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EuroBasket 2022 – Who are the favorites to take home the gold medal?

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After a five-year hiatus, one of the world’s greatest basketball tournaments is finally back. Featuring 24 European national teams and three of the NBA’s main MVP candidates for next season, EuroBasket 2022 kicks off Thursday with pool play in four cities before the highly anticipated title game on September 18 in Berlin. culminates in

Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic When Giannis Antetokounmpo We’re not just headliners here. They are all motivated to win this tournament and bring home his one of the most coveted championships in international hoops.

A lot has changed since the Doncic and Slovenian teams shocked the continent, winning the last iteration of EuroBasket in Istanbul in 2017. Check out this tournament’s top contenders, players to watch, and what’s at stake with each.

Watch all EuroBasket games live on ESPN+

Tier 1: Top Candidate

1. Serbia

Jokic enters EuroBasket in an unusual position: as a favorite to win. He has been named NBA MVP on his two occasions and has already shown that he is one of the best players in the world, but his NBA team is better than his varsity team. and have relatively modest expectations.

Jokic and Serbia enter pool play as the narrow favorites to win the tournament due to their MVP presence and relative draw advantage. Serbia should enjoy an easy path out of the group stage. Milos Teodosic, a legendary playmaker who has scored some of the most breathtaking assists in professional hoops over the past decade. Manager Svetislav Pesic has opted to drop Teodosic from the roster for this tournament, saying he cannot guarantee him the leading playmaking role he is accustomed to.

Nonetheless, just last week the Serbian team did great as they beat Antetokounmpo’s Greek team in an overtime thriller in the FIBA ​​World Cup qualifier in Belgrade.

Players to watch: joke! Even though he only played 30 minutes in the win against Greece, Jokic scored 30 points while he added eight rebounds and six assists, making him the NBA MVP of the last two seasons. We showed the world why we won the award. He was the best player on the floor until the end.

what is at stake? redemption. The Serbs lost the EuroBasket final in Istanbul in 2017. It was only his second time to win a gold medal at the event, after losing to Spain in 2009. A win in Berlin this year would be sweet redemption for them, not to mention years of continental bragging rights.

Best finish: Silver medal (2017, 2009)


2. Slovenia

Doncic was just 18 when he led Slovenia to the historic EuroBasket crown in 2017.

But it’s not easy. Slovenia are among the toughest groups in billiards. Group B, which will play pool matches in Cologne, also includes France, Lithuania and host Germany. These are three of the top nine betting favorites across the 24-team field. That leaves little room for error for Slovenia to advance through the group stage.

Two of Slovenia’s best players – Doncic and Goran Dragic — Each has the ability to play for themselves or their teammates, making Slovenia one of the best attacking teams in the field.

Players to watch: Everyone will focus on Doncic, but Dragic is also important. Dragic won the tournament MVP in 2017, but it’s questionable whether he can still perform at a high level at 36 years old. A big deciding factor for this team and this tournament as a whole.

what is at stake? The country, with a population of just 2.1 million, has had an incredible streak of EuroBasket wins.

Best finish: Gold medal (2017)


3. Greece

Since the last EuroBasket, Antetokounmpo has become arguably the greatest player on the planet. He has two of his NBA MVP awards and one of his NBA titles (earned by him scoring 50 points in Game 6 of the 2021 Finals), making him the most complete player on the field. participate in this tournament as

Greece have not won the event since 2005, but they still have a chance to win it this year. But the big problem here surrounds the supporting cast: Can Antetokounmpo’s brother, Thanasis When Costas (both are also NBA champions), do they offer the makings of a strong supporting cast? While Thanasis has averaged only 3.1 points per game in four NBA seasons, Costas has totaled Scored 21 points and returned to play professionally in Greece.

There is none chris middleton– Also Jules HolidayEven with Giannis Antetokounmpo, the type of player for this Greek team, dominating the game, the Greek team needs other players to step up. Case in point: Antetokounmpo scored 40 points against Serbia last week However, his team lost to a deeper team led by another NBA MVP named Jokic.

Players to watch: Assuming Antetokounmpo is better, the biggest factor is Tyler Dorsey When Nick Carases in the backcourt. Dorsey, who averaged 15.1 points per 36 minutes in his short NBA career with the Atlanta Hawks and Memphis Grizzlies, has the ability to score. A veteran of the team’s backcourt, his facilitator, his Calathes, can give others a clean look. He averaged over 6 assists per 36 minutes in two seasons with Memphis before playing in Greece. If these two of him can put together a solid tournament and take at least some of the playmaking burden off Antetokounmpo’s massive shoulders, Greece can win this thing.

what is at stake? If Greece wins it all, they will become the third country to win more than three EuroBasket championships, proving that their current program is much more than just an Antetokounmpo factory.

Best finish: Gold medal (2005, 1987)


4. France

The French program has both talent and depth over the past decade. Unlike the other top contenders here, the French roster lacks the true superstars of this tournament, Evan Fournier When Rudy Gobert Useful for gaining possessions on both ends of the floor.

The French team has a chance to win all of this, assuming they escaped the death group which includes Germany, Slovenia and Lithuania. But France lacks both Nicholas Batum and Victor Wenbanyama, who is likely to be the first pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.

In their absence, both Gobert and Fournier have to be great for France to win the tournament.

Whatever happens here, France will be a big threat to win gold at home at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. Joel Embiid — who has just qualified to play in France — may join the squad. will have to wait another two years.

Players to watch: A three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Gobert has a well-deserved reputation as one of the best defenders in the world.He was also one of only three French players (Fournier and Nando de Coro He averaged double-digit scoring at last summer’s Olympics. In a potential matchup between Jokic and his Antetokounmpo, Gobert could give France a chance to contain these MVP talents of his.

what is at stake? This is your chance to establish yourself as the best program on the continent and build momentum for Paris 2024.

Best finish: Gold medal (2013)


Tier 2: Looming Team

5. Lithuania

When Domantas Sabonis When Jonas Valanciunas In the frontcourt Lithuania can beat any team in this field. Unfortunately, the Lithuanian also finds himself playing in Cologne in the toughest group on the field.

Players to watch: Sabonis has had a great run in FIBA ​​Qualifiers this summer, and he has a chance to elevate his stature if he can push this team out of the group stage and rock the knockout phase.

what is at stake? I salute you again. Lithuania has a proud basketball history, but he hasn’t won it all since 2003, despite finishing second twice in EuroBasket in the 2010s.

best finish: Gold medal (2003, 1939, 1937)


6. Spain

Spanish teams are usually considered frontrunners in EuroBasket. He has won three of his last five gold medals, and the last time he failed to reach the semi-finals was in 1997. why? The stars who have been the core of the team for 15 years―― Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol When Ricky Rubio (missed due to injury) — not part of this roster. Simply put, Spain doesn’t have the level of talent he had in the 2010s. The good news is the draw. Spain is arguably one of the easiest groups in the tournament and she is celebrated as a favourite. (Turkey is the only other team in the group to be in the top 10 betting odds to win this event.)

Players to watch: Juancho HernangomezHe’s a solid player averaging 5.4 points per game in limited time with five different NBA teams, but it will be interesting to see how he fares in leadership roles. this is not Netflix.

what is at stake? sustainability. Spain has been a model basketball program in Europe for over a decade.

Best finish: Gold Award (2015, 2011, 2009)


7. Turkey

Turkey is also a relatively long shot, but their national team is filled with solid NBA players. Furkan Korkmaz, Cedi Osman When alperen army, and the way out of the group stage is relatively easy. Turkey may make a fuss.

Players to watch: After being selected 16th overall in the 2021 NBA Draft, Saenggun averaged 16.7 points and 9.5 rebounds per 36 minutes in his rookie season with the Houston Rockets. Earlier this week he played great against Serbia and against Jokic he scored 17 points and added 13 rebounds.

what is at stake? Note. Sengun has the potential to really put this Turkish team on the map in his decade. And with a lucrative draw in this tournament, we can expect this group to advance to the Knockout He stage.

Best finish: Silver medal (2001)


8. Germany

The host nation is also a relative disappointment, but if Germany manages to advance out of the group, anything can happen. Poole begins his play in a big match against France in Cologne. Dirk Nowitzkithe greatest German player of all time.

Players to watch: Denise SchroederAlthough he hasn’t signed with an NBA team yet this summer, he played for Germany in the 2019 FIBA ​​World Cup (PPG 19.6, APG 9.4, 38.8% 3-shooting percentage). If Schroder & Co. can channel the emotion from that event and bring it to the Frenchman in Game 1, it could inspire the hosts to ruckus in his knockout phase.

At stake: pride. The last time the German hosted his game of the Eurobasket title was in 1993, when he won in Munich. If he can repeat this feat in 2022, it will shock the hoops world.

Best finish: Gold medal (1993)

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