Who had Germany to win in a nail-biter over Serbia in the 2010 FIBA World Championship game last night? That’s right: BallinEurope, baby! As Sidney Deane once said, “I don’t mean to brag, but I’m the greatest.” (Of course, we’ll not be discussing the performance of Team France, who followed up the stunning win over Spain with an impressive 27-point immolation of … never mind.)
BiE went 21-3 over the course of days one and two; here’s to hoping the trend continues with BallinEurope’s official Fearless Predictions™for today’s six-pack of games.
We’ll dispense with three must-miss games in brief. In terms of blowout, the only question is whether the damage Argentina does in beating up on hapless Angola tonight will top Serbia’s certain smoking of Jordan. All things considered, that three-game suspension of Nenad Krstic was quite the wrist-slap indeed: Assuming a win today, the realistic worst-case scenario for Team Serbia in the first games has happened and the team sits at 2-1.
As for Tunisia-Iran and the battle for Group B impotency, BiE picks Iran. Bonus prediction: This game will set the mark for lowest attendance in this tournament.
Meanwhile in Group B, as the FIBA commentators will surely say, Brazil will try to keep it close against Team USA. After a rough road of friendly matches in which the South Americans typically appeared disjointed and disorganized, the team still remains something of an unknown, having put in functional games against the non-competition of Iran and Tunisia.
Brazil is still one of the bigger, more physical teams in the tournament with the likes of Anderson Varejao, João Paulo Batista and Tiago Splitter likely to be playing together against the U.S., but the overly-hyped lack of height on the Red-White-and-Blues hasn’t been in evidence whatsoever in two games against beefy sides, while Lamar Odom and tournament revelation Kevin “Summer Of” Love have been playing like they’re seven-footers. Skilled seven-footers. Team USA brings too much Kevin Durant, too much Derrick Rose and too much Love tonight in beating Brazil.
Slovenia and Croatia face off in advance of each meeting Brazil, making this the first of three matches that presumably (barring either unprecedented disaster to the Americans or an unforeseen miracle from the bottom-feeders) will determine spots 2, 3, and 4 in the group.
Two things could keep the slightly more talented Team Slovenia from a win here: hot shooting from Croatia, because Slovenia has too much in the frontcourt for the Checkerboards to win a battle of the boards; and Goran Dragic’ temperament, because it’s clear The Dragon is taking this team on his shoulders – as evidenced by forced shots aplenty against the Americans and three poor turnovers. But BiE says Dragic stays cool and Slovenia pulls out the win.
Can you say “trap game”? The young and certainly flying high Germany’d better make sure to sober up for this game, as Australia will certainly give the Germans matchup problems. David Anderson and Aleks Maric have been just as deadly from 10 feet out as under the basket in this tournament and Oz’ll need to go to the low post early and often with cold three-point shooting an Achilles’ heel for the team thus far.
The other relevant questions are, of course, “Can anyone stop Jan Jagla?” and “Dirk Who?” Nevertheless, Fearless Predictions™ just ain’t as much fun if you pick all the favorites: Australia plays its third close one in the tournament and wins.