Preview: Germany vs Serbia – 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup Final

The final of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup is here. Dennis Schroeder and Germany take on Bogdan Bogdanovic and Serbia to decide who will be world champions. We begin our preview series of the game with a direct look at the match-up.

Key details

Who: Germany (7-0) vs Serbia (6-1)
Where: Mall of Asia Arena, Manila
When: Sunday 10 September at 20.40 Manila/14.40 London/13.40 London/08.40 New York

How they got here

Germany have gone on a perfect streak of 7 straight wins. They started out beating Australia, Finland, and Japan in the first group phase. That was followed up with wins over Georgia and Slovenia in the second group phase. The quarter final was a tense but tight win over Latvia in the quarter final. Then came that legendary win over the USA in the semi-finals.

Check out out profile of Dennis Schroeder and Germany ahead of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup Final

Serbia opened the group phase in style. They recorded wins over Puerto Rico, South Sudan, and China. This was followed by a shock defeat to Italy before they rebounded to rout Dominican Republic. In the quarter final they comprehensively outplayed Lithuania. Then they played a tremendously smart game to beat Canada in the semi-final.

Last time out

For Germany, it was a case of Dennis Schroeder being patient and letting the rest of the team do the hard work. Andreas Obst was phenomenal from the outside while Daniel Theis and Johannes Voigtmann were excellent on the interior. Beating the USA took every ounce of smarts and hustle from Germany but they got the job done.

Check out our profile of Bogdan Bogdanovic and Serbia ahead of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup Final.

Serbia, by contrast, were always in control against Canada. Aleksa Avramovic has been the best perimeter defender at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup. He showed why in that game and Bogdan Bogdanovic led the charge offensively. In the simplest terms, Serbia took Canada to school.

Key battles

Avramovic vs everyone jumps out as the obvious one. If Germany are going to win this, they need Andy Obst and Franz Wagner to have opportunities to hurt Serbia from deep. It really is that simple when it comes to the outside game.

Serbia know they’ve got a challenge on the inside. Daniel Theis and Johnannes Voigtmann will provide a meaty challenge to Nikola Militunov. That aspect favours the Germans for sure but the battle will almost certainly come down to the team leaders, on and off the floor.

On the floor, that means Dennis Schroeder vs Bogdan Bogdanovic. Both simply must do all they can to disrupt the defensive flow of their opponent in order to put their team in the best position to win. The 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup however may have its most important battle on the sideline. Svetislav Pesic of Serbia is one of the greatest coaches of all time. On Friday, Gordie Herbert of Germany had the best coaching performance of his life. Both will need to be at the top of their games.

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Need to know

Svetislav Pesic has been coaching since 1982 so perhaps it is no surprise that he has ties all over the world in basketball. Germany, however, became his adopted home. He led them to the EuroBasket title in 1993. That is the only gold medal in the history of the men’s national team. He also guided Alba Berlin to 4 Basketball Bundesliga titles and FC Bayern to another. In short, he’s done a lot in Germany.

He has done even more with his homeland. Pesic guided Yugoslavia to the EuroBasket title in 2001 and then the FIBA World Cup in 2002. He won three major underage titles with Yugoslavia national teams, including the 1987 World U19 championship. The man has been coaching so long that he won a lifetime achievement award in 2001, and has been coaching for longer since.

What the bookies think

This is a brutal one for the sportsbooks. Germany are the narrowest of favourites at 9/10 but Serbia are priced at evens (1/1). That’s as close to a pick’em as it gets. The points spread marginally favours Germany by -1.5.

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What we think

There really are two schools of thought here. One is that we accept the history of basketball. Serbia may not have quite as deep a roster as Germany but they are clearly playing the smartest basketball of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup. Everyone knows their role, that makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts. Everything that has been witnessed in the history of FIBA basketball says that Serbia will win.

The other is that Germany may be the one team built to beat Serbia. Gordie Herbert is no Pesic but he doesn’t need to be. He needs to be the best man for the players he has. Right now, he clearly is. Germany have the talent and the offensive potential to hurt even the smartest defensive side in basketball.

The prediction

This is a tough one, truly. Two things have stuck in my brain since Friday night. Firstly, how can Germany match the high of that win over the USA? Secondly, what version of Dennis Schroeder will we get on Sunday. I feel extremely confident in what version of Serbia we are going to see. Bogdan Bogdanovic should win MVP at this stage, even without the gold.

The whole nation of Serbia will be angry at me for jinxing them but I’m going with it. Serbia to win.

Sep 9, 2023Emmet Ryan

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Author : BallinEurope

Publish date : 2023-09-09 08:25:31

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