The quarter finals of EuroBasket 2022 are here and Tuesday nights sees hosts Germany take on Greece for a place in the semi finals
All games from now on are at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin, Germany
20.30 CEST, 19.30 BST, 14.30 EST, 11.30 PST
How they got here
Germany (5-1) almost suffered a stunning lost in the last round as they a 27 point lead slip against Montenegro before eventually getting the win follow group Ws over France, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Lithuania, and Hungary.
Greece (6-0) are the only perfect team left in the competition following Serbia’s exist but they were in serious trouble against Czech Republic in the prior round. This was preceded by a dominant run in Milan with close wins over Croatia and Italy along with big victories over Great Britain, Ukraine, and Estonia.
Need to know
That perfect record for Greece shouldn’t make you think they’re going to have it easy. Prior to Slovenia last time out, you’ve got to go all the way back to Lithuania in 2003 for a team to win this competition without a loss.
Germany, obviously, have home court advantage and serious leadership from Dennis Schroeder along with the star power of Franz Wagner. The most important player for them however may be Maodo Lo who is best known as a scorer but does lots of little things the stat sheet doesn’t pick up that enables the Mannschaft to play at the pace it enjoys. Defensively it faces a conundrum as the heavy wall of bodies that Czech Republic used against Greece is certainly an option for them but deploying it would sacrifice their pace of play.
Greece, eventually, refound their core defensive identity in that last 16 win over Czech Republic after being an offensive first side through the group phase. This will certainly stand to them against a German side they will want to slow down and force into tight spaces. Naturally, a lot rests on the very considerable shoulder of Giannis Antetokounmpo but the Greeks also need a lot more from Tyler Dorsey after a quiet day the last round.
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This is a rematch of the 2005 final, which saw Greece take basketball gold just a year after shocking the continent in football. That golden generation of Greece famously went on to beat the USA in the World Championship semi-finals the following year in Japan.
Germany has been pouring on the Nowitzki love throughout this tournament. In addition to having the first ever jersey retirement ceremony in the history of international basketball, they have made sure to put the Dallas Mavericks great on the big screen at every opportunity. More power to them I say, this generation of German talent has a lot to thank him for.
What do the bookies say?
Greece are 2/5 favourites, which certainly factors in the home court for Germany and the tough night Greece had against Czech Republic, while Germany are priced at 51/20. The point spread favours Greece by -6.5.
What do we say?
Greece have learned the hard way but the thing about lessons in tournaments is, if you are still standing after them they can stand to you. Germany are a match-up nightmare for most teams in EuroBasket but just not this one. A defensively minded Greece should have far too much for them by the final buzzer.
Greece to win and cover.