View Poll Results: Who will overthrow Spain as the #2 team in the world?

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  • France

    3 27.27%
  • Serbia

    2 18.18%
  • Brazil

    0 0%
  • Argentina

    0 0%
  • Lithuania

    0 0%
  • Croatia

    0 0%
  • Australia

    1 9.09%
  • Greece

    2 18.18%
  • Nigeria

    0 0%
  • Senegal

    0 0%
  • Turkey

    2 18.18%
  • Other Europe

    0 0%
  • Other Americas

    1 9.09%
  • Other Africa

    0 0%
  • Other Asia

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Thread: Who (If Anybody) Will Overthrow Spain As The #2 Team In The World?

  1. #1
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    Default Who (If Anybody) Will Overthrow Spain As The #2 Team In The World?

    With the World Championships finally a little over a year away, I've gotten to thinking about the seemingly inevitable shift at the top from Spain to some rising power, and wondering who that might be.

    So I now pose this question to my fellow Interbasket members. Who is your pick?

    Edit: Tried to add a poll but the window expired.
    Last edited by Levenspiel; 06-16-2018 at 09:55 AM. Reason: Poll added.

  2. #2
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    I think with back to back silver medals behind the United States in the last two world events that Serbia already has. A possible lineup with a quartet of Teodosic, Bogdanovic, Bjelica and Jokic and all the other talent Serbia can compliment those guys with is superior to anything else anyone else can field.

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    I don't think you can ignore Australia's combination of talent, size, and athleticism though. If everybody who is eligible plays, they are going to be a handful. Even without Ben, you have potentially a young core of Exum, Bolden, and Maker to complement the experienced team that put the world on notice in Rio.

    That's without even getting into teams like France, Croatia, Lithuania, Slovenia, or the extremely talented young Latvian frontcourt.

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    I'd say Serbia already has. They finished higher than Spain in the World Cup, Olympics and Eurobasket, and finished second to the US in two of them. The only thing they haven't done is seal the deal. If they had won gold against Slovenia I don't think this would be up for debate.

    Beyond that I agree that the one to watch in the future is Australia. They're undergoing a renaissance of sorts, and arguably should have beaten Spain in 2016. Growing NBA talent, noteworthy college talent, solid home league to develop other players. They're basically what we thought Canada might turn into with actual results to back it up.
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    Most people in Australia are bullish about the Boomers' prospects in not just the short term, but the medium to long term also. From a talent perspective, in addition to aforementioned players, there are continual outstanding youngsters coming though, Josh Green, Tamuri Wigness, Will McDowell-White etc and emerging players in their mid-20s including Mitch Creek, Mitch McCarron, Majok Deng etc . But what most people not in the know don't realise is the growth in Australian coaching, scouting, use of analytics (on a par with anything the NBA does) and the growth of Australian backroom staff in local and NBA circles (analytics, conditioning, physios etc). Never before has Australian basketball been so close to the coal face of the NBA, which is what Europe was doing two decades ago. it is possible that the level of overall professionalism is higher than in the Euroleague atm...(big statement, but a lot is being done right).

    I respect what Serbia officially have done over about a five year period now. They are definitely the best of the rest right now in FIBA competition and although they don't routinely produce lottery picks, they produce solid talent that gets better with age and they should continue to be a menace. One thing annoyed me about watching them after beating Australia in the Olympic semi-final (I watched with Serbian friend lol) and that was their degree of celebration. To them, winning silver was effectively winning gold. I don't believe Australia have that second is first mentality. Regarding Canada, apart from last years' FIBA Under 19 crown, they have done precious little at men's senior level. If they ever get their act together, watch out....

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    Yeah no doubt.

    Though I wonder how Canada might have fared if this new expanded World Cup had been the case in 2014. With all that talent. Their only real issue is no true big other than TT, just talented guys like Olynyk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CHBB View Post
    Yeah no doubt.

    Though I wonder how Canada might have fared if this new expanded World Cup had been the case in 2014. With all that talent. Their only real issue is no true big other than TT, just talented guys like Olynyk.
    Tristan Thompson is well down my list of Canadian bigs. Kelly Olynyk is a fantastic FIBA bigman and after KO there is Dwight Powell, Trey Lyles and maybe even Khem Birch before TT (he is just not well suited to FIBA ball).

