Eurobasket 2022: Group B – Preview, Tips & Odds
It is time for the EuroBasket Group B Preview.
Group B matches will be played in Cologne, Germany, and there are three teams in it that are potential favorites to win the upcoming Eurobasket tournament. First of all, France, then Lithuania, and defending champions, Slovenia. In addition to these three teams in the “group of death,” there are also dangerous Germany, and tricky teams Bosnia and Herzegovina and Hungary.
The French team is maybe the biggest favorite in this group, with a roster full of NBA players.
The leaders of the French national team are certainly guys who play important roles in their NBA teams. We are especially thinking of the league’s best defender for many years, Rudy Gobert, who left the Utah Jazz and joined the Minnesota Timberwolves. Rudy is a real tower in the paint and can create problems for all opposing teams.
Next to Rudy, there is Even Fournier, who is a top forward who can score 20+ points on any team in the world without getting out of breath. Penetration, shooting, dribbling. He has everything. Other French players play for the best European clubs and have had top seasons behind them. Most of these players tried their hand in the NBA. Okobo, Poirier, and Yabusele are players who ask a lot of questions in the Collet team along with the NBA duo. De Colo and Causer will not be in the lineup.
The French have not been playing that well lately, but we believe that they are taking care of themselves and timing their form for the next championship. They lost the last match after two overtimes against Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that turned on the red lights in the French national team. It’s time for all the superstars to get serious because in such a difficult group, there is no right to relax.
The French fans will consider anything below the fight for the top three places a big failure. Because of this, they will have to raise the level of the game if they want to compete with other strong favorites.
Lithuanians are coming to this Eurobasket to try to win it after 19 years. And they come with the strongest lineup, where all players are in great shape.
Domantas Sabonis and Jonas Valanciunas, two NBA players who dominate in their positions in the NBA league, will perform for Lithuania at this Eurobasket 2022. The mere presence of these two on the floor allows the other players of Lithuania much more freedom in shooting and free space because the opposing defenses are quite concentrated on these two dominating jumpers. And Lithuania’s outside shooting was never in question. There are also a couple of class shooters in this Lithuanian squad.
Lithuania is playing in excellent form; they won all of their games rather easily, they have a streak of 9 victories, and in the last match, they beat Montenegro, with a 17 point difference. They play very solid in defense, and simple in attack, which is a formula for success.
Similar to France, Lithuania is one of the favorites to win this Eurobasket, and they are expected to reach at least the semi-finals and fight for a medal. If their health serves them, they will go to the very top.
The Slovenians are on a mission to defend the Euro title and to show everyone that they are a real basketball superpower. But it won’t be easy for them.
Slovenia has assembled the strongest team for Eurobasket and will try to defend the throne. Even though Goran Dragić announced that he was ending his national team career, he still decided to play the upcoming Eurobasket. Along with Goran Dragić, the alpha and omega of the team is NBA superstar Luka Dončić. He is also dominant at the NBA level, and he carries that over to the floors all over Europe. He makes all his teammates on the national team much better.
And the whole team is designed to match Dončić’s playing style as much as possible. The Slovenians play with a lot of possession and a lot of shots. Other important links in the composition of Slovenia are brothers Dragic. Also, experienced Jaka Blažič and Edo Murić, and shooter Klemen Prepelič. Dončić works brilliantly with Mike Toby, who is a perfect fit for the Slovenian national team.
The Slovenians play somewhat in the NBA style and score a lot of points, and when Dončić is in a good mood, everyone is in trouble. But in the qualifiers, they ran into an aggressive Germany who seriously beat them, the shot stopped, Dončić got nervous, and in the end, it was -19!
The Slovenians are also one of the favorites of this Eurobasket, but the question is, what will they be able to do if Dončić stops as he did against the Germans? The quarter-final is perhaps the most realistic for this Slovenian national team.
The host of this group has shown how dangerous it is on its home ground, and that home ground will be a big boost for the Germans in this Eurobasket 2022 tournament.
The Germans gathered a very strong team before Eurobasket, but several NBA players will be missing again. The team is led by Dennis Schroeder, who has been struggling with injuries lately, but he always gives his 100% for the German national team. In addition to Schroeder, Germany also has a large number of Euroleague players such as Voitgmann, Lo, Giffey. A very important role in this German team will be played by Franz Wagner, one of the best young players in the NBA, who plays great games for the Orlando Magic.
The Germans are missing a couple of NBA players like Daniel Thies and Maxi Kleber, and Mo Wagner, but there are indications that Thies could be ready for the knockout stage, which would give the Germans more width under the basket.
The Germans with Schroder play fast basketball, where Dennis opens space for his shooters with his penetration and speed. The Germans defeated the Slovenians. They played great defense, fought for every ball, and showed everyone how to fight for the national jersey.
Germany could be a potential surprise of the tournament; they are playing good basketball, and if Thies comes back, they could join the fight for medals with a little luck.
Hungarians have become regular participants in European championships and a national team that grows year by year. They were unlucky in the draw, but certainly not without chances.
The leader of the team is the experienced Adam Hanga, who is the main link of this Hungarian team. Next to Hanga, David Vojvoda has an important attacking role, who also played in ABA league teams for a long time. Under the basket are the experienced Akos Keller and Kenan Karahodzić, who has BH roots and once played for Belgrade’s Partizan. Also playing for Hungary is Mikael Hopkins, a naturalized American who played for Cedevita from Ljubljana. One good team which never gives up.
Hungarians play hot and cold. They are not top quality, but they will always give 100% of their capabilities. They beat the Czech Republic away from home in the last match and showed once again how dangerous they can be.
Hungary will hardly pass the group, but even one win in this group would be a great success for them.
Bosnia and Hercegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina had a lot of problems with their team. There was even a question about whether they would perform at this championship, but they have consolidated and are ready to fight with everyone.
After the dismissal of coach Bosnić, no one believed that Bosnia would do anything at this Eurobasket. But the presence of Jusuf Nurkić alongside the great Džanan Musa gives the fans of Bosnia and Herzegovina the right to hope at least to pass to the second round, but it will be very difficult.
In addition to Nurkić and Musa, all Bosnia and Herzegovina players are capable of physically defending all positions from 1 to 5, starting with Gegić, Lazić, and Atić. Under the basket is the brilliant young center Kenan Kamenjaš, who, although he is a heavy five, is very mobile and fast for his size and often plays in a five with Nurkić. Bosnia and Herzegovina lacks shooting from the field, but they certainly do not lack muscle and physique.
The form of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a real roller coaster. In the qualifiers for the World Cup, they were defeated in Podgorica by Montenegro with a difference of about twenty points, and two days later, they beat France after two overtimes and showed everyone that they are a very difficult rival. And that there will not be only observers at this championship.
No one will dare to play basketball against Bosnia and Herzegovina. If they pass the group, it will be a great success, but we still expect them to finish fifth.
5. Bosnia and Hercegovina