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Final 8 FIBA World Cup teams still alive, ranked by their championship chances

The sector within the 2023 males’s FIBA World Cup has been trimmed to eight groups. After two rounds of group play, the eight nations nonetheless standing enter a knockout-style, single-elimination event till a champion is topped.

The event has been stuffed with surprises up to now. Defending champion Spain is out after the second spherical of group play. France was one of many first groups eradicated with an 0-2 begin. Workforce USA took its first loss to Lithuania by getting pounding on the glass and giving up too many open threes. In the meantime, Canada has emerged as a possible super-power led by the brilliance of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander because the staff’s level guard. Latvia and Italy have made unlikely runs to the quarterfinals. The World Cup stays vast open.

Because the event transitions to the knockout stage, right here’s how we’d rank each staff within the area by their possibilities to win the championship.

8. Italy

Italy has had extra proficient rosters over time, however the group bursting into the quarterfinals has discovered a brand new solution to win nearly each night time. Italy solely has one NBA participant on the roster in Utah Jazz reserve wing Simone Fontecchio, however they’ve discovered success by attacking the offensive glass, limiting turnovers, and enjoying robust protection. Fontecchio has been dynamic as a 6’8 wing scorer, exhibiting a capability to hit robust pictures within the halfcourt whereas making performs in transition. The Italians don’t have a ton of taking pictures — they shot 31.2 % from three in group play — however large man Nicolò Melli has helped give them second likelihood factors on the glass. Italy performs an intense, team-oriented fashion of play that has been a pleasure to observe. USA will likely be an enormous favourite within the quarterfinals, however Italy received’t make it simple on them.

7. Latvia

Latvia is the World Cup’s big slayers, knocking out each France and Spain on their solution to an unlikely spot within the quarterfinals. Latvia is thrashing groups with pristine spacing and knockdown taking pictures up to now: they’ve taken extra three-pointers than any staff to achieve the quarters, they usually’re making 40.2 % of their triples because the event began. Davis Bertans is their largest offensive weapon with deep vary and an excellent fast set off from three. Opponents speeding to shut out on Bertans has helped open the ground for everybody else. Andrejs Grazulis has been a potent inside-out scoring menace and defensive playmaker, whereas former Brooklyn Nets second rounder Rodions Kurucs provides some offensive creativity and rebounding as a 6’9 ahead. Latvia should launch threes to make Germany sweat, however after what we’ve seen this event, it will be foolish to doubt them.

6. Lithuania

Lithuania’s gorgeous upset of Workforce USA within the remaining recreation of group play was a continuation of what we’ve seen all through their 5-0 begin. The half-court offense has been executing at an extremely excessive stage because the event started. Jonas Valanciunas is a battering ram inside, creating area along with his broad shoulders and ending with delicate contact. When Valanciunas must kick it out, Lithuania’s shooters have been on hearth from three-point vary. By way of their 5-0 begin, Lithuania knocked down 46.4 % from three, the most effective mark within the event. Lithuania has been the highest rebounding staff within the area, they usually pounded USA on the glass on Sunday with a 43-27 benefit. The new taking pictures has to proceed if Lithuania’s going to maintain successful, as a result of they hardly ever get something simple in transition. The protection doesn’t gamble for steals, as an alternative selecting to funnel every part to Valanciunas inside as one of many event’s finest shot-blockers. That is staff that is aware of what it desires to do on each ends of the court docket.

5. Serbia

Serbia’s offense is a coach’s dream: low turnovers, environment friendly inside scoring, and shooters dotting the perimeter prepared to fireside a 3 at each alternative. Serbia is making 69 % of its two-pointers and higher than 37 % of its three-pointers to assist kind the World Cup’s best offense proper now. The within-out assault begins with Atlanta Hawks guard Bogdan Bogdanovic, who provides Serbia a three-level scorer who can take over late in video games. Large man Nikola Milutinov is likely to be essentially the most spectacular non-NBA participant within the area up to now, taking pictures 71 % from the ground in group play because of his artful ending. Nikola Jovic, the 20-year-old Miami Warmth ahead, raises the ceiling of this group with taking pictures contact at 6’9 and skill to make performs in transition. Serbia is aware of precisely what it desires to do offensively, and it isn’t going to beat themselves. This staff merely has a extremely excessive flooring each time it performs, and that’s why we give them a slight edge over Lithuania within the quarters.