    Our issues are not bigmen its coaching, FIBA experience, systems, federation management and our player's desire to play.

    If we can get Andrew Wiggins, Jamal Murray, Cory Joseph, Kelly Olynyk, Trey Lyles, Dillon Brooks, Dwight Powell, RJ Barrett together on a team and add whatever filler of low level NBA players (Tyler Ennis, Nik Stauskas, Khem Birch, Shai Alexander, Chris Boucher, Xavier Rathan Maynes, Naz Long) and EuroLeague-type players (Kevin Pangos, Kyle Wiltjer, Phil Scrubb, Melvin Ejim etc.) and we can take down anyone outside the U.S.

    I doubt we ever get everyone at the same time, but if we can get most of the top players, then look out.

    We had 14 players play in the NBA this year, the most of any non-US country in any given year. Yes, many of them were barely cracking rosters, but still there is depth of talent many don;t realize - we should have another 6-8 players drafted in the next two years.

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    A few things...

    Wouldn't you say that has at least a little something to do with the fact that Euro players who are barely making NBA rosters have a major and lucrative league to go back home to if the NBA doesn't work out? I mean I can think of quite a few NBA caliber players from each major Euro country's national squads. Canadian players on the other hand can only go home to the NBL.

    Second, the problem is none of those guys other than Tristan are traditional bigs. You need one in order to beat the big boys.

    Some good points about Australia, Roofman. They have the kind of ideal combination of NBA prospects, a major national league, and high level coaching that causes a country to become a power.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CHBB View Post
    A few things...

    Wouldn't you say that has at least a little something to do with the fact that Euro players who are barely making NBA rosters have a major and lucrative league to go back home to if the NBA doesn't work out? I mean I can think of quite a few NBA caliber players from each major Euro country's national squads. Canadian players on the other hand can only go home to the NBL.

    Second, the problem is none of those guys other than Tristan are traditional bigs. You need one in order to beat the big boys.

    Some good points about Australia, Roofman. They have the kind of ideal combination of NBA prospects, a major national league, and high level coaching that causes a country to become a power.
    You are absolutely correct - I am stating that more to make a point about the depth. The NBA is the 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice league for most Canadian players and there are loads of European players who choose not to play in the NBA but could. I firmly believe a good European league player, like Kevin Pangos, is more valuable to our national team than a very low level NBA player like Tyler Ennis. Still, Tyler Ennis is a pretty good player and it is a short list of national teams where he wouldn't be in their top 12. Canada is still missing that star player like Giannis, Jokic, the Gasols, Ben Simmons (will be) and Tony Parker (was). Wiggins hasn't really panned out but like Wiggins many of our top guys are still pretty young. Jamal Murray, RJ Barrett, Dillon Brooks, Trey Lyles and with many more on the way.

    Second - what do you need traditional bigs for in todays game? Its more about mobility and shooting. Who is out there that would steamroll over a front court of Olynyk, Powell, Thompson, Birch etc? That list is fairly short. Anyways, no worries about debating these hypotheticals - hopefully we can "put up, or shut up" in 2019.

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    Honestly your front line isn't all that intimidating. Most Euro squads and definitely the US would steamroll over them. As much as people talk about the "modern game", you can't win without dominant size. It's why France and Brazil continue to finish lower than they should.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CHBB View Post
    Honestly your front line isn't all that intimidating. Most Euro squads and definitely the US would steamroll over them. As much as people talk about the "modern game", you can't win without dominant size. It's why France and Brazil continue to finish lower than they should.
    I get what you are saying. We don’t have much defensive strength inside or rim protection. Offensively it’s a nonissue but even last night we struggled to contain a traditional big inside with the Chinese center. Given Olynyk and Powell didn’t pay and it was mostly Boucher, Ejim and Bennett.
    Boucher had about 5 blocks and 11 bourds but was pushed around allot for positioning. I can see where a Tristan Thompson would help but he is undersized as a center and doesn’t offer rim protection.

