Lithuania vs. Spain Prediction, Tips and Odds – August 16, 2022, 18:30 CET
The preparations for the European basketball teams are coming to an end. The final stage of the World Cup qualifiers begins next week, while Eurobasket begins on September 1.
This week will be dedicated to playing a few more friendlies and adjusting form close to the optimal level before the start of official matches. On Tuesday at 18:30, Lithuanian and Spanish national teams will play.
The Lithuanian national team has already played four friendly matches as part of preparations for the upcoming challenges. They met Finland (87-62, 76-61) and Estonia (90-88, 84-70) twice. They won all the matches quite easily, apart from one, which posed some difficulties.
Jonas Valanciunas and Domantas Sabonis will once again be the main force of Lithuania. The tandem of experienced NBA centers will have a great impact on the game, and they will be helped by the guard duo Marius Grigonis – Rokas Jokubaitis and small forward Ignas Brazeidikis, who signed for Zalgiris this summer after several seasons spent in the NBA league.
Valanciunas and Sabonis are one of the best center tandems in Europe, but their good performance has not been enough for a good result in the last few major competitions. Last year they were eliminated by Slovenia in the Olympic qualifiers, and at the 2019 World Cup, they were stopped in the Round of 16. It remains to be seen whether these two players will have adequate help from other teammates this summer.
Spain played two friendly matches, both against Greece. They were defeated in Athens 70-86 in the first match, but they won 87-80 in Madrid. The main difference between these two games was that Giannis Antetokounmpo played in the first one, while he rested in the second one.
The Spaniards are gradually going through a generational change, so it takes some time for the younger players to mature. The Gasol brothers retired, Ricky Rubio has been gone this summer, and Nikola Mirotic is injured, so the players who had a minor role in the past years will now be the main force.
Here we mean Willy Hernangomez, who was the best individual of Spain against the Greeks, as well as his brother Juancho. Due to the lack of quality playmakers, the Spanish Basketball Association decided to naturalize American Lorenzo Brown, who is expected to bring instant quality with his experience.
Coach Sergio Scariolo has worked wonders with this national team in the previous seasons, so it remains to be seen if he will be able to do the same this summer.
These two national teams played their last official match at the Olympics in 2016, and the Spaniards outclassed the Lithuanians 109-59.
Given that both teams rely on the quality of centers and big players, we expect this match not to be of a high tempo. Therefore, we believe that the total number of points will not be too high.
Prediction: Total Points Under 158.5