The France team fell into the trap. In an enclosure necessarily won over to the cause of Germany, especially after the vibrant tribute paid to Dirk Nowitzki, the Blues started the EuroBasket with a heavy defeat (63-76). Never really dominating in this meeting, Vincent Collet’s men struggled offensively (38% in shooting) and were guilty of too many air pockets in defense. Only one player survived: Guerschon Yabusele (18 points, 4 rebounds). But he was not followed by any of his partners, like an awkward Evan Fournier (2/10) and a badly used Rudy Gobert in attack. We are now awaiting a reaction against the Lithuania of Domantas Sabonis.
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For the French, EuroBasket 2022 will therefore have started as the previous edition ended: with a defeat against Germany. The teammates of Dennis Schröder, yet author of a 0 of 6 to 3 points, have shown seriousness to take advantage of the shortcomings of the France team. They notably sanctioned the too many losses of opposing balls (17), while they for their part took care of the ball. Their stubbornness at 3 points (10/32) could have cost them dearly, but each winning shot scored hurt the Blues, unable to ensure enough consecutive defensive stops to pick up, except at the start of the third quarter.
France – Germany
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France did not exist
Germany has also built its victory on the return from the locker room. After experiencing a big air pocket, she inflicted a 9-0 on France to take control and never let them go, just before the start of the final period. It was won by a short header by the Blues (20-19), thanks in particular to the activity of Vincent Poirier (8 points, 4 rebounds), but it was a little too late to obtain a good result. No more successful on the three-point line than the Germans (7/21), the French, in serious collective breakdown, were also weighed down by the points dropped on free throws (16/24, against 8/8). It is therefore a set of small details that cost the game to the Blues who only reacted.
Conversely, Germany showed great solidarity throughout the meeting, driven by the overflowing generosity of Johannes Thiemann (14 points, 6 rebounds, 5 fouls). As proof, four players have exceeded the 10-point mark. France would do well to draw inspiration from it for their hoped-for rebound against Lithuania, who will also have to redeem themselves after their inaugural defeat against Slovenia by Luka Doncic, already dominating. Neither of the two nations will want to lose this second match, and this will in turn be a new trap for France to avoid.
Elie Okobo (France) and Nick Weiler-Babb (Germany), Thursday September 1, 2022. / EuroBasket
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