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    And that to me is why Canada isn't on the level of the strongest NTs despite producing so much high level wing and forward talent. Khem Birch is probably the closest thing to a two-way big you all have, entirely due to his athleticism. And TT is the only one who can bang down low. Boucher is a good shot-blocker but crazy skinny. I did notice Bhullar has been playing though, which is interesting. If Canada can ever produce a dominant big man though then I think they'll be a force to be reckoned with.

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    Basketball is becoming more and more a guards game.

    In this aspect I believe europe is lagging behind badly, since there are less servicable or exceptional guards produced as in the past. I could say something simmilar for Serbia and to some lesser degree Spain.

    Serbia has Bodganović for years to come, followed up by Jaramaz that could devlop into a really good PG to be honest, I like him a lot, Marinković a decent SG, maybee we could wait for a while before giving up on Stevan Peno. All those are very good prospects for european circumstances, but when it comes to competing in the world, apart from Bogdanović, they are kind of underwhelming in a sense, they likely won't enable an edge against top5 teams in the world. But overall, as far as Europe goes, Serbia actually has it well in this regard

    Spain needless to say, along with some players that still have few years on their NT as Rodriguez, llull, Rubio has quite some guards to pick from. All playing in ACB they eventualy develop into servicable players. They surely got great talents in the youth stages, I doubt they would be extraordinary perimeter players, needed to keep their no.2 world status.

    When it will definately be interesting to see the rise of Ukraine, that might in 4-5 years finaly get decent perimeter in Mihayluk and Sanon, to see Czech adding up some servicable players to their Satoransky+Vesely core, Finland with developing Markannen and overall a lot of decent players coming into Dirk-less German NT, lack of concentrated and extraordinary perimeter players will hurt europe to the extent, I believe Canada and Australia, properly coached, prepared and players developing chemistry are likely the ones to challenge the current "bball world order".
    Out of european NT's, I believe France will be up there if they manage to combine their athleticism with some coaching and a system finally.

    Even though those guards that europe is developing are over here considered as some major talents, in reality there is no other aspect of basketball, which when put on the world stage, becomes as mediocre as european guard play.

    Solutions for that, such as cutting those kids some slack with selections at the age of 15 which are often determining their careers way too early, getting coaches to aknowledge some good aspects of other bball schools, improving transition from U18 and U20 to seniors (the biggest black hole out there, unless the player goes to NCAA) and widening up the base... are the problems I haven't yet seen being answered systematicaly in europe. Unless they are, it's clear: europe will lag behind it's potential.
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  14. #14
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    You know what's funny is the European country who's producing those athletic guards outside of France and Germany is the UK. They're also producing some undersized but fairly dominant bigs like Olaseni, Jesse Chuku, etc (and not so undersized ones like Bigby-Williams) and dynamic forwards like Yeboah and some others. If they can get some real coaching and funding, they can do some damage one day. That's without even getting any kind of commitment from Prince Ibeh or OG Anonuby.

  15. #15
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    I think Serbia.

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    Interesting year for Canada.
    Shai Gilgeous Alexander is turning out to be something special relegating Milos Teodosic to the discard heap (Patrick Beverly too!)

    The NCAA has a number of surprises too. I have seen all the following on various mock drafts projected as 2019 first round picks:
    RJ Barrett
    Lugeuntz Dort
    Simi Shittu
    Nickeil Alexander Walker
    Ignas Brazdeikis
    Brandon Clarke
    Oshae Brissett
    Lindell Wigginton
    Andrew Nembhard


    Of course not all of them will be drafted and/or turn into good NBA players, but it seems a few will. Not sure what other countries are producing anything close to this volume of NBA talent.

    Chris Boucher is another interesting one as well - he has been the best player in the G-League by far this season. Check out these stats:
    https://gleague.nba.com/player/chris-boucher/


    The talent is already there - this crop of youngster is fuel to the fire....
    Further I am seeing more and more signs of most NBA guys buying into the national program (except Andrew Wiggins and Trey Lyles).

  17. #17

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    We'll your in WC. Nice stage to show off.
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