4. Slovenia

Luka Doncic has no equal within the World Cup. The Dallas Mavericks mega-star is by far the most effective participant within the area, and able to carrying Slovenia to greatness all by himself. Doncic’s heliocentric fashion of play works wonders in FIBA ball, bullying overmatched defenders on the level of assault, both getting a clear have a look at the basket or free throws on seemingly each drive. Doncic’s teammates attempt to area the ground and hearth threes round him. If these pictures occur to fall, Slovenia can beat anybody on any given night time. Slovenia’s largest pink flag is clearly a scarcity of rim safety. Former Virginia Cavaliers standout Mike Tobey has been automated as an inside-out scorer for Slovenia at middle, however he doesn’t provide a lot shot blocking. Slovenia should depend on its offense to place up a ton of factors each night time, however that isn’t such a foul plan with Doncic on the controls. With the Canadians ready within the quarterfinals, we’re set for Luka Doncic vs. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander matchup on one of many largest levels in worldwide basketball. Get your popcorn prepared.

3. Germany

We haven’t seen the most effective of Germany but, they usually’re nonetheless enjoying like one of many prime groups within the area. The Germans have been with out star wing Franz Wagner since he injured his ankle within the first recreation, however they enter the knockout spherical with a clear 5-0 file. Dennis Schroder has been the staff’s engine, constantly collapsing the opposing protection and mixing scoring and playmaking at a excessive stage. Daniel Theis is Germany’s rock within the center — proudly owning the glass, defending the paint, and ending inside because the roll man. The German shooters caught hearth of their beatdown of Luka Doncic and Slovenia on Sunday, hitting 15-of-31 (48 %) pictures from the deep. There isn’t a ton of rim safety defensively, however Germany can actually ratchet up the ball strain with Schroder and Isaac Bonga and get into the passing lanes — solely Workforce USA has extra steals of any staff to achieve the knockout spherical. If the youthful Wagner brother can come again, Germany has all of the items to be a championship staff.

2. Canada

Canada’s run within the World Cup was on life help trailing Spain within the fourth quarter of an elimination recreation on Sunday. That’s when Shai Gilgeous-Alexander took over. The Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder celebrity scored or assisted on Canada’s remaining 17 factors to finish the comeback, and within the course of qualifying Canada for the Olympics and knocking out defending champions Spain from the World Cup. SGA didn’t do it himself: Dillon Brooks was excellent himself, scoring 22 factors on 8-of-12 taking pictures whereas enjoying glorious wing protection. Add in R.J. Barrett’s slashing drives, Kelly Olynyk’s inverted playmaking, and Dwight Powell’s paint safety, and Canada has each the expertise and match to win this event. First, they should get previous Luka Doncic and Slovenia within the quarterfinals. It doesn’t get any higher than Shai vs. Luka in a win-or-go-home recreation with the entire world watching.

1. United States

Workforce USA’s lack of measurement inside was evident in opposition to each Montenegro and Lithuania in second spherical play. Lithuania dominated USA on the glass and pounded smaller defenders switching on the backline to earn an unforgettable upset win. Gifted large males ought to proceed to offer the People hassle as the sphere will get harder shifting into the knockout spherical, however the U.S. nonetheless has the final word benefit within the open flooring. There’s no stopping the USA in transition, the place Anthony Edwards is a pressure getting downhill, Tyrese Haliburton and Austin Reaves have dazzled making performs for themselves and others, and the wings can fill the lanes to complete. If Workforce USA can get the sport going up-and-down, nobody on this area can keep on with them.

Kerr made a daring change to the beginning lineup, inserting Josh Hart for Brandon Ingram. Hart provides Workforce USA one other glue man who can defend, rebound, and received’t maintain the ball offensively. The trade-off is the dearth of taking pictures, which has hampered the American assault a bit within the halfcourt. Whereas there are some small cracks within the basis right here, the U.S. nonetheless has essentially the most expertise and highest ceiling of any staff within the event due to their depth, their velocity, and their one-on-one scoring means. The U.S. ending with the title isn’t any assure, however they nonetheless seem like the favorites even after the loss to Lithuania.

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