has been good as an inside scorer with delicate contact, whereas teammates Giannoulis Larentzakis and Ioannis Papapetrou have added wing scoring. Making the second spherical with out Giannis Antetokounmpo within the lineup is an actual accomplishment.
Georgia’s first journey to the FIBA World Cup is already a hit after advancing to the second spherical. Georgia has a brilliant bodily group that grinds opponents down by pounding the ball inside, making their free throws, and controlling the tempo. Former Pacers first spherical choose Goga Bitadze is the most important identify right here as a talented inside scorer. Tornike Shengelia, a Nets’ second rounder in 2012, and Sandro Mamukelashvili, presently with the Spurs, add extra dimension, toughness, and scoring punch. Georgia’s ceiling feels a bit restricted with out nice guard play, however they received’t make it straightforward on whoever tries to knock them out.
13. Puerto Rico
Tremont Waters, the previous Boston Celtics’ second spherical choose, makes Puerto Rico an exhilarating watch. The 5’10 level guard is an audacious playmaker with deep capturing vary who has stored the offense shifting and pushed his group into the second spherical. Former Iowa State huge man George Conditt has added some paint safety and inside ending, whereas former Oregon State guard Stephen Thompson Jr. crammed it up from the surface, making 9-fo-17 threes. The offensive firepower right here is not any joke.
Italy had a positive path to the second spherical with wins over Angola and the Philippines of their opening group. The Italians have an NBA wing in Simone Fontecchio, and he’s been making performs going to the basket however struggling to shoot from the surface to this point. Stefano Tonut and Giampaolo Ricci are strong complementary scorers, however the lack of dimension is clear. It appears like Italy has a tough ceiling on this group.
Nikola Vucevic did all of it for Montenegro in group play, scoring on delicate leap hooks inside, hammering his option to the foul line, and even going 3-for-3 from three-point vary of their opening win over Mexico. There isn’t a ton of expertise round Vuc, however naturalized level guard Kendrick Perry helps give this group some sorely wanted shot creation. Montenegro noticed the bounds of its group when it received pounded by Lithuania to finish group play.
Latvia doesn’t have injured huge man Kristaps Porzingis on the ground, but it surely nonetheless pulled off probably the most inspiring win of group play with out him. Latvia’s beautiful comeback win over France eradicated Rudy Gobert, Nic Batum, and co. from the event. Whereas Latvia’s subsequent sport — getting routed by Canada — served as a sobering reminder of its expertise deficit with out Porzingis, this group nonetheless has sufficient capturing to place a scare into anybody in the event that they get sizzling.
This appears like one of the vital full Lithuanian groups in current reminiscence even with out Domantas Sabonis within the lineup. Every thing revolves round huge man Jonas Valančiūnas, an extremely highly effective inside scorer and rebounder who can even step again behind the three-point line when he must. Rokas Jokubaitis — a 22-year-old, 6’4 level guard drafted by the Knicks a pair years again — has given Lithuania a artistic ball handler to run the offense and stress defenses together with his scoring. Former Michigan standout Ignas Brazdeikis is a straight gunner on the wing who can assault on the basket on straight line drives. Tomas Dimsa has been one of many highest quantity three-point shooters within the discipline to this point. The improved perimeter creation of this group provides them an actual probability to go on a run.
8. Dominican Republic
Karl-Anthony Cities appeared utterly unstoppable for Dominican Republic within the group stage. The Minnesota Timberwolves star’s means to tear three-pointers is a devastating weapon for a middle in FIBA play, and it’s laborious to search out groups with matchup for him shifting ahead. Cities has a strong supporting forged round him. Jean Montero is a 20-year-old level guard who can use his velocity to place stress on opposing defenses to arrange open appears to be like for teammates. Warriors wing Lester Quiñones has been chilly so removed from deep, however provides DR a high-volume flooring spacer from three. Angel Delgado and LJ Figueroa are huge forwards who can management the glass and supply some scoring punch. Every thing revolves round Cities, and to this point that’s been a beautiful plan for this group.
Serbia doesn’t have Nikola Jokic on this event, however they continue to be formidable even with out the perfect participant on the earth. Atlanta Hawks swingman Bogdan Bogdanović is without doubt one of the prime pure scorers on this discipline as a 6’6 wing who can fill it up from everywhere in the flooring. Nikola Jovic, the 6’10 ahead for the Miami Warmth, has a simple capturing stroke from three-point vary, and the recent legs to stand up and down the court docket as a 20-year-old. Filip Petrusev, the previous Gonzaga standout, is a talented inside scorer within the paint. Add in artful guard Aleksa Avramović and 7-footer Nikola Milutinov, and Serbia has the expertise to compete with anybody even with out the two-time MVP. Serbia’s mixture of offensive firepower and group cohesion is hard to wager in opposition to.
The Aussies are loaded with NBA expertise on the perimeter, however must overcome an absence of dimension inside to go on an actual run on this event. Patty Mills is an all-time nice worldwide scorer, and he’s been incredible on this World Cup as soon as once more, dropping 25 factors on Finland and 21 factors on Germany in group play. Josh Giddey is future face of this system, and he’s already a stud at age-20, packing field scores as a scorer, playmaker, and rebounder. Josh Inexperienced has been on fireplace from deep as a shooter, and Dante Exum is a trusted flooring normal who wants to determine a option to rating contained in the arc on this event. Groups with star bigs will give the Aussies hassle, however solely the U.S. and Canada have extra offensive firepower.
