With 8 teams remaining in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, Luka Doncic and Slovenia are set for a quarterfinal battle with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Canada.
Tipoff: Wednesday, September 6th at 7:30 am CST
Canada took down France, Latvia, and Lebanon with little difficulty. After a stunning loss to Brazil, Canada was met with an elimination game against Spain, the reigning World and EuroBakset champions. Big-time efforts from Gilgeous-Alexander and Dillon Brooks highlighted the historic comeback win after trailing by twelve heading into the 4th quarter. This win not only sent them to the quarterfinal matchup with Slovenia but also earned them a spot in the 2024 Paris Olympics (the first time since 2000).
Canada has a very complete roster with loads of NBA talent. Without a doubt, SGA is the head of the snake and has solidified himself as a true leader on this team.
Canada’s (+450) talent differential seems insurmountable, poising them to be favored only behind the USA (-125) to win the whole thing.
Slovenia’s road to the elimination rounds included wins over Georgia, Cape Verde, Venezuela, and former Olympic foes in Australia (apologies to Josh Green & Dante Exum). Their only defeat came against Germany (after already locking in their quarterfinal spot).
Slovenia has given Doncic around 30 minutes per game, but don’t expect that to be the case moving forward. In Eurobasket 2022, they ran him to the ground, playing nearly every minute. I get the sense that the reduction in minutes thus far is in hopes of preserving Doncic’s energy in these elimination games. Both Luka Doncic and Mike Tobey will see heavy minutes the rest of the way.
Slovenia will need to win this game to move on and work for their spot in the 2024 Paris Olympics. The two best European teams will earn an Olympic berth in 2024.
Both Slovenia and Canada play a good FIBA style of basketball, but the talent difference between these teams makes it challenging to pick Slovenia in this matchup.
Canada is an 8.5-point favorite over Slovenia.