Germany Stuns France in 80-74 EuroBasket Upset

Jan 5, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Portland Trail Blazers small forward Nicolas Batum (88) looks on during a free throw against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first half at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

To put it bluntly, this should not have happened. It wasn’t exactly the Heat vs. the Bobcats, but Germany (playing without Nowitzki or Kaman) was supposed to be severely overmatched. Just take a look at the lineups (Bolded players indicating NBA experience):

France:

Guard Tony Parker Nando De Colo Antoine Diot
Guard Mickael Gelabale Charles Kahudi Thomas Heurtel
Forward Nicolas Batum Florent Pietrus
Forward Boris Diaw Joffrey Lauvergne
Center Alexis Ajinca Johan petro

Germany:

Guard Heiko Schaffartzik Per Günther Bastian Doreth
Guard Lucca Staiger Karsten Tadda Nicolai Simon
Forward Philip Zwiener Niels Giffey Alex King
Forward Robin Benzing Maik Zirbes
Center Tibor Pleiss Andreas Seifferth

 

Fortunately for France, this preliminary game was not an elimination round, but it should serve as a wakeup call. The German squad unleashed a barrage of threes, led by Bayern Munich shooting guard Lucca Staiger, shooting 62% as a team (8-13).

Portland’s Nicolas Batum put forth a rather pedestrian performance, scoring just 9 points on 4-11 shooting. He’s caught some minor flack for taking rushed, off-balance shots, but I can’t entirely fault him, as he seems to prefer them that way.

He did rack up some pretty assists (5 in total), but his tendency to flirt with disaster remains apparent. If France hopes to recover from this, they will need him to be on his A game. France will play Great Britain at noon tomorrow (another would-be pushover without Luol Deng) so, as Ace Ventura would put it, “The day of redemption is at hand!”

[1] – Victor Claver and the Spanish team crushed Croatia 68-40, as expected.
[2] – France-Germany boxscore
[3] – Spain-Croatia boxscore

Topics: EuroBasket, France, Germany, Nicolas Batum, Portland Trail Blazers

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