Dennis Schroder now as much as 30 factors right this moment, 10/19 from the sphere
Actually spectacular change of tempo + end right here within the clutch pic.twitter.com/hIFgwj5hD0
— Esfandiar Baraheni (@JustEsBaraheni) August 27, 2023
Germany checks almost field for a possible champion. It has a speedy lead guard in Dennis Schroder who can mix scoring and playmaking on offense and hound opposing ball handlers on the defensive finish. It has an enormous scoring wing in Franz Wagner who can create appears to be like for himself and his teammates off the dribble, or area the ground as a spot-up shooter. It has two expert huge males in Daniel Theis and Moritz Wagner, with Theis holding the down the protection within the center, and the older Wagner brother enjoying as a stretch huge man. It has additionally Isaac Bonga, a protracted and athletic 6’9 ahead who struggles to shoot, however can influence the sport by defending, hitting the glass, and pushing the ball in transition. Germany’s victory in opposition to Australia with out Franz Wagner proved how highly effective this group might be. If Franz can come again 100% wholesome, the Germans have what it takes to go on a deep run on this event.
No group takes on the persona of its star participant fairly like Slovenia. Luka Doncic is the World Cup’s premier drive of nature, a one-man offensive wrecking crew able to making magic occur each time he touches the ball. We’ve seen Doncic carry Slovenia to greatness earlier than, again in 2017 when he willed his nation to a gold medal in Eurobasket as an 18-year-old. This model of Luka is on the top of his powers, utterly unstopped as a scorer and playmaker, however he doesn’t have Goran Dragic as his working mate anymore. As an alternative, Slovenia’s second and third finest gamers are … former Virginia Cavaliers middle Mike Tobey, and Dragic’s youthful brother Zoran Dragić. Slovenia wouldn’t have a prayer on this event with out Luka, however in basketball greater than some other sport, having the perfect participant can take a group fairly rattling far. Doncic has no equal on this World Cup, and due to that, Slovenia has a puncher’s probability.
I just like the scoring assertiveness Juan Nunez displayed right this moment, the 19yo passing wizard ended his sport with 13 factors and seven dimes on 4/6 FG. pic.twitter.com/6fsWFoOVtN
— Francesco Semprucci (@fra_sempru) August 28, 2023
There are some acquainted faces lacking from the Spanish lineup with the Gasol brothers retired from nationwide group play and Ricky Rubio stepping away to deal with his psychological well being, however Spain stays probably the most cohesive group within the discipline. Willy Hernangomez has grow to be the group’s new star as a artful inside scorer and robust rebounder who can management the paint on each ends. His brother Juancho, aka Bo Cruz, can step out to the perimeter offensively at 6’9 and likewise assist out on the glass. Lengthy-time stalwarts Sergio Llull, Alex Abrines, and Rudy Fernandez can shoot from deep and get a bucket in a pinch, whereas 19-year-old level guard Juan Nunez — a possible first spherical NBA draft choose in 2024 — has injected some creativity on the ball lacking with out Rubio. It’s jarring to assume the one energetic NBA participant within the lineup right here is Grizzlies ahead Santi Aldama, however Spain’s success has at all times been extra in regards to the group as an entire than any particular person brilliance. Spain won’t appear as scary on paper, however the defending champs stay a devastating draw for anybody standing of their approach.
It’s feels just like the basketball world has been ready a decade for Canada’s breakthrough on the most important phases of worldwide play. Now, it’s lastly occurring. The Canadians’ beautiful rout of France within the opening sport set the course for a dominant run via group play that noticed the group end with the perfect level differential within the discipline (+111), and within the course of announce themselves as a really actual championship menace. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander provides Canada a famous person shot creator to information the offense. He’s surrounded by 4 different NBA gamers within the beginning lineup, and a number of other extra coming off the bench, who all know tips on how to play their position. R.J. Barrett is prospering as a slashing off-ball scorer, Dillon Brooks and Lu Dort can play lockdown protection and the area the ground offensively on the wing, and Kelly Olynyk and Dwight Powell present differing however complementary ability units within the entrance court docket. Head coach Jordi Fernandez is pushing all the best buttons and appears like a future star in his personal proper. Canada has each ingredient to win the entire thing, and nobody needs to be shocked if they really do it.
1. United States
Staff USA was by no means going to be examined within the opening spherical of group play in opposition to underwhelming competitors, however the first three video games in opposition to New Zealand, Greece, and Jordan confirmed why the Individuals nonetheless have the best ceiling of anybody within the event. Head coach Steve Kerr has a roster mild on expertise, however flushed with shot creation, athleticism, and outdoors capturing. Whereas the starters have sometimes struggled to search out their groove, the reserves — led by Tyrese Haliburton, Austin Reaves, and Paolo Banchero — have been electrical going in opposition to backups. The perfect factor about this Staff USA group is that no single participant is tasked with carrying them: anybody can emerge because the hero on any give night time. An absence of beef inside might make the Individuals vulnerable to an upset because the event reaches its conclusion. Whereas that is certainly not an unbeatable-looking USA squad, but it surely stays the strongest roster, top-to-bottom, within the World Cup discipline.