WHO: Slovenia vs Lithuania
WHAT: Opening game for Luka Doncic and Slovenia in Group play for EuroBasket
WHERE: Koln Arena, Koln, Germanny
WHEN: 10:15 a.m. CT
THE STORY: The 2017 EuroBasket tournament ended with Goran Dragic, Luka Doncic, and Slovenia bringing home the title for a country of just over 2 million people. Five years later, they hope to repeat the story, only this time as strong candidates to advance, despite playing in the “Group of Death”.
The six team Group B contains powerhouse teams: France, Lithuania, Boznia and Herzegovina, and even Germany, who beat Slovenia just last week. Luka Doncic and his countrymen will have a tall task ahead and it starts with Lithuania, a literally very tall team.
Led by NBA bigmen Domantas Sabonis and Jonas Valunciunas, the Slovenian team must work together to keep the Lithuanians off the boards. These two teams last met last summer in the “2020” Olympic qualifying match, where Slovenia prevailed in an outstanding game.
Luka Doncic will need to play a fantastic game for the Slovenian team to win but after his subpar performance against Germany in the World Cup Qualifier last week, it’s reasonable to expect a bounce back performance. Think about how many poor games Doncic has bounced back from in the NBA. Dragic will also need to play better as well; he struggled against the Germans.
While you’re watching basketball today, know that at halftime of Germany-France, Dirk Nowitzki is having his FIBA jersey retired, which is a truly special honor in that I am pretty sure it’s never happened before. We’ll have coverage here this afternoon.
Join us here in the comments, as you’ll be able to watch the game on ESPN+. There’s basketball on all day, so enjoy the opening games!
Click here for our latest podcast episode, this one with Adam Mares of DNVR. He took a trip to Serbia and we discuss it, the basketball legacy of Yugoslavia, Serbia vs Greece (Jokic vs Giannis), and a lot of Luka Doncic. If you can’t see the embed below, click here or search Mavs Moneyball Podcast in your favorite app.