The semi finals of EuroBasket 2022 are here and Friday’s main event is between hosts Germany and Sergio Scariolo’s Spain
All games from now on are at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin, Germany
Friday 16 September 20.30 CEST, 19.30 BST, 14.30 EST, 11.30 PST
How they got here
Germany (7-1) have impressed by and large throughout the tournament. Their lone loss was in a classic against Slovenia in the group phase and they own wins of Lithuania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, and Hungary from that phase as well as a mighty display to beat Greece in the quarterfinals which was preceded by their one wobble when they almost let a 27 point lead over Montenegro go to waste in the last 16.
Spain (7-1) may be the most organised side in the whole competition let alone of those still standing. They own wins over Turkey, Georgia, Bulgaria, and Montenegro from the group phase and their one loss came in that stage as well in a surprising beatdown by Belgium. The knockout rounds have been where they have shown their class with an overtime victory over Lithuania and a big comeback win over Finland.
Need to know
This Germany team is a lot more than its stars of Dennis Schroeder and Franz Wagner but Schroeder has a score to settle. In 2015, Schroeder went to the line for three free throws needing to make all three to force overtime against Spain and keep Germany’s hopes alive. He missed the first and that was the game. Now, older and a more mature player, Dennis will want to carry his side to a huge payback win.
Spain come to EuroBasket with their least star-studded outfit in decades yet here there are, in the semi finals for the 11th straight time. Sergio Scariolo, the head coach, has been the unquestioned MVP of this side by pulling off a series of tactical masterstrokes to get them this far and make everyone wary of going up against them.
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Germany have been particularly successful from deep in this tournament with 10 or more three pointers in 6 of their 7 games to date and the team is a combined 40.4 per cent from behind the arc. Plus their coach gave probably the quote of the tournament after they beat Greece.
— Ball in Europe (@ballineurope) September 13, 2022
Spain meanwhile are in a record 17th semi final at Eurobasket although they lost to Germany by the minimum at this stage in 2015. Remarkably, I can’t recall a single question to Juancho Hernangomez about his performance as Bo Cruz in Hustle.
What do the bookies say?
Germany are favourites at 13/20 and Spain are priced at 33/20 while Germany are favoured by -3.5 on the point spread which is marginally above the standard spread for an even match-up once home court is factored in.
What do we say?
The bookies have given their fairest reading of any game this tournament so far in my eyes. Spain will live with Germany and give them headaches and I don’t see another 20-1 run for the hosts like they managed in the third quarter against Greece but I still think Gordi Herbert’s side has enough to make history.
Germany to win and cover.