Antetokounmpo and Jokic, the most decaffeinated World Cup stars of recent years
The next Basketball World Cup is presented with a significant lack of backlit stars just over two weeks after its start (August 31). The injuries have played a pa
- USA Kyle Lowry also 'deletes' from the World Cup
The next Basketball World Cup is presented with a significant lack of backlit stars just over two weeks after its start (August 31). Injuries have played a key role, since they have left out regulars in these appointments such as Pau Gasol, Aleksey Shved, Thomas Heurtel or Milos Teodosic . Adding these casualties forced to the resignations of some NBA players who have preferred to rest in summer, a question arises: who are the main figures to follow in the World Cup?
In the US it seems that the stars will be on the benches. Gregg Popovich and his luxury assistant for this final phase, Steve Kerr , have seen how the continuous escape of referent players from the most important league in the world has ended up diminishing their final call. To the absences of Harden, Durant, Curry or LeBron James , those of Lowry are joined by an operation on the thumb and Marvin Bagley , who were already among the 17 shortlisted. The five-time NBA winning coach with San Antonio Spurs and his assistant (five other rings as a player and three as a coach) will have to put all their tactical knowledge at the service of a team that will be led by Kemba Walker, Donovan Mitchell. and Jayson Tatum .
A very similar case is that of Canada , which in principle could have formed a selection only with NBA players, and in the end it will only have five. Nick Nurse , winner of the ring this season with Toronto Raptors, takes command of a team that despite the losses of Jamal Murray and Tristan Thompson among others, enters the pools for the first time to do something important in a World Cup.
In Europe there are also many notable absences in the candidates to fight for the medals. Spain, only has Rudy Fernández and Marc Gasol as survivors of the squad that won the title in 2006. In France there will also be the main references of the team that became European champion in 2013, Tony Parker and Boris Diaw , already withdrawn In addition, it should be noted that Slovenia, champion of the last Eurobasket, did not qualify for the final phase, which will deprive viewers of seeing players like Luka Doncic, Goran Dragic or Anthony Randolph
Therefore it seems that among the teams of the old continent two members of the Best Quintet of the NBA are called to take the lead this season: Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic .
The forward of Miwaukee Bucks will try to return the Greek team back to a drawer that is not climbed in any final phase since the World Cup in Japan in 2006. The Hellenic arrives at the best moment of his career after receiving the MVP award from last year in the NBA , and will be well escorted by players contrasted in FIBA basketball like Kostas Sloukas and Giorgios Printezis among others.
Same situation for the pivot of Denver Nuggets, who will lead Serbia after dominating the painting like no one last season on the North American courts. Despite Teodosic's sensitive loss, Jokic will not be alone . The Sacramento Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic , who arrives after signing 14.1 points per game in his second year in the US, will be his main squire.
Outside Europe, it seems that there are only two teams that could put Team USA in trouble. Argentina, which although it is not the fearsome selection of yesteryear and the only member of the Golden Generation that it maintains is Luis Scola, has already shown that it can beat the current world champions with Facundo Campazzo in the lead. And Australia, which despite not having Ben Simmons maintains the block that made him fight for the medals at the Olympic Games in Rio three years ago.
In a few days you can see if this lack of stars ends up being harmful to the show, or if on the contrary, it will make the forces equalize so that the US team does not take a triumphant ride as in the last two World Cups.
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- Basketball World Cup 2019
- Nikola Jokic
- Rudy Fernandez
- Pau Gasol
- Facundo Campazzo
- Giannis Antetokounmpo
- Gregg Popovich
- Kemba Walker
- Luka Doncic
- Marc Gasol
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