Edwards, Reaves, Banchero: The US basketball players have numerous professionals from the NBA. Does Germany even have a realistic chance in the semi-final showdown in Manila?
The World Cup semi-final against Olympic champions USA is the most important international match for Germany’s basketball players in 18 years. But do Gordon Herbert’s protégés have a serious chance against the star ensemble with twelve NBA stars today (2.40 p.m./Magentasport)?
What speaks for Germany?
The USA completed the entire World Cup tournament with the entire squad, so Germany was able to prepare specifically. The German team was missing key player Franz Wagner in four of six games, which makes it difficult for the opponents. “We have a lot of video material from the last two years, so we know how good, how versatile Franz is. He played very well against Latvia, but we know him well and our players do too,” said US head coach Steve Kerr. Wagner should return to the starting lineup.
Presence under the baskets
The Olympic champion’s biggest weakness is under the basket. Jaren Jackson Jr. is the only real center who keeps getting into foul trouble. The USA clearly lost the rebound duel against both Lithuania (minus 16) and Montenegro (minus 18). Good for Germany: The Herbert team with Daniel Theis, Johannes Voigtmann, Moritz Wagner and Johannes Thiemann is ideally positioned, especially in the big positions.
Abu Dhabi test
In the ultra-modern Etihad Arena, the USA left the field as winners with a score of 99:91, but Dennis Schröder and Co. became the toughest test for the starting group. The interaction between Schröder and Theis caused just as much problems for the USA as the mobile Franz Wagner. The interim 16-point lead suggests that third place in the European Championship can pose huge problems for the USA.
What speaks for the USA?
When it comes to talent, no one can beat the USA at this World Cup. Superstars like Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry or Jayson Tatum are not there, but successful coach Kerr’s team contains twelve NBA professionals and is well put together. Wingers Anthony Edwards and Mikal Bridges are the top scorers, while talent Paolo Banchero brings energy and versatility off the bench. Three-point specialist Austin Reaves, who almost played for Germany because of his roots, is another guarantee.
The 104:110 against Lithuania has long since been ticked off by the USA. Just two days later, Italy was beaten 100:63 in the quarterfinals, and the 40 minutes turned into a basketball show. “What helped them a lot was the defeat against Lithuania. That was a wake-up call,” said national coach Herbert. Germany is still undefeated at the World Cup, but comes from its weakest performance in the 81:79 win against Latvia into the semi-finals.
Dynamics and athleticism
Conquer the ball and then move forward quickly: The quick attack is the US team’s great strength. Coach Herbert cited keeping the USA in the half court and allowing as few rushing attacks as possible as a big key to success. To do this, Schröder and Co. have to control the ball well. Too many German ball losses could quickly make the game one-sided.
I am Pierce Boyd, a driven and ambitious professional working in the news industry. I have been writing for 24 Hours Worlds for over five years, specializing in sports section coverage. During my tenure at the publication, I have built an impressive portfolio of articles that has earned me a reputation as an experienced journalist and content